As the first vintage produced in our new on-site winery, 2020 represents another step forward in both quality and site expression for The Landing Chardonnays.
The 2020 vintage at The Landing was remarkable in several ways. The season was warm and dry with less than 75mm of rain in the three summer months of December-February including less than 1mm in February, meaning ripening proceeded steadily and harvest was without pressure from the weather. On the back of dry and windy spring weather, yields were low, averaging 4.4 tonnes per hectare or 2.6kg/vine. As a result, fruit condition, concentration and flavour were outstanding.
The Chardonnay was hand-picked by block or part-block according to maturity from February 4 – March 1. Every bunch went across a sorting table before being whole-bunch pressed, either direct to barrel or with overnight settling.
Indigenous yeasts undertake primary fermentation, and selected barrels were allowed to complete malolactic fermentation. Each pick was kept separate throughout barrel ageing before blending to tank for further aging before bottling.
The Landing vineyard comprises 18 blocks planted over nine hectares on the slopes overlooking Rangihoua Bay on the Purerua Peninsula, Bay of Islands. The soils are young greywacke clays over weathered rock. The eight blocks of Chardonnay planted between 2007 and 2015 represent over half of the total vineyard area and each block varies in aspect, row orientation, wind exposure, and soil profile.
Due to reliable flowering and early-ripening, Chardonnay is well suited to The Landing's maritime climate, where spring wind and late rains are the biggest viticultural risks. In summer, the sea breeze moderates daytime highs, meaning the temperature rarely exceeds 30 degrees centigrade. Careful viticulture allows Chardonnay to ripen evenly retaining good acidity and developing ripe flavours at moderate sugar levels.