Scorpo Wines

The Winemaking

Scorpo Wines are distinctive. The wines are made to express the flavours of the new world, in the style of the old world. They reflect their location and the unique characteristics of the soil and climate they are produced in. The Scorpo family chose Mornington Peninsula as the site for their vineyard due to the unique climatic conditions of the area, which are ideal for growing high quality cool climate varietals. Scorpo Wines have also undertaken significant research to inform the selection of the specific varietal clones used in the vineyard. They make Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Shiraz, and look to the greats from the regions of Burgundy, Alsace and Côte-Rôtie for inspiration.

 

A winemaker’s work is never complete, which is fortunate because the Scorpo family is involved with the whole process. The vineyard’s condition is constantly monitored via annual plant tissue analysis. The results are analysed and target major and minor elements. Any deficiencies are addressed with appropriate applications.  After budburst and when the shoots are 100mm tall the shoots are thinned to ensure optimum airflow through the canopy (the thinning also helps us to control yield). Weekly walks through the vineyard enable us to check for possible disease problems. After veraison, once the fruit flavours start to come through, the grapes are constantly tasted and weekly samples taken and analysed to decide when, in the narrow window of opportunity, the grapes are to be picked to ensure optimal flavours.  The Scorpo vineyard is operated under the principle that quality wines are made from low-yielding, hand-picked crops. Winemaker Sandro Mosele has worked closely with Paul to help clarify and implement the Scorpo winemaking philosophy.

 

All grapes for Scorpo wines are handpicked and wild yeast fermented in old and new oak barrels. Pinot Noir and Shiraz are open-vat fermented; Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are fermented in old and new barrels. Each varietal clone is vinified individually to ensure that terroir differences are highlighted.  Although new technologies that can improve the production and quality are embraced, the winemaking approach retains the tactility and individuality that traditional techniques offer.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is made in a predominantly Burgundian winemaking tradition. The fruit is chilled, de-stemmed, and open vat fermented. Pre- fermentation cold soaking of the de-stemmed fruit enhances flavours and complexity. Spontaneous wild yeast fermentation usually begins 4 to 5 days after. The cap is plunged as required. After fermentation the wine is pressed and transferred to a selection of new (approx 25%) and used (one, two and three year old) tight-grained French barriques. The wine is bottled 18 months later.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is also made in a Burgundian tradition. The fruit is whole bunch pressed and sent directly to new and old French barrels. When fermentation is finished, the wine is sulphured to prevent malolactic fermentation - thus retaining the refreshing, mouth-watering, approachable acid that is a hallmark of maritime Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay. The wine is not battonaged. It feeds off the lees (or the mother as the Europeans refer to it) at its own pace. It is bottled after 12 months.

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is made in a predominantly Alsatian tradition. The fruit is whole bunch pressed and sent to tank to settle. Approximately 30% of the solids are removed. The juice then has the remainder of the solids mixed through and is transferred to 4 years and older French barrels. Along with wild yeast fermentation, the use of old barrels accentuates the savoury side of this aromatic variety and also helps produce complex flavours, whilst still retaining plenty of fruit character. Mouth watering, refreshing acidity is assured by stopping malolactic fermentation and the lees are not stirred. The wine is bottled after between 10 and 12 months.

Shiraz

Shiraz is made in a Côte-Rôtie /Hermitage winemaking tradition. The fruit is chilled, de-stemmed, and open vat fermented. Pre- fermentation cold soaking of the de-stemmed fruit enhances flavours and complexity. Spontaneous wild yeast fermentation usually begins 4 to 5 days after. The cap is plunged as required. Cuvaison (length of time on skins) usually takes 18-20 days. After fermentation and cuvaison, the wine is pressed and transferred to a selection of new (approx 25%) and used (one, two and three year old) tight grained French barriques. The wine is bottled 18 months later.

The greatest reward for the Scorpos is speaking with people who have enjoyed their wines. As the vines mature the wines are gaining increased complexity and each vintage builds upon the last. The Scorpo family aim to keep making good drinks that speak and reflect the Scorpo ‘Merricks Hill’ vineyard.