The Ray-Monde Vineyard was established in 1988 by the Lakey family, in South Gisborne at 1,300 feet above sea level on the Southern edge of the Macedon Ranges GI, to which it once belonged. The gently Northeast facing 12-acres of Pinot Noir form a small part of the 570-acre grazing farm. The vineyard is unique for the area, being planted gravelly ironstone and basaltic clay soils, with very little topsoil and a huge amount of “Bluestone” rock just below the surface. This lean soil together with vine age results in incredibly concentrated grapes, with thick skins and ripe stems even at low sugar levels. Josh is very enthusiastic about this vintage. He writes, “In my eyes, the best example from this great site I’ve yet bottled – I urge lovers of prior vintages to stock up without haste, especially as the wine was sadly not able to be produced in 2023.”
Once hand harvested in the cool of morning, with careful sorting in the vineyard, grapes were transferred to open fermenter with 20% as whole bunches and the remainder de-stemmed. The must was then allowed to soak 4-5 days at its cool ambient temperature until fermentation commenced. Thereafter the grapes were gently extracted by a combination of pumping over and pigeage by foot. The wine was then pressed after a total of three weeks on skins and transferred to a single new (Laurent “Magic Cask” thick stave, blonde toast), single one-year-old Stockinger 300l and three old (6-10yo) oak Burgundian piece for lees aging for 12 months. This was followed by four months in stainless steel on fine lees, before racking and bottling, unfined and unfiltered. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulfur.