To produce the Old Vine Riesling F-Series Marlborough Framingham, upon arrival to the winery, 90% of the grapes were whole-bunch pressed immediately, the remaining 40% were destemmed and spent 12 hours macerating on their skins. The musts were settled for 12 hours before racking to a mixture of stainless steel tanks (80%) and seasoned acacia puncheons (20%). Fermentation was allowed to start spontaneously, and the wine was left on full ferment lees for nine months before blending and bottling.
Grapes for the F-Series Old Vine Riesling were selected from organically grown vines planted in the early 1980s in Renwick, Marlborough. Soils are composed of greywacke (a hard, dark type of sandstone streaked with quartz and feldspar) mixed with alluvial gravel and silt. The vines are trained on a two-cane Guyot trellis system with vertical shoot positioning and are naturally low yielding, producing small crops of intensely flavoured grapes. All harvesting is done by hand.
These wines represent an alternative approach to the varieties within the core Framingham range – staying true to their style, but with room for innovation. A strictly limited edition, the F-Series allows head winemaker Andrew and his team the flexibility to experiment with winemaking techniques and create small batch wines that capture the essence of each vintage, resulting in some of Marlborough’s most exciting wines.
The Framingham label was launched in 1994 with one Riesling, and has since expanded to include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Framingham produces wines from their 19.5 hectare estate vineyard (certified organic since 2014) and other selected sites. Their Riesling vines, planted in 1981, are among the oldest in Marlborough. Andrew Brown joined Framingham as head winemaker in January 2020, replacing Dr Andrew Hedley, who resigned from his role after 18 years at the helm. A highly regarded winemaker, Brown previously spent seven years at Framingham as assistant winemaker and understudy to Andrew Hedley before working as consultant in regions including Oregon, Central Otago and Alsace. One of Brown’s Rieslings won the Champion Riesling Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show in 2019; a fitting accolade from someone taking the reins at Framingham, who have always been renowned for their Rieslings.