With its 30th vintage this year, Palliser Estate is celebrating with the inaugural release of its Single Vineyard range. The Wharekauhau Pinot Noir and Om Santi Chardonnay reflect the team’s dedication and love for Martinborough and the vineyards.
“Our philosophy is about nurturing soil life which in turn nurtures the vines and with the fruit produced, having the patience and faith to leave it alone minimising the distortion that human hands create,” says Chief Winemaker, Guy McMaster.
McMaster became Chief Winemaker earlier this year, heralding a new era in the winery with a fresh perspective and new approach to winemaking. His passion for organics has been obvious at the estate since joining as Viticulturist in 2016. Both the Om Santi and Wharekauhau vineyards are under organic conversion; Wharekauhau will be certified in 2020 and Om Santi following suit in 2021. He sees this as just the beginning and a non-negotiable step for making authentic wines that truly speak of the land.
Wharekauhau or “Place of Knowledge” was planted in a mixture of Pinot Noir clones in 1998. With this complex planting, the devoted vineyard team hoped to gain valuable insights into their suitability for growing outstanding Martinborough Pinot Noir.
“We believe we have done just that: The wine from this site displays a remarkable earthiness and a velvety tannin structure that clearly expresses a sense of place,” says McMaster.
The coolest and stoniest site, Om Santi is situated on the front edge of the terrace. The densely packed river gravels, 10 metres in depth, force the wines to work hard to search for water and nutrients. The resulting wine reveals a beautiful flinty minerality with stone fruit qualities that truly is a unique expression of this site.
“All the individual parcels from these vineyards are tasted with only the finest barrels selected for the Single Vineyard blend, then bottled unfined and unfiltered so the truest representation of our sites and season is revealed to you in every glass,” says McMaster.
These limited edition Single Vineyard wines focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They will only be available at the Cellar Door in Martinborough, online through the Palliser site, or at exclusive on-premise locations.