Astro Bunny is the flagship wine from Wildman Wines. Tim decided to spice up the Bunny this year with the addition of some peppery Grüner and tangy Verdejo; it’s the same Astro Bunny you know and love, but with an added aromatic twist. The grapes come from all over South Australia: the Vermentino is from the Armadio Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, the Zibibbo is from the Gums & Roses Vineyard in Riverland, the Grüner Veltliner & Verdejo are from the Bassham Organic Vineyard also in the Riverland, and the Nero d’Avola comes from Sue Trott’s Wilpena Vineyard in McLaren Vale. The 2022 vintage in South Australia was superb, with growing conditions close to the near perfect vintage of 2021 that preceded it. As is often the case in very good vintages, high quality came with equally good yields as the vines were happy and healthy.
The whites were picked early to retain acidity and obtain lower alcohol levels, with the Grüner and Verdejo picked on February 17th and the Vermentino on 6th March. The Zibibbo was picked on March 11th and finally the Nero d’Avola came in on March 12th. The Zibibbo was given 24 hours pre-ferment skin contact to extract greater aromatics, the Nero was taken from the press after just a few hours to provide color, then co-fermented with the Grüner, Verdejo and Vermentino. Interestingly the wine always goes into bottle a bright candy pink color which transforms into the classic peachy orange over winter, a result of not using any sulphur so the brighter red and pink color compounds fall out of solution. The wine is bottled at approximately 12 g/L residual sugar and completes its fermentation in the bottle over the winter becoming fully dry and resulting in a final pressure of around 3 bar, producing a gentle foam rather than an aggressive fizz. Wild yeast, no adds, no filtration, no fining, zero sulphur = 100% natural goodness.