2020 – bunny beats covid

The Coronavirus pandemic hit mid-vintage and I had to get out of Australia quick-sharp before the borders shut. Luckily the fruit had been picked, was safely in the winery and Michael and his intrepid team at Lodestone Winery in the Adelaide Hills continued to work through the lockdown to produce the best brace of pét-nats we’ve ever made. Astro Bunny, bursting with exotic Zibibbo aromas like never before, her younger brother Piggy Pop finally completing it’s transition from light red to a proper rosé, with a blood orange colour leading to spice and all things nice.

Vintage 2020 was challenging due to severely reduced crop levels (down by 50% in some vineyards) caused by poor flowering in the Spring, plus the second year of drought and some areas in South Australia affected by the bush fires (luckily not my vineyards). I’ve never been so busy in the weeks leading up to harvest, hustling to find small blocks of fruit to make up for the losses. Eventually I found a block of Arneis in the Adelaide Hills to make up the Fiano and a block of Mataro (Mourvedre) in McLaren Vale to make up the Nero d’Avola. Meanwhile up in the Riverland our new growers in Loxton, Chris and Gill Byrne, put on a fantastic lunch for our backpacker pickers, and even fancy snacks and refreshments for smoko*

*smoko – Australian term for tea break

On March 20th I packed my bags and took the two R2 units to the airport and got out on the last Qatar flight out of South Australia.

The 2020 wines were looking so good after six months in bottle that for the first time we issued them as a spring release (Spring in Australia) and some of my export markets even managed to get them just in time for Christmas. Oh we we bottled some magnums for the first time for shits and giggles. We only bottled 120 mags in total, but they’ve been received enthusiastically and we’ll be ramping up our magnum bottling next year.

Astro Bunny Pét-Nat 2020 
Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Riverland 
Fiano 50%, Arneis 15%, Nero d’Avola 15%, Zibibbo 20%
7,403 bottles produced 


“A cult classic of the minimal intervention scene”
@LoveTillyDevine
HOW IT TASTES   
“Peachy-orange colour with floral and nectarine aromas. Gentle foaming bubbles with a watermelon wetness and a grapefruit tang giving great gluggability. The bubbles are soft, foaming and creamy in the mouth. The nectarine fruit explodes on the palate followed by a slash of white grapefruit acidity that keeps you salivating and going back for more. Shake well before opening to mix up all the sediment, it not only looks better when shaken, it tastes better too, with the sediment adding texture and mouthfeel. Serve cold, recommended drinking location: beach or park”
HOW WE MADE IT 
The fruit from four different vineyards was picked over four consecutive days in early March (Fiano March 4th, Arneis 5th, Nero 6th and Zibibbo the 7th). The 2020 vintage was challenging due to low crops as a result of disruptive weather during flowering in November. To make up for this we sourced a one-off parcel of Arneis from the high altitude Yacca Paddock vineyard at the southern end of the Adelaide Hills. 
The Zibibbo was given 24 hours pre-ferment skin contact to extract greater aromatics, whereas the Nero is taken from the press after just a few hours to provide colour, and the four varieties are then co-fermented together. The wine is bottled with 12 g/L residual sugar and completes its fermentation in the bottle over the winter becoming fully dry and resulting in a final pressure of 2.5 to 3 bar, producing a gentle foam rather than an aggressive fizz. Wild yeast, no adds, no filtration, no fining, zero sulphur = 100% natural goodness.


GEEK SPEAK 
12% ABV 
sugar  00.0 g/lt  
free S02   0.00 mg/lt  total SO2 3mg / l
pH   3.67
titratable acidity 4.6 g/lt 
616 dozen made 
  Piggy Pop Pét-Nat 2020 
McLaren Vale, South Australia 
Nero d’Avola 50% Mataro 50% 
7,390 bottles produced


HOW IT TASTES   
“Hazy blood orange pink with foaming jewel-like bubbles, the aromas explode out of the glass with a riot of red currant, pomegranate and spice. The palate is fresh and juicy with a snap and crackle of Nero acidity on the finish to keep it mouthwatering and fresh. Pizza friendly, serve cold, no need to shake before opening.


HOW WE MADE IT 
The Nero d’Avola and Mataro were hand harvested on 6th March in the cool of the dawn to retain freshness. The 2020 vintage was challenging due to low crops as a result of disruptive weather during flowering in November, with our Nero vineyard being 50% down on crop yield. To make up for this we had to find another red variety that would complement the Nero and provide that Mediterranean freshness and bright acidity that we need. After much searching we found a neighbouring block of Mataro (aka Mourvedre) which provided the fresh acid with an additional punch of spicy fruit weight, and we’re very happy with how it has married with the Nero. 


The fruit was transferred directly to the Lodestone winery in the neighbouring Adelaide Hills. We ferment with 25% whole-bunch for a few hours before being pressed off skins. We wanted to achieve an even lighter colour this year, making it a rosé with a hazy blood orange hue. The intense fruit allows us to carry out a short skin maceration time whilst achieving great intensity in the final wine – that’s the secret behind the Piggy! The wine is bottled with 12 g/L residual sugar and completes its fermentation in the bottle over the winter becoming fully dry and resulting in a final pressure of 2.5 to 3 bar, producing a gentle foam rather than an aggressive fizz.  Wild yeast, no adds, no filtration, no fining, zero sulphur = 100% natural goodness. 


GEEK SPEAK 
13% ABV 
sugar  00.8 g/lt  
free S02   0.00 mg/lt  total SO2 2mg / l
pH   3.53
titratable acidity 6.1 g/lt 
615  dozen made 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *