How we grow our wines

OATLEY

Vineyard

Most years we produce two dry white wines from our two grape varieties on what are now old vines.  Each vintage is different but the varietal characteristics of our two grape varieties, Kernling and Madeleine Angevine, give us our two varietal wines, Leonora's and Jane's.


“Leonora’s” wines are generally dry and elegant, similar to a dry Riesling in style. They can be drunk young but develop in the bottle, showing complex honey overtones when approaching four years old or more. They are made from Kernling grapes, a first cross from Riesling that ripens to pink - it is the pink clone of the better-known Kerner grape.


“Jane’s” wines, from golden Madeleine Angevine grapes are light and crisp with a flower-scented nose and citrus notes, sometimes with a hint of elderflower and on the finish, gooseberry. Delightful as an aperitif,  for a party, in a summer garden or just for a refreshing glass at home. Best drunk young and fresh, within 2-3 years. Often likened to a restrained Sauvignon Blanc in style.


Every now and then we produce a blend of our two varietals, named “Elizabeth’s” after our daughter Liz. These wines, when available, make good wines to pair with food with the structure of the Kernling coupled with upfront fruit from the Madeleine,


We have one French oak barrique, hand-coopered by master cooper Alastair Sims. It is light-toasted and fine-grained - from the Tronçais forest - for subtlety. We matured a little of our wine in it most years from 2010 to 2015, giving a small quantity of barrel-matured wine in addition to our two varietals. From 2016 onwards we are using our new barrel, a barrique from Seguin Moreau of Cognac, known as a "Fraicheur", made especially for light varietals, with fine grained French oak staves, very light toast and heads made from acacia rather than oak, to add a little brightness to the flavour.


Our philosophy is to manage the vines meticulously so as to minimise disease through good vine management and minimise artificial controls. Ours is an early site and we are able to ripen our grapes reliably. We use no herbicides and promote biodiversity and carbon capture with a vineyard floor of natural sward, now after 30 years very species diverse. We aim to produce grapes in near perfet condition and minimise intervention in the winemaking. Usually these days we manage it. Our wines are fermented out to fully-dry and reflect the terroir and the year.





Thirty year old Kernling vine

29 year old Madeleine Angevine vine