Jackson Estate in New Zealand's Marlborough region, known mainly for its Sauvignon Blanc as well as other white varietals including Chardonnay and Riesling, is increasingly also focusing on the potential it sees in its Pinot Noir red wine.
"We're building a new winery specifically for Pinot Noir," head winemaker Matt Patterson-Green said during a visit to London this week. "It's very hands-on. It's slow winemaking, allowing the wine to be graceful."
Jackson Estate has Pinot Noir vines up to 25 years old, while its Sauvignon Blanc vines have an average age of 24 years across the vineyard. The Sauvignon Blanc, unusually for the region, spends an extra four months in tanks on its lees and another six months aging in bottle. "We have that aged wine characteristic, which gives more complexity," he said.
Asked about the harvest at the vineyards earlier this year, he said that "2016 was a very good vintage for us." He described the growing season as "long, warm, drawn out" and said "we had good flowering, good fruit set."
The estate traces its history back to 1855, when Adam Jackson settled at the Homestead on what is now known as Jacksons Road. Since then five generations of the family have farmed the land, and Homestead vineyard is named after the original site. Its more recent Eversley and Somerset vineyards in Marlborough's Southern Valley subregion, the Waihopai Valley, are planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, according to its website www.jacksonestate.co.nz.