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Rays Road is Kumeu River’s new vineyard site in Hawkes Bay. This limestone hillside is at 180 m altitude, with a northerly aspect. It is dry-farmed to yield high quality grapes for wine under the Rays Road name for our Kumeu River label. This Chardonnay was hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in older French Oak barrels to give a wine that is zesty and fragrant, with mineral complexity that is very true to its site.
With the 2022 vintage Rays Road produced very clean and ripe fruit from this unique site. We are now receiving significant quantities of Chardonnay from the new plantings, based on Clones 15 and 548. These allow for a much deeper and more nuanced expression of the Chardonnay variety than the existing Clone 95 plantings, but still with the zesty minerality on the palate. The result is an exciting Rays Road Chardonnay showing white flowers and lemon on the nose, with rich texture and vibrant acidity on the palate. This wine is a terrific addition to the Kumeu River range and we are now seeing the quality advance that we were expecting from this site.
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