White wine making
White wines, including Yering Station Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier, Roussanne, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are placed immediately in the press for extraction of juice and removal from skins. White wines are then stabalised in stainless steel, temperature controlled vats before movement to oak occurs. All juice spends some period in French oak barriques, from a minimum of one month for the Sauvignon Blanc, to eight months for the Chardonnay. The use of French oak helps to impart flavour and gives an added dimension and character to the wine.
The choice of 100% French oak at Yering Station is made for its gentle flavours which complements the more delicate, cool climate, Yarra Valley fruit. A carefully balanced percentage of slightly aged and new oak, combined with a blend of wild and cultured yeast are trademarks of Chief Winemaker Willy Lunn's exacting expertise and sharp instinct when it comes to winemaking.
The winemaking team is renowned for its Pinot Noir Rosé E.D. (Extra Dry) first released in 1997. Undergoing 12-24 hours of skin contact in an open fermenter, the Pinot Noir Rosé gains a soft pink, salmon colour. The wine then spends a short period of less than one month in older oak with around 30% undergoing malolactic fermentation to gain richness on the palate.
Red wine making
The Yarra Valley is internationally acclaimed for its Pinot Noir ; and Chief Winemaker Willy Lunn's particular passion for the variety is only furthered by his great belief in its potential in this region. Much of the Pinot Noir is whole bunch pressed in stainless steel, temperature controlled, open tank fermenters. Foot stomping is an age-old technique still employed at Yering Station for its uniquely gentle extraction of juice and flavour. A percentage of the Pinot Noir will be wild yeast fermented to gain further complexity in the wine, rather than using a more predictable, cultured yeast. As the fermentation begins to gain momentum, a cap of skins and solids forms above the juice. This cap contains much of the flavour and elements necessary to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and each tank is hand-plunged three times daily during fermentation to enhance the final quality of the wine. The finishing touch in Pinot Noir making at Yering Station is aging in French oak barriques, a portion of which is always brand new.
Other reds such as the Shiraz Viognier, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are made in a similar way. However a combination of roto-fermentation and open tank fermentation is employed. As seen in the winemakers notes, the art of Shiraz Viognier making is a process the wine making team continue to refine and enjoy each vintage. With co-fermentation of Viognier skins and Shiraz berries (picked within a similar time frame), the extraction of aromatics, colour and flavour profile makes for a wonderful resulting wine in both the estate and the Reserve wines. Italian descendants Sangiovese and Nebbiolo , are also produced at Yering Station.
Once the winemaking team feels the wines (red or white) have spent the required amount of time in oak, the wines will be removed from barrel to be temperature stabalised in a stainless-steel vat. Following this, wines are then fined, filtered and prepared for bottling. After bottling, all our wines spend a short time settling in bottle prior to being released into the market.
Sparkling wine making
An exciting component of Yering Station is the Yarrabank sparkling wine. Made in the Traditional Method, Yarrabank is now recognised as one of Australia’s top sparkling wine labels. Signed as a joint venture in 1996 between Yering Station and the Champagne House Devaux, the Yarrabank partnership combines the best in knowledge and expertise with the exceptional quality of our cool climate vineyards. Each year winemakers from Devaux travel to Australia to assist with assemblage, whilst Yering Station winemakers continue to travel to Champagne for September vintage to gain long established sparkling wine education and understanding.