For the team at Pierro, attention to detail in the vineyard is the factor which most clearly determines the success of the Pierro Chardonnay. It is sourced mainly from a north facing block on the south bank of the Willyabrup Brook which flows down the valley to the nearby Indian Ocean. Mike Peterkin believes that this natural watercourse provides a nourishing life-source for the vineyard. The mature vines (25 to 30 years old in 2010) are from high density plantings, 4,000 to 5,500 vines per hectare.
The success of this wine has meant that there is much about the winemaking process that has become traditional at Pierro: the wine is barrel fermented in new and one year old French barriques; a hundred per cent goes through the malolactic fermentation and has regular lees stirring (battonage) during its 12 month oak maturation. Mike Peterkin remains a strong supporter of the role that the malolactic fermentation can play in improving the flavour and length of palate of the Chardonnay. Battonage gives a seamless character and creamy texture to the wine.
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