The grapes to produce the Pinot Noir Great Southern Three Lions were harvested both by hand and machine, destemmed and fermented for 12 days with twice-daily pump overs to ensure a good extraction of colour and flavours. The wine was then racked to a combination of French oak barriques and stainless steel tanks, with French oak staves, to undergo 7 months ageing. Finally, the wine was blended before being bottled and released.
Plantagenet’s total 126 hectares of vineyard are situated on north facing slopes, carved out of the region’s distinctive Marri soils – named after the massive native Marri, or Red Gum, trees that grow here. The soils are gravelly loams with good drainage over a base of clay, sand or ironstone rock, ensuring the vines are not over-watered or over-fertilised and allowing for optimal fruit concentration. The vines are farmed with a judicial use or irrigation as required to maintain canopy health. Cover crops are used to maintain soil carbon and the microbial health of the vineyard.
The Three Lions wines are from Plantagenet. The name Plantagenet was given to the shire in Western Australia by early English settlers and was adopted by the winery when it was established in 1974. The arms of the Gules family, who later became the Plantagenet dynasty, were three lions passant guardant, termed colloquially “the arms of England”. They were first adopted by King Richard the Lionheart (reigned 1189–1199), son of King Henry II of England (reigned 1154–1189), and grandson of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou.