Black Estate is a small family owned vineyard at the northern end of Waipara. It is spread over 3 vineyard blocks, all organically managed and farmed using biodynamic practices.
The philosophy at Black Estate is to strive to express each individual vineyard site in the wines. During the wine making process the aim is for minimal interference, allowing the intrinsic flavours of each site to be expressed in the wine, with no chemicals added, no fining and minimal filtering.
With each site having a different aspect and soil compositions the resulting wines are clearly expressing these differences.
The home block is more clay based which delivers great minerality and tannins to the Pinot Noirs, weight and texture to the Chardonnays and a texturally rich style of Riesling. Further up the valley the Damsteep Vineyard is about 2 metres deep of chalk, and yes, very steep, producing wines that are more fruit forward with noticeably richer, earthier characters in the Pinot Noirs.
The Black Estate team is made up of Nicholas, he's the winemaker and married to Penelope, who looks after the business. Penelope's twin sister, Jo, helps on the sales front. With their parents Rod and Stacey, the family owns Black Estate. Together they grow grapes, talk about the weather and make some great wines.
Must try wines include the new release Chenin Blanc, which has a delightful, honeyed nose with exotic fruits and spices and a broad palate of ripe mangos and tropical fruits.
The Home Block Pinot Noir is typically rich and earthy, with ripe dark berry fruits, spices balanced with soft, velvety tannins and not to be missed, the Damsteep Riesling which has a great nose of orange zest, is texturally rich with underlying mineral characters and a clean zestiness to finish.
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