Luscious new blanc de noir from red grape variety

With a perfect crop on the Graciano this year, we have decided to make a crisp, fruity and fresh white wine from the variety’s beautiful purple grapes. Known as a blanc de noir we are optimistic that the result will be extraordinary. If all goes well, the Graciano Blanc de Noir will be available for this summer.

We’ll still make a red wine from the 2024 Graciano as well but having tasted quite a few blanc de noir wines over these past few months, we think it will be fun and fascinating to do something a little different with some of the gorgeously spicy Graciano.

So, how do you make a white wine from red grapes? The answer is carefully! Some red wine grapes such as Graciano, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvigon and Pinor Noir have white flesh. The free-run or lightly pressed juice will emerge as a palest blush if treated gently. As we hand harvest all our grapes, we can minimise damage to fruit and hopefully, avoid colour being extracted from the skins prematurely. We are hoping the Graciano blanc de noir will be beautifully balanced between the velvety mouthfeel of a medium-bodied red wine with aromas of strawberries and raspberries, as well as the spices usually associated with a Graciano. It should also display the crisp freshness of a white variety with white flowers and white peach aromas with great weight and beautiful texture. It will pair well with fish, sushi and dishes with light cheese sauces.

All the colour in the red wine comes from leaving red wine grapes to ferment on their skins. If they are carefully pressed immediately after harvest without any maceration on skins, a blanc de noir (literally “white from black’) can be produced.

Making a still white wine from a red grape variety (Pinor Noir is an example), has been happening for some time in California, Argentina and Germany as an alternative to rosé-style wines. In Champagne and many other wine regions, it has been made as a sparkling wine for many years. The blanc de noir we will make will be a dry, still wine and, we hope, a lovely addition to your selection of summer wines to pair with lighter summer dishes.

Two more Trophies at National Wine Show

Once again the coveted Dick de Luca Memorial Trophy for Best Queensland Shiraz is taking pride of place in our cellar door – the second time in three years. Our 2012 Old Vine Shiraz won the Trophy  in 2014 and in now we have won again in 2016 for the 2014 Millenium Shiraz (to be released around April 2017).

No sooner had Brad taken his seat at the Awards Presentation, than he was called out again to receive the Trophy for Champion Queensland White Wine for our 2015 Fiano Classico (also to be released around April 2015). What a wonderful surprise, especially when both our other entries also won Bronze medals. This means that every wine we make has medalled. It’s quite an honour and gratifying as we put so much effort into producing superb fruit that has all the flavours and qualities necessary to make outstanding wines. A big thanks to Mike Hayes, our winemaker, and his team.

Another Gold Medal in National Show

Savina Lane Wines has added yet another gold medal to its tally. This makes four golds and two trophies shared between our five varieties. The only one that hasn’t won gold (yet) is our Tempranillo, which has had to be content with two Bronzes. To our absolute delight, the 2014 Barrel Ferment Wild Yeast Viognier was awarded Gold at the 2015 Australian Small Winemakers’ Show. This prestigious event attracts entries from all around Australia and New Zealand. Our lovely wine is due for release mid 2014 but as we made only around 980 bottles our Inner Circle will receive first option on this wine and may reserve stock which will be set aside and stored in our underground wine cellar until ready for release, at no charge to members.

While the vines are sleeping

May 2014 003There is a lot to be done in a vineyard while the vines are sleeping. This year those sub-zero temperatures that our vines need to go into a deep, deep sleep have not yet arrived – although we’ve had one or two nights below zero – but not enough yet. Some of our vines have actually sprouted new leaves. In June! We’ve given them a good talking-to and sent them back to bed. Pruning will have to be held off right until Winter’s end, or even very early Spring this year. The long dormant phase of the vineyard gives us the chance to catch up on all the things we didn’t have time to do last year once buds had burst, tiny fruits had appeared and vintage was upon us. There are always bird nets to be repaired, grafts to be done, perhaps new wires or posts to be put up. Our new cellar door is taking shape and that has added to the workload. But even so, we love this time of the year with its glorious sunsets and cold, crisp mornings followed by sunny mild days. This is a special time of year on the Granite Belt. A time for exploring the National Parks, sitting in front of log fires with a glass of one of our wonderful Granite Belt wines. And of course visiting wineries to taste the new releases. For a city girl, I seem to be coping with living in the country. I am beginning to know the vineyard – beginning to understand that each variety has its little idiosyncrasies and special needs. The charm of the vines is weaving its spell and I am finding myself drawn in. Wanting to spend more and more time working peacefully among them rather than hankering for the theatre of the shops. There are unexpected pleasures of vineyard life – like face to face encounters with our resident kangaroos as I turn a corner to enter a new row of vines, or the flocks of water birds that new make our lovely little man-made lake their home. Always some new fly-in fly-out visitor to watch for a while.