Pinot Noir 2011
Come and meet the black sheep of the family.
Years of experience and insight into the processes of nature have taught James Frost to stop, to observe, to be ever vigilant. The quality of the grapes is our number one priority, so we take the time to prune accordingly and pay special attention to careful husbandry: choosing the appropriate vine density for each variety, precision leaf-pulling and yield-reducing measures, alongside vertical viticulture, use of the “Smart Dyson-System” and plant care that protects beneficial organisms.
The grapes are only harvested when they have reached the perfect degree of ripeness, which we identify principally by means of berry tasting and laboratory tests. We pick by hand and in small boxes.
With around 2750 hours of sunshine, Mafra gets more sun than French Burgundy. In summer, hot temperatures of 30ºC are typical, dropping to 16ºC at night. A unique micro climate of cool nights, misty mornings and hot afternoons is created by the proximity to the Atlantic coast, only 12kms away, and the Quinta’s position adjacent to the wooded hills of Mafra. Regular winds, particularly in summer, prevent the spread of spore-born plant diseases. Winters are generally mild, with temperatures varying between 20ºC and 0ºC with nightly ground frosts. Rainfall is high between November and February.
At the Quinta de Sant’Ana, 100 and 130 metres above sea level, heavy, deep subsoils with loamy clay, sandy loam and limestone predominate; beneath lies weathered rock, which retains the warmth. The top soil on our hillsides is a precious and fragile asset for us, which we protect from erosion using plant cover. This not only provides the vines with natural nutrients, but also provides beneficial insects with a sound habitat. At the same time, excess moisture is drawn from the soil, which reduces the need for heavy-handed farming.
By zoning the estate, we have identified different soil types in surprising proximity to one another. We have painstakingly matched each specific site with the appropriate rootstocks, varietals and clone. The first-class location of the vineyards offers ideal geological and microclimatic conditions: the low-lying, cooler locations provide perfect conditions for our whites, while the steeper, warmer southern slopes ripen our reds. Variation in the soil composition and climate lead to very different growth and ripening conditions for the vines and grapes.