SOLD OUT EasthorpeMerlot2014 .jpg


Easthope family winegrowers



Hand picked, 40% whole bunch, unfined, unfiltered, 

We never planned to make a Merlot.  But a prominent UK wine writer was in our neck of the woods a few years back and challenged us to make a Merlot that was compelling in more than just a qualitative way. 

We knew of a patch of Merlot located on the upper Moteo Terrace. We like this site a lot; it is surrounded by hills and bakes in the afternoon sun; it has a complex soil – a silty loam top soil, then a limestone crust and then river stones below.

Left unchecked Merlot is a precocious producer of grapes. To meet our ambition for the wine we want to make, we spent a lot of time in that vineyard to ensure we reduced the yield down to those bunches that would intercept the optimum amount of sunlight and vine resources.

After hand picking, 60% of the bunches were destemmed and tipped to a concrete egg shaped tank for fermentation. The other 40% were tipped as whole bunches to an open top fermenter and were foot stomped to release the juice. Each separate parcel was basket pressed and run to French oak barrels, of which 30% were new.

Malolactic fermentation proceeded naturally after ferment. Then the two batches were racked and combined for further barrel maturation which lasted 14 months.

The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration.

Aromas of plum, star anise and violets come to mind, but also a hint of soy, charcoal and trace vanilla. The palate is where this wines more individual traits show; the uncommon inclusion of whole bunches in the fermentation lend this wine another dimension of textural interest, which tames the abundant fruit flesh.  You really need a large glass and some time to get to know this wine…    


Please email Emma at if you would like to be waitlisted for the next vintage.

Retail price $39.95, Club Price $35.95