To produce Pinot Gris Rockburn, following a philosophy of minimal intervention, the juice from each parcel was fermented in stainless steel on its gross lees at temperatures of 14°C to retain aromatics and finesse. Winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis stopped fermentation at each parcel’s perfect level of sugar and acidity balance. Pinot Gris Rockburn was then racked and blended.
Pinot Gris clones 2/15 and 2/21 are hand-picked from Rockburn’s two vineyard sites in Parkburn and Gibbston Valley. The Parkburn vineyards lie in the middle of Central Otago Block Mountain ranges, on an old, alluvial terrace, covered by a loam topsoil. The vineyard sits at an elevation of 235 metres, with a semi continental climate of hot, dry summers and cold, dry winters. The Gibbston Valley vineyard lies on the western side of Central Otago in very mountainous, once glaciated country. Alluvial fans and scarps dominate the landscape, which have been terraced by the Kawarau River. A strong, prevailing westerly airstream influences the climate, with higher rainfall and more cloud, resulting in lower sunshine hours. Vines are trained to a Vertical Shoot Position (VSP) system.
Rockburn started as the hobby of Richard Bunton in 1991. He planted a few hectares of vineyard in the then pretty much unknown area of Central Otago. In 2005, Malcolm Francis the winemaker, arrived from Felton Road where his skills immediately reaped the rewards when he won the Elite Gold Medal. This is a very exciting new arrival on the world Pinot Noir stage.