Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay from its inception for 25 years and instrumental in the international recognition which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc enjoys now. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published a book 'The Landscape of New Zealand Wine'.
Fruit was sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura) and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura, Renwick and the upper Awatere, which contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys. The majority of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on a two- or three-cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning) trellis.
A mild, frost-free spring and warm conditions through to early summer provided ideal growing conditions for the vines. November will be remembered more for the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that shook the upper South Island. Early December saw good conditions for sauvignon blanc flowering. December-January was very dry, cooler than normal and often very windy. On April 4th the first of two cyclonic fronts passed through Marlborough bringing unseasonal rain and leading to an all-hands-on-deck flurry of rapid harvesting, with all the sauvignon blanc picked by the middle of the month. The combination of prime sites, low-cropping and efficient night harvesting saved the day and despite the challenging conditions the wines of 2017 are displaying good ripeness and structure.
Harvested largely by machine during cool (often cold) night-time conditions, the sauvignon blanc grapes were picked into half-tonne bins, which were tipped directly into the tank press and lightly pressed. The resulting juice was cold-settled prior to fermentation in stainless steel, primarily using cultured yeast for cool, slow fermentation. A portion was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation using slightly warmer temperature regimes. All individual vineyard batches were left on lees and kept separate until late July, when the blend was assembled. The wine was bottled in mid-August.
Deliciously aromatic and highly perfumed – exuding ripe nectarine, pink grapefruit and lemon zest with a lifted floral fragrance reminiscent of jasmine and elderflower. Classic ripe Marlborough Sauvignon – with melon and gooseberry flavours and a touch of passionfruit, wound into a generous, mouth-filling palate that finishes dry and crisp.