Churton The Abyss Pinot Noir 2017
Winemaker Sam Weaver describes The Abyss Pinot Noir as an iron fist in a velvet glove. It's made with grapes grown on a hillside vineyard, which backs onto a precipitous cliff, hence the name, The Abyss. Vines were planted here in 2000 at a high density of approximately 5000 vines to the hectare, which is unusual for New Zealand. All of these grapes are 100% certified organic with BioGro New Zealand and also grown biodynamically. A high proportion of whole berries were included in the ferment with indigenous yeasts and the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months with a modest 10% new oak.
Churton Estate founder and winemaker Sam Weaver cut his teeth on the classic wines of the world while working in fine wine retail in the United Kingdom. He and his wife Mandy Weaver then moved to New Zealand and set about creating one of this country's most focussed small wineries; a brand that does live up to the dream of creating 100% estate grown grapes, 100% certified organic production and 100% bottled on site, nearly all of the wines without fining or filtration. All the grapes are hand picked and natural yeasts ferment the vast majority of wines they make. These qualitative decisions impact every step of their winemaking in a positive fashion, providing exceptional quality grapes which in turn express themselves in outstanding wines.