This wine was hand-picked and whole bunch pressed into old French oak barrels where it was allowed to undergo wild fermentation. The wine received 12 months lees stirring every second week before it was allowed to naturally clarify for 4 months. The wine received a small amount of sulphur prior to bottling and was neither filtered nor cold stabilised which allows the vineyard and season to fully express itself. Of the 4 barrels two tasted feminine and became the Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay while the other 2 more full-bodied and masculine became the Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
2013 Adelaide Hills Vintage Conditions
Rainfall. Winter rainfall for Piccadilly’s Botanical Gardens was slightly above the long term average which is great seeing our Chardonnay vines have been dry grown since 2010. However there was not much relief or respite after September started as we only experienced a few mild showers throughout the development.
Flowering. Flowering was underway normally, beginning in mid to late November, and weather conditions were extremely kind. After the small crop in 2012 it was a relief to have a higher yield but it meant that we were dependent on the warmer weather to ripen the berries fully.
Weather. The season was warmer than usual with an occasional heat spike. However the brisk nights meant that the acidity was retained throughout the season. We hand-picked our Chardonnay on the 17th of March in the cool morning before transporting them over for whole bunch pressing.
The Swaby vineyard was a 35 acre property first owned by the Curtis family in 1846. Until 1979, when the Swaby family took ownership, the property was used for the production of fruits and summer vegetables. In 1979 the Botanical Gardens compulsorily acquired 29 acres of the Swaby property. The 1983 bushfires nearly burnt the house and the 3 sheds. Mr Swaby borrowed a generator from work so they could pump water up to the remaining shed and the house. In 1984 Swaby planted 1 acre of Bernard clone chardonnay and once it was established that the quality was too good to keep for themselves they planted the remaining 4 acres to the same clone and variety over a 4 year period. Most of the grapes went to Petaluma in the early days but now is divided up between Yalumba, Michael Hall, Brendon Keys and View Road wines. The chief viticulturist for Yalumba, Ashley Radcliff, says that the flavour and acid profile is similar to their Tasmania fruit.
In 2001 Swaby purchased a morning facing slope from their neighbours. Due to the high cost of land in Piccadilly, this vineyard will be the last to be planted by Swaby family. The vineyard was established with good quality water but has been dry grown since 2010. The micro climate in the Swaby vineyard is characterised by mild days and cool nights as the vineyard is directly under the protection of Mount Lofty. These conditions allows for a slow maturation for the grapes and allows for excellent flavour development and an abundance of acidity.