-5-Moutere vineyardQ. How has your winemaking evolved over time and where do the main challenges come from?Our winemaking has to evolve from season to season based on the quirks of the season, but ultimately there is a general process to the way we make wine, because barring any disaster, we feel comfortable and confident in the way in which we are approaching it. Another good thing is keeping to your successful process to create a house fingerprint which is replicated throughout the seasons. It doesn’t mean you are getting the same wine every season, but it means you are getting Neudorf every season. And I think that is quite important for the market, and for consistency. Of course there are years where you have to jump out of your box from where you normally are and you just have to respond. But generally speaking, our evolution is more about learning about the individual blocks and little specific decisions as opposed to any significant year change, because we are quite happy with the way in which we are approaching it. These days, all our wines are wild fermented. In Tim’s days, he was reluctant to use wild fermentation, particularly with Chardonnay. As time has gone on we have rolled it out to every single wine in the cellar, so nothing is fermented with packet yeast now. In oak usage, Moutere Chardonnay has gone from 30 per cent new oak back in the day, down to 10-12 per cent. It is all 100 per cent French oak, but only 10-12 per cent new each year. The Pinot Noir is all French oak, with about 20-25 per cent new each year. We are working with about 4 or 5 coopers and we don’t get too carried away at a lot level with each lot requiring a specific cooper. We know we’ve got the coopers who we think will work for us, and will give us the house style that is consistent and we stick with them. The Sauvignon Blanc we just released has typically been 20-25 per cent old barrel fermentation, no new oak. For the 2018 vintage we bumped that up to 40 per cent because we quite like the barrel portion and what it does. It ferments then sits in oak for 4-5 months, then we make the overall blend for bottling. We use the barrel fermentation to create a bit of texture, as opposed to sitting on lees for a long time ‒ it doesn’t get that opportunity. Q. How do you pursue differences from individual vineyards in the winery?We try to minimize, or should I say standardize, our winemaking fingerprint, so it is generally made the same regardless of where it comes from. For example, the Chardonnay, the difference between the Rosie’s Block Chardonnay and the Moutere Chardonnay is purely site. They both get the same amount of new oak, they are both treated the same in the winery, we’re not trying any winemaking technique to differentiate the two. We are very much a fan of looking at the vine age and the site to show the differences and nuances. The Pinot it is similar. For the Pinot from the Home Vineyard, we have a small part of the vineyard which consistently produces very good fruit which becomes the Moutere Pinot Noir. Everything else comes from Tom’s Block. It is all cropped the same, treated the same and made the same when it comes into the winery.Q. With the original vines coming up to 40 years old do they have a lot of life left in them?Ultimately if you are driven by production and spreadsheets you could argue that at some point in your vine age you start to see production fall off and your spreadsheet numbers start to turn red. However, for us the offshoot of having old vines is that you’ve got vines that are exploring the terroir and speaking a volume which is not about production, but what happens in the glass. So that is where we would say we don’t drive the business model by the spreadsheet but by the fact that it makes really good wine. Yes, they do tend to taper off and are not as productive, but the wine is pretty good, so we are hardly going to pull them out. Q. Do you notice changes in flavour with the fruit from older vines?I’ve been here only 6 to 7 years so I haven’t noticed changes over time, but on top of that there is a seasonal aspect which throws those kinds of judgements out ‒ adjusting from a hot season to a cold season. But we are very fortunate with the Moutere Chardonnay, we’ve got three vine ages in that block, which all get blended at the end of the year to make Moutere Chardonnay. They are all the same clone, they are on the same aspect, they are all farmed the same, they are just 3 different vine ages. Still, we harvest them all separately, and keep them separate in the winery. We can consistently see a pedigree difference between the 40 year old vines and 20 year old vines which are 20 meters apart on the same soil. So we see pedigree differences as opposed to flavour differences between those two sites, and vine age comes into play there because that is the only real variable. Q. Are there changes in picking and parcel selection?Seeing that Neudorf has been going for 40 years, there has been growth, but also blocks have been pulled out and replanted with different varieties. We actually have a lot of little blocks of different clones, and we try our hardest to keep those separate when they come into the winery so we can see it all the way through. Using Chardonnay as an example, though we are keeping all those blocks and lots separate, the Moutere Chardonnay is already determined before it is picked as coming from a particular site. So, ironically, if anything we are not taking the opportunity that we are creating by having all these little individual blocks to use it as blending tool, but rather as a learning tool to assess the different blocks in the vineyard, as part of the feedback loop to roll out improved blocks within the vineyard.NeudorfRosie’s Block Chardonnay 2017 (S)Origin:Nelson, New ZealandVarietal:Chardonnay 100%  Alc. 13.5%RRP ¥4,200Named after the Finn’s daughter Rosie who is taking over the business from Tim and Judy, Rosie’s Block is on a north-facing slope of clay gravels overlooking the Home Block. Though 100% barrel fermented, the barrel avour is subtle, adding nutty lees, oyster shell minerality and bran biscuit avours to this light, fresh and delicate Chardonnay.NeudorfTom’s Block Pinot Noir 2015 (S)Origin:Nelson, New ZealandVarietal:Pinot Noir Alc. 13.5%RRP ¥4,500 Made from fruit from the Home Block, Flaxmore Vineyard and Pomona Vineyard, all located in the Upper Moutere District, a sub-region in Nelson. 100% destemmed and fermented using indigenous yeast. Aromas and avours of cherry and plum, with hints of violets and chocolate supported by elegant restrained tannins. It ows on the palate, oering a full juicy mouthful of vibrant bright fruit. CODE10756CODE10699In 2018, Tim and Judy Finn were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the New Zealand wine industry with the prestigious Sir George Fistonich Medal, the highest accolade in the New Zealand wine industry.Currently all Neudorf vineyards are 100% dry farmed using biodynamic and organic viticulture, and the wine fermented with indigenous yeasts.

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