Caledonia Australis wines are made unashamedly with a natural and old world hand. The vineyard is dry grown and close planted with vine spacings of 1m and a fruiting wire at 50cm. The vines are entirely hand tended, with yields consistently well below the 35hl/ha (2.18t/ac) ceiling that is imposed on the Grand Cru vineyards of the Cote d’Or. The wines are made with minimal additives or intervention and primacy is given to the wines texture and structure.
For the pinot noir, the fruit remains in contact with the skins for 20 to 40 days depending on the vintage and primary and malolactic fermentation occur with out inoculation. Generally the Pinot Noir fermentation is preceded by a soaking period with gentle hand plunging. The wines then go through a long elevage (18 – 20 months) in tight grained French oak barrels (about 15% new, 15% second use, 70% older) and then a further three months bottle ageing prior to release.
The Chardonnay is whole bunch pressed and lightly settled prior to racking to barriques. As with the Pinot Noir the fermentations are allowed to proceed naturally and at their own pace. Malolactic fermentation is not encouraged or discouraged and most barrels have some malolactic influence though the cold cellar temperature generally precludes full malolactic fermentation taking place. The wines are minimally sulphured in early spring to prevent malolactic fermentation completing. The chardonnay then remains on lees for another year with gentle batonnage as required. Light bentonite fining and another small sulphur addition are made prior to bottling.