Esk Valley Pinot Noir is made from grapes sourced from the Marlborough wine growing region of New Zealand’s South Island. Esk Valley itself started trading under the Esk Valley name in 1987, having been an established wine company since the 1930’s, and is located in the heart of Hawke’s Bay. The wine is a blend of Pinot Noir fruit from both the Awatere Valley and the Southern Hills sub region of the Wairau. The soils are a mix of stony river deposits in the Awatere and heavier clays in the Wairau. The vines are trained on an upright vertical shoot positioned trellis and managed intensively to produce low yields of excellent quality fruit. Shoot thinning, bunch thinning and leaf plucking are all employed in the pursuit of quality. The grapes for Esk Valley Pinot Noir are hand picked, destemmed and soaked before fermentation in open topped fermenters. Hand plunging was used to gently extract tannin and colour from the grapes and when dry, the fruit was pressed and run to both tank and barrel for malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged in French oak barriques for 11 months before blending and bottling.