Bilancia is a small Hawkes’ Bay producer of exceptional Pinot Gris, Viognier and Syrah. It is the label of winemakers Lorraine Leheny and Warren Gibson and was established in 1997 when Lorraine and Warren returned to New Zealand from winemaking overseas. The word Bilancia (be-larn-cha) means, in Italian, balance, equilibrium and harmony. These terms have obvious connections with wine and winemaking, but also, Bilancia is the Italian word for the Zodiac sign Libra which both Lorraine and Warren were born under. Warren worked in Southern Italy for a number of harvests and the name came to him whilst reading his Horoscope in the Italian newspaper! The philosophy of balance, equilibrium and harmony is something that is carried through all aspects of the winemaking and, hopefully, people will see this when they drink the wines. The viticultural central point for Bilancia is the 6 hectares of land covering the front and back of Roys Hill where, planted only on the North – Northwest facing slope is the vineyard known as La Collina (col-ee-na), which is Italian for “the hill”. The upper most slopes and terraces are planted to Syrah whilst the lower gently rising land and gravels flat is planted to Viognier. Fruit has been always been sourced predominantly from Hawke’s Bay, Glencoe Station, south of Maraekakaho and Black Bridge Estate at Haumoana. This helps to maintain a balanced range of wines.
Citrus fruits dominate here – grapefruit, lemon and lime, with plenty of curdy influence from lees contact, along with flashes of white peach, nectarine and cashewy oak. Sapid, lip-smacking acidity sizzles around the palate, sheathing the citrus fruit characters like a minerally double-helix. The finish lingers beautifully, with a vapour trail of citrus and cream.