Terre à Terre is proud to present its seventh release of Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc from its close- spaced vineyard in Wrattonbully, South Australia.
Terre à Terre, a French expression meaning Down to Earth, is a small family business run by husband and wife team Xavier Bizot and Lucy Croser. Their vineyard is located next to Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard, at the top of a north-south limestone ridge in Wrattonbully, one of Australia’s most exciting regions. The Terra Rossa top soil, which is characteristic of the area, is covered in this part of the vineyard by a shallow layer of eolian sands, making it highly suited for Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard was planted in 2004 on rootstocks at a relatively high density for the area (4,444 vines per hectare), making it one of the closest spaced Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in mainland Australia. The fruiting wire is only 50cm above ground, which is why the local vignerons call the vines the “low vines”. The vineyard is cane pruned (guyot double) by hand and the fruit is hand-harvested. One more hectare of Sauvignon Blanc was planted on the same spacing in 2013, using a new clone from the Cher region in France, but hasn’t been yet used in our Sauvignon Blanc, first vintage will be 2018!
The 2018 vintage was a warmer than average vintage. Flowering conditions were good but fruitset was average. The dry months of December, January and February restrained shoot growth and favoured smaller berries in the red varieties, and the vineyard was spared from the November frost that damaged some vineyards in the Limestone Coast. The fruit was handpicked our Sauvignon Blanc very ripe and with 0% Botrytis/mould on the 26th, 27th and 28th of February 2018, so one month earlier than 2017 and one week later than 2016. The grapes were picked on flavour. – The fruit harvested from the western part of the vineyard was whole bunch pressed and fermented in a 3,000L oak foudre a 2,000L oak foudre and eight 600L demi-muids where it was fermented at low temperatures. We used all of the wines made in foudres and half of the wines made in demi-muids as a blending component of the Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2018, which represents in total 25% of the final blend. – The fruit harvested from the Eastern part of the vineyard was crushed and destemmed and fermented in tank at low temperatures. The fermentation was very slow and the wine was kept off lees in tank for seven months before being blended with the oak component for bottling. The Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc has not been through malolactic fermentation and the different components were blended late December 2018, before being bottled early 2019 following a light filtration. The result is a very seductive and ripe white wine with alcohol of 13.5%v/v. As every vintage, the wine does not show any of the green herbaceous characters of the variety, which is our aim. This is very much in line with the previous vintages of the Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps with even more length and complexity. It demonstrates yet again the exceptional quality of the terroir in our Crayères vineyard site, a First Vignes wine.