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.
Once hand harvested in the cool of morning, with careful sorting in the vineyard, 100% was transferred as whole-cluster to open-top stainless-steel fermenters. The must was then allowed to soak four to five days at its cool ambient temperature until fermentation commenced. There after the grapes were gently extracted by a combination of pumping over and pigéage by foot. The wine then pressed after a total of three weeks on skins and transferred to a single new Laurent Burgundy 300L cask and three old (6-10-year-old) French pièces, for aging 12 months followed by four months in stainless steel on fine lees. The wine is then racked and hit with a small addition of sulfur and settled for a week. It was bottled without fining or filtration.