Nelson has some of the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand – averaging 2400 hours of sun annually.
It also has long dry summer days and cool nights: the perfect combination to provide lifted fruit character and good natural acidity. I’m sure the key to Nelson’s ability to produce outstanding cool-climate varietal fruit is the combination of ideal seasonal conditions and the soils of the Moutere Hills where the North facing slopes are on Moutere clay.
The ‘Moutere gravels’ are relatively youthful – a 2 million year old gravel sheet that is over 1 km deep and 25 km wide. The gravel threaded clay subsoil, of low fertility, has the advantage of draining water away on the slopes but retaining enough moisture through the summer months to avoid the need for supplementary irrigation. This clay is instrumental in building the tannic backbone evident in some of the better Moutere Pinot Noirs.
The Mammoth Pinot Noir is made using fruit from the most masculine block, at the top of Woollaston’s Mahana Vineyard. It was planted in 2004 with clone 5. The vineyard is dry grown and gained its organic certification in 2011 A dry tap is the foundation to site expression. Irrigation dilutes and denies character, expression and the very soul of the site. Does the site have something to say? Turn off the tap…turn up the volume!