Aotea by the Seifried Family Méthode Traditionnelle
The Aotea Méthode Traditionnelle has a gorgeous fine mousse which persists in the glass. The nose has grapefruit, warm brioche and buttered toast notes and the palate is luxurious and generous with full biscuity shortbread notes and a crisp, lasting finish.
The Cornfield Vineyard is situated on a wide river flat. The soil is gravelly sandy loam, which marks the sites of Maori kumara beds (sweet potato) prior to European settlement in the early 1800’s. The Maori transferred and spread fine gravel and sand over the land to provide suitable soils for their kumara plantings. Scrub was burned to give ash and charcoal which increased soil fertility and gave characteristic topsoil. This fertility is now considerably reduced due to modern farming. The soils are however, very sandy and free draining. The water table is relatively high ensuring adequate underground water. These vineyards are about 1.5 kilometers from the sea which helps moderate summer temperatures.
The Brightwater vines are grown in an extremely stony area of the vineyard where water and nutrient levels are low. This helps us to restrict the plants vigour and to crop at low levels. Our Brightwater Vineyard is situated 15km from the coast and is sheltered from the south by the Richmond ranges. The ‘soil’ is a combination of rocks and boulders which is very hard on the farm equipment but vital for holding the warmth of Nelson’s sun and for ripening the grapes.
Our Aotea Méthode Traditionnelle is a very special wine. Two parcels of fruit were hand picked at ideal ripeness for this classical Méthode Traditionnelle Cuvée. The Pinot Noir is from our Brightwater Vineyard while the Chardonnay comes from our Cornfield Vineyard. The blend is 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The grapes were hand harvested during the cool early hours of the day and brought to the winery quickly for processing. The free-run juice from the press was cold settled overnight before being racked, warmed and inoculated. A smooth ferment progressed to dryness, followed by malolactic fermentation. The young wine was then prepared for bottle fermentation and aged on lees for an extended period. In 2016 the wine was finished and released to celebrate our 40th vintage at Seifried’s.