The Hunting Lodge is deservedly known for its award-winning classics, but they also have a
growing reputation for adventurous winemaking. Their Project X range captures this innovative spirit by allowing the winery to show flair with unexpected, bolshie new flavours. The exciting addition, launching this month, is a Hawkes Bay Chardonnay fermented in Bourbon Barrels suitably named Chardy Jack.
While relatively new to this country, bourbon barrel-aged wine has gained a dedicated following globally, with Californian wineries leading the trend.
“We wanted to give a slight nod to the big, buttery Chards of California but that’s not really
our thing, especially at The Hunting Lodge,” Chief Winemaker, Pete Turner said.
“What evolved is classic Hawkes Bay Chardonnay with subtle influences from the Bourbon
infused American oak while retaining the elegance and restraint of New Zealand Cool Climate Chardonnay.”
Project X launched last year with a naturally fermented Sauvignon Blanc. For the new release of Chardy Jack, Pete found inspiration after a few beers with West-Auckland neighbours and good friends, Liberty Brewing Co.
“Having a drink with Brewers always sparks some creative thoughts. True, this is usually
somewhat related to the number of beers consumed, however, it makes you think outside the wine glass. As a fan of Liberty Prohibition Stout, which is aged in Bourbon barrels, and
enjoying one such beer with Jo from Liberty got us talking.
“Jo gave us a few of the barrels to put some Red wine into and see what happened. (Watch this space!). Red wine matured in Bourbon barrels has become a niche style in parts of the US, but it was after the next beer that the idea of fermenting Chardonnay in the barrels was born.”
Adventurous wine drinkers, along with the variety’s true fans, will enjoy this new twist on a
balanced Hawkes Bay white wine. Loaded with baked apricot, citrus, fig and caramel characters up front, followed by a vanilla and coconut twist and a touch of butterscotch to boot. Rich and creamy but not too buttery, with fresh acidity to lift the finish.
Chardy Jack is extremely limited, available only while stocks last exclusively online and The
Hunting Lodge cellar door & restaurant.