I had initially intended to specialise in Riesling, so it was a tad fortuitous that
Chardonnay became Pierro's most famous wine. My vine supplier had been let down on a large order of Chardonnay rootstock, approximately 5000 cuttings, and offered them to me. In order to help him out I agreed to take them.
It turned out to be an inspired decision. Today Pierro is amongst the finest
Chardonnays in the region and seeing as Margaret River is indisputably
Australia's premier Chardonnay producing region, this is a major honour.
Innovation and location have been the key factors in developing the quality of
the Pierro chardonnay.
I was not completely satisfied with the first three vintages of Chardonnay
(1983-85), which were carried out following standard Australian winemaking practices, so I decided to make some radical changes and the Pierro Chardonnay style was born in the 1986 vintage.
Today there are three distinct blocks of chardonnay on the property. About
95% of the Pierro Chardonnay is the Gin Gin clone, which produces the best
quality wine, and one that has been particularly successful in Margaret River.
Each block features high-density narrow rows on rocky soil that slope down to
the Willyabrup Brook and are orientated to the west and north.
The vineyards are managed to maximise fruit, leaf and cane exposure to sunlight; minimise wind damage in the often blustery southern spring; and to heighten flavour
development in the summer ripening period.
Our vine management is designed to achieve maximum balance with good leaf vigour supporting just the right amount of fruit. Such techniques result in healthy, highly flavoursome grapes arriving in the winery for processing.
In the winery we allow our Chardonnay undergo a 100% malolactic fermentation which helps achieve superior texture, mouth feel and a more refined and persistent flavour.