The secret life of Chardonnay.
After a week during which we’ve seen some extremely heavy rain here in Central Otago, the weather has finally turned and we’re seeing some very welcome sunshine. It’s certainly been cool recently, but we’re now starting to see flowers opening across the vineyard.
These Chardonnay vines are Mendoza, 1066 and 548 clones which were planted in 2011 and grow on a North East facing slope just above the winery buildings here at Amisfield. The grapes from these vines were previously used in our sparkling wines, but are now largely used to produce our estate Chardonnay. We’ve enjoyed our three Chardonnay vintages so much, we’ve recently planted an additional two hectares of Mendoza clones at the Northern boundary of the vineyard, adjacent to the Amisfield Burn.
The little buds you can see in the images aren’t baby grapes, but the shell-like petals of the flowers which are about to bloom. Inside each of these are the flower’s stamen (the male parts) which hold the pollen sacks; and the pistil (the female parts). Because each vine is a hermaphrodite, the plants are self-pollinating. Once the pollination has taken place, the stamen drop off, and we’ll start to see clusters of mini berries that will become the grapes starting to form. - 3 months ago