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Grapes are hand harvested in late autumn, and the different varieties are pressed separately in whole bunches using a traditional, gentle Coquard basket press (as used in Champagne) to preserve the delicate fruit flavours and aromas of the juice. The juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then goes through malolactic fermentation, before being allowed to rest on its lees until bottling the summer following harvest. The wine then undergoes slow secondary fermentation in bottle, and is kept on its lees, at cool 9-11°C for three and a half years, allowing it to mature and take on flavour and structure through the process of autolysis. The bottles were riddled and disgorged, with a dosage of 8g/l.
Our NV wines are a composition of many vintages blended together. The journey of this wine started in 2009 where we reserved a small amount of wine. Each year that we harvest grapes and make wine, we build up our reserve wines. This allows us to create a style consistent year on year and show a piece of Wiston history in every glass. This current iteration is made up of 80% of wine from 2018. We press whole bunches of grapes through our Coquard basket press, (as used in Champagne), before fermenting in stainless steel and 500 litres oak barrels from Burgundy, then resting on its lees ahead of bottling. After bottling, it is was kept cool and capped (sur lattes) for over two years before being disgorged at a low dosage in Spring 2021.
Despite a warmer than average March, the 2017 growing season will forever be remembered for the fierce late Spring frosts in April and May, which caused significant damage to many of our peers’ buds. However, our Findon Park vineyard tends to bud later than most and the steeper slopes mean that ground frosts tend to roll away from the vines. As a result we luckily only lost a couple of our Chardonnay vines to frost damage in 2017. A much-welcomed warm June and a mostly dry Late Summer/Autumn resulted in good sugar and acidity levels at harvest, which started on 29th September and finished by 17th October. Although 2017 was an unusual year, it was characterised by a very good, ripe crop with lower yields. Our coquard basket press is brilliant for styles like this, allowing each variety to show boldly.
Each of the varieties were fermented separately in aged Burgundy barrels. They were rested on lees until spring, then blended and fermented again in-bottle for a cool, slow three years. The first bottles were riddled and disgorged in 2021, and like all our wines, aged on cork to finish.