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Try it out Tuesday with Estelle

We welcomed Estelle from The Hits to find the answer to: ”What is Chardonnay batonnage?!”

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Pat Newton & Estelle check the barrels. Credit: Estelle Clifford

Her below article was originally featured on The Hits website…

The whanau and I have been over to Waiheke to experience a whole variety of fun things to see and do off the mainland.

Waiheke is renowned for its vineyards and wineries so our adventures began with Mudbrick’s winemaker, Patrick.

I was asked to meet Pat at the barrel sheds to help with the chardonnay batonnage. Say what now? And then we’d be stirring and topping.

Sounds like I had some stuff to learn when it comes to winemaking, hoorah.

There is a lot to be said for hanging out with someone who is passionate about what they do and turns out I might just be a chardonnay girl after all ?! Again, more surprises.

We began with tasting each barrel of chardonnay, you’re allowed to spit it out…on the floor even. Oh boy, that felt naughty haha.

Checking for any taste issues, Pat of course being the expert there coz I thought it all tasted good. Then we dry iced and stirred up all the goodness to then ‘top’, which means add more wine from an extra barrel to the ones we stirred so they were nice and full again, and pop the cork back in. A process that Pat repeats each week until the wine is ready to bottle.

Side note : Angels share is about 200mls per barrel, per week, hence the topping.

Patrick was so relaxed in letting us get amongst his work, with Ava on the floor stirring up some fun with sticks, pinecones she’d gone off to collect, a jug of wine sediment and eventually the forklift. A great arvo out for all of us.

Really looking forward to tasting the next vintage of Mudbricks Chardonnay now I’ve added some muscle to the process. 

Thanks so much to Mudbrick and star winemaker Pat for letting us get behind the scenes.

Also a big shout-out to Sealink car ferry for getting the fam and I safely over to Waiheke, you’ve got the boarding process down to a fine art making it real easy for us passengers!

More to come from Waiheke real soon here on Try it Out Tuesday…