Centennial Vineyards is about cool climate grape growing and winemaking. The vines ripen with lower temperatures than most Australian wine regions. Because the climate is colder, vines ripen the fruit much more slowly and evenly than in warm regions, producing balanced, aromatic fruit.
Advantages of Cool Climate
The reason we get higher natural acidities is because the rate of acid degradation on the vine is directly proportional to temperature. So in warmer climates, at the end of the season, their fruit is significantly lower in acidity than here. These higher natural acidities give the wine balance, crispness, and more lengthy palates with superior aging ability.
Riesling, Pinot Noir and Sparkling varieties do very well in cool climates as their delicate aroma is lost in warmer areas. In addition, the necessary crisp acidity, synonymous with these varieties is retained. Cool climate Chardonnay also makes a definite style which is fine and elegant in comparison to warmer climate styles which are often broadly flavoured.
Warmer climate examples may make good stand alone drinking styles, but lack focus, elegance and food compatibility. Our wines, especially our Reserve reds tend to develop with age and have excellent ageing potential.
By ensuring the crop load on the vine is minimal, and with fastidious attention to vine care and architecture, it is possible to make excellent full-bodied red and white styles that exhibit incredible colour, structure and elegance. Our growers understand our viticultural philosophy, and together we work very closely to produce small parcels of very high quality fruit for our Reserve range.
At Centennial Vineyards, a focus on single vineyard wines has developed over the years, allowing vineyard blocks to show their unique character. The combination of climate, soil composition, slope, rainfall, sunlight, aspect and temperature all contribute to the individuality of our wines. Viticultural experience gained over the past 8 years has prompted the decision to change some varietals. We now have plantings of Savagnin, Arneis, Gruner Veltliner and Gerwurztraminer in addition to our 'classic' varieties. We also planted additional clones of Pinot Noir and put in some Pinot Gris.
Plantings of the Spanish variety Tempranillo has proved beneficial in recent years. This early ripening variety suits our cool climate and has produced fragrant wines of light to medium body that are great with food.
Sparkling wine varietals suit our climate exceptionally well. With this in mind we planted Pinot Meunier in 2005 to add complexity to sparkling blends. In addition to our successful estate-grown sparkling Pinot Chardonnay we will add new sparkling styles to show what this region can achieve.