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In the words of Jeremy Oliver, “Pierro is one of the few Australian wineries that could claim to have established a trend that many others have followed. Since the mid 1980’s Mike Peterkin has crafted a chardonnay of not only monumental power, but of simultaneously smooth and silky delivery”. The Pierro ‘style’ was first made in 1986 and refined with every subsequent vintage. Mike had initially intended to specialise in Riesling on his Willyabrup plot, so it was a tad fortuitous that Chardonnay became Pierro’s most famous wine. His vine supplier had been let down on a large order of Chardonnay rootstock, approximately 5000 cuttings, and offered them to Mike at a cut price. In order to help out his friend he agreed to take them. It was an inspired decision. Today the Pierro is regarded as one of the finest Chardonnays in the region. Seeing as Margaret River is indisputably Australia!s premier Chardonnay producing region, this is a major honour.
Today there are five distinct blocks of Chardonnay on the property in Willyabrup, with the average vine age reaching 30 years. 90% of the Pierro Chardonnay is the Gin-Gin clone which has proven itself to produce the best quality wine and one that has been particularly successful in Margaret River. Each block features unique high-density narrow rows on rocky soil that slope down to the Willyabrup Brook and are orientated to the west and north. The vineyards are managed to maximise fruit, leaf and cane exposure to sunlight; minimise wind damage in the spring and to heighten flavour development in the summer ripening period.
Each parcel is hand-picked, chilled, hand-sorted and gently whole bunch pressed. There are multiple picks for this wine. With the first batches being picked for aromatic complexity and acidity and the latter picked for flavour and body. All juice is settled and then fermented in French barriques. The wine goes through a full malolactic fermentation which helps achieve superior texture, mouth feel and a more refined, persistent flavour. Lees are stirred fortnightly by hand in barrel over a period of 12 months prior to blending, settling and bottling. The result is a world class white which is well entrenched in the top Chardonnay’s of Australia.