The grapes to produce the Chardonnay Marlborough Greywacke were hand picked separately at high ripeness levels and whole-bunch pressed using very low maceration press cycles. The resulting juice was lightly settled and racked to French oak barriques (20% new). The juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the final phase continuing for many months. The wine received occasional lees stirring and underwent a complete malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak after 18 months.
The grapes for this wine are primarily sourced from the low-yielding Mendoza clone, known for its concentration of flavour and crisp acidity; the balance were from Clone 95. The majority of the fruit was sourced from the lower reaches of the Brancott Valley and Fairhall, grown in gravelly, clay-loam soils, the remainder coming from Renwick and Rapaura, grown in young alluvial soils containing high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones. The majority of the vineyards were trained using a two-cane VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) trellis, with the balance on the divided Scott Henry canopy management system.
Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay from its inception for 25 years and instrumental in the international recognition which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc enjoys now. The name ‘Greywacke’ was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand’s finest wine photographer and has recently published a book ‘The Landscape of New Zealand Wine’.