The grapes for the Brut come from four different vineyards. In Bannockburn the ‘Cairnmuir Road’ and ‘Felton Road Terraces’ vineyards are planted on alluvial soils over schist and the average vine age is 22 years. In Pisa the ’25 Steps’ and ‘Murrel de Bettencor’ vineyards sit on sandy loam soils over gravels. The vineyard elevation ranges from 200 to 317 metres and all of the vines are trellised with a vertical shoot positioning system. All of the grapes are hand harvested.
The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north-facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50-hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. We were introduced to Akarua through the late Tony Jordan, who was the first to make their sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and was one of the world’s leading experts in sparkling wine production. He had always believed in the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz and finally realised his ambition to make premium sparkling wines here when the first Akarua sparkling wines were released in 2011.
59% Pinot Noir , 41% Chardonnay
The grapes from the separate vineyard parcels were whole bunch pressed and kept separate during vinification. The juice was left to settle and then racked into French oak barriques (19%) and stainless-steel tanks for fermentation with a combination of native and inoculated yeasts. Once malolactic fermentation was complete, the base wines, together with up to 15% of reserve wines were blended together. The blend was transferred to bottle with the addition of yeast and a precise amount of sugar to undergo the secondary sparkling fermentation. The wine was then aged in bottle on the lees for a minimum of 18 months before riddling, disgorgement and labelling.
Matches well with delicately flavoured seafood sashimi.
In the Press
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018, Silver
International Wine Challenge 2018, Silver
The Wine Merchant Top 100 2016, Highly Commended