To produce the Pinot Noir “Bannockburn” Akarua, the hand-harvested grapes underwent a pre-fermentation maceration that lasted five days, with temperatures peaking at 31°C. Punch downs took place twice daily and post-fermentation maceration lasted six days. The wine spent 11 months in French barriques, 27% of which were new.
The Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from two of Akarua’s estate vineyards in Bannockburn. The 50 hectare site on Cairnmuir Road lies at 270 metres above sea level with weakly structured light alluvial soils overlaying shist rock. The 21 hectare site on Felton Road lies at 240 metres above sea level. The soil here is young alluvial schist based sandy silt and loams overlaying schist rock. The vines are all 23 years old, VSP trained and spur pruned.
Akarua was established in 1996 and the Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago acquiring a superb north-facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50 hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and the estae has a site that is among the very best. Sustainability in the vineyard and winery is integral to the Akarua ethos. Water conservation, recycling, the use of lightweight bottles, fully insulated barrel rooms and energy efficient lighting in the winery are a few of the initiatives taken by Akarua to guarantee their accredited status as a sustainable producer.