As ripeness was achieved the Riverina Viognier Winemakers Reserve Berton Vineyard grapes were harvested in the cool of the night to retain freshness and minimise oxidation. The fruit was crushed, destemmed and chilled to the bag presses. After a gentle pressing, the juice was clarified before a slow fermentation at cool temperatures of 14 to 16°C using a carefully selected yeast to optimise lush varietal flavours. The wine then underwent six to eight-week maturation on yeast lees which built mid-palate weight and optimised the expression of soft creamy notes. The Viognier was then blended, filtered and bottled.
The grapes come from Riverina vineyards surrounding the townships of Griffith and Yenda. The vines are grown in a warm continental climate with mostly dry ripening periods, which provide excellent conditions for grape cultivation. Deep, fertile loam soils provide a great base for healthy vines and grapes with an abundance of flavour. Efficient irrigation methods supply water from the Murrumbidgee River in gravity-fed channel systems. The Viognier blocks are set up on a double wire trellis, allowing good air penetration and bunch distribution, whilst providing protection from sunburn. This system also allows good machinery and manual access during pruning, spraying and harvest.
Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of the most important wine producers in Australia. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of-the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single-vineyard offerings.