Amietta has 6.5 acres of vines, planted at a vine density of 800 vines per acre. The yield is kept low, at 1.5 to 2 tonnes per acre (1.9 to 2.5 kilos per vine) to ensure optimal ripening and flavour development in the fruit. Keeping the vines healthy throughout the growing season is critical to fruit quality. Mildew is controlled using environmentally friendly products such as seaweed powder, canola+eucalyptus oil (Synertrol Horti-oil) and sulphur.
Observing the seasonal cycle in the vineyard is one of the most enjoyable aspects of working with the vines. In our cool climate region, budburst starts in mid-September for Chardonnay and continues through to mid-October for later varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Flowering and fruit-set take place in November or December. The fruit is hand-picked when it is ripe and fully flavoured. Harvest times vary depending on the season, anywhere from early March for the early ripening Chardonnay, to mid-May for the late ripening Cabernet and Secret Variety #1. The balance of flavour, sugar and acid varies slightly year to year, allowing the nuances of each season to be expressed in the finished wine. Leaf fall and dormancy occur by the end of June. Vines are hand-pruned (cane-pruning) in July and August, and so the seasonal cycle is completed. The vines are then ready for their next budburst and a new season.