The grapes to produce the Classic Riesling Marlborough Framingham come from three different sections of the estate with each parcel hand-picked and whole bunch pressed. The majority of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks with approximately 7% fermented on skins over two weeks, followed by ageing in oak. All components were aged on full ferment lees for three months.
Fruit for the Framingham Classic Riesling was sourced from their estate vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The alluvial, well-drained soils of the Wairau were formed by the sedimentation of the Wairau River. In the warm centre of the valley – where there is low rainfall and relatively low frost risk – Framingham are able to harvest controlled yields at desired ripeness. Extensive crop thinning and a degree of leaf plucking are practised when necessary, giving low yields of grapes that have had managed exposure to sunlight.
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.