Autumn; Vintage
The sun works its magic in the vine leaves, producing the sugar that ripens the berries. A time of frequent checking for the desired levels of ripeness - sugar levels high enough that the wine will have the right alcohol content, while the acidity remains high enough that we don’t have to add too much to the must to compensate for over-ripening. In some years nature works its magic perfectly, while in others the perfect balance simply does not happen, obliging the winemaker to lend a hand.
Vintage is a frantic time. Picking of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes happens at the same time- typically during a few hours after sunrise, finishing in the early afternoon. Shiraz tends to ripen a little earlier.
All our fruit is picked by hand directly into 20 Litre buckets. It then goes straight into the destemmer-crusher, or possibly into larger fruit bins if it will be transferred to another winery for wine making.
Fermentation takes anywhere between a few days and a couple of weeks, mostly depending on the temperature. When the ferment is complete the must is pressed in a manually operated hydraulic basket press, and the juice pumped to stainless steel tanks for settling before being transferred to oak barriques for maturation
After vintage the vines take a deep breath, sucking all the goodness from their leaves back down to the root system in preparation for Spring. Leaves turn orange through golden yellow before their graceful death. The first strong winds of late autumn scatter the dead leaves around the vineyard floor, where nature can take them back into the ground to start the cycle of growth anew.
March to May