Neudorf is one of New Zealand’s iconic vineyards producing a range of wines with both national and international reputations. Vineyard management is driven by the winemaker’s desire for ripe flavours with balanced acidity and concentrated fruit. A combination of high plant density (up to 5000 vines/hectare) and low production (one to two kilo per vine for Pinot Noir) helps achieve the quality of fruit to create long-lived, intense but elegant wines.
New clonal material is consistently being evaluated. The Mendoza clone with its firm acid and high extract provides the foundation for the Moutere Chardonnay, with clones 15, 2/23 and 95 playing minor but important roles.
Pinot Noir is notoriously genetically variable and from the ten clones under evaluation, three were selected to complete the final plantings in 2000. These are UCD clone 5, and the Dijon clones 667 and 777.
All new plantings are grafted onto devigorating, phyloxera – resistant rootstock.
Vineyard canopy design includes Scott Henry as well as single and double vertically shoot positioned (VSP) vines. The intensive management regime includes manual shoot thinning, leaf removal, bunch thinning and of course hand harvesting. Canopies are kept open to allow the sun and wind to penetrate, reducing disease pressure. Soil organic matter is enhanced by the presence of a permanent inter-row sward, mulched prunings and the compost and return of winery waste. Neudorf Vineyards is a foundation member of the New Zealand Sustainable Viticulture scheme.