Cool Climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Bended Knee Vineyard

The Wines

Our wine making philosophy is about producing elegant, food friendly wines that reflect the cool climate where the grapes were produced. We aim to produce high quality wines that are balanced rather than overtly dominated by oak – so we only use 20-30% new oak each year, but we select the best imported French barriques (even if they cost a bit more).


Bended Knee Vineyard Chardonnay

Our Chardonnay is de-stemmed, pressed and barrel-fermented, with close attention being paid to managing the temperature of the fermentation. Only French oak is used, with a mix of coopers (Sirugue, Dargaud et Jaegle, and Seguin Moreau). The Chardonnay has prolonged lees contact, lees stirring and some malo-lactic fermentation to add to the complexity of the wines. As an example of how good the 2005 season was, the following figures demonstrate the maturity of the fruit at picking: Bé 12.5 / pH 3.3 / TA 7.7.


Reviews of Chardonnay


Bended Knee Vineyard Pinot Noir


The vineyard, season and how the vines are managed will all express itself in the wines - the French call this terroir. In the winery, we also try and build complexity in to each of our wines, so the Pinot Noir is made in small batches – with a subtle change to each batch. A small amount of whole bunches are retained, the remainder are de-stemmed and the berries left in open fermenters. It is at this stage that the juice takes on the colour of the skins.


Some batches are inoculated with one of two yeast strains; others are left to naturally start a wild fermentation. The results from the wild ferments have been particularly promising. For the same reason the wine maker  gets excited about making sourdough bread – the flavours and textures are superior and more interesting than predictable, commercial yeasts. To avoid over-extracting the wines, a basket press is used to delicately squeeze the juice from the skins once fermentation has finished; this wine is then aged in barrels. Again, a variety of coopers are used (Francois Freres, Seguin Moreau and Sirugue) with only 25-30% of the barrels being new.


Reviews of 2005 Pinot Noir


Reviews of 2004 Pinot Noir


Bowen Hill Riesling

In 2005 and 2006, a small parcel of Riesling was sourced from Bowen Hill vineyard. This is a small 20 year old vineyard in Buninyong township cared for by Patrick and Pat Hope. It produces fruit with quite delicate floral characteristics which were retained during fermentation by maintaining the temperature between 10-12°C. This wine is sealed with screw caps.


Reviews of 2005 Bowen Hill Riesling



Across the wine industry, a significant proportion of wines have suffered from cork taint - due to a chemical in the cork known as TCA (2,4,6 Trichloroanisole). You can’t tell by looking at the bottle, or the cork and it results in wines that smell and taste of wet carpet or cardboard – very unappealing and most disappointing!


Therefore, to eliminate the risk of cork taint, all our wines are available with screw cap closures. For those that still enjoy the romance of pulling a cork from the bottle, we also offer our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with specially processed DIAM corks – these eliminate the risk of cork taint, yet still behave like cork.