The By Farr viognier consists of a blend of fruit from two vineyards. The first is the original house block, planted in 1994, which is friable red soil over limestone leading to sandstone—similar soils to the Sangreal pinot noir and By Farr chardonnay. The second vineyard is a younger planting of unknown clones in red ironstone soil. The viognier is a difficult variety to manage as it has a tendency to grow horizontally rather than vertically, needs a lot of water and can become sunburnt very easily. Because of this we have decided to pick the fruit earlier in the past few years in order to retain its natural acidity, ensuring we maintain varietal character and creating a more delicate and refined wine.
Viognier is foot stomped and left for two or more hours on its skins to extract the phenols, flavour and texture. The fruit is then pressed, cooled and put straight into barrel with all solids for a natural fermentation. Gentle stirring during the end of autumn encourages malolactic fermentation, which softens the finish by converting the tart malic acid to lactic acid. The wine is then racked, fined and filtered. It is ready to be bottled 11 months after harvest.