To produce wines of intensity and balance the choice of harvest time is crucial. The window of opportunity to ensure the berries are picked at their best is usually just a day or two for early ripening whites and less than a week for the reds.
Vintage usually commences in late February with Chardonnay and crisp Riesling, then Semillon in early to mid March. Shiraz is the first red grape to come off starting in mid March then Cabernet Sauvignon and lastly Grenache which is usually harvested in late April or early May.
Mechanical harvesting during the night is preferred so that the grapes can be picked quickly, whilst at their optimum ripeness in the cool of the night to preserve its natural flavours. Our vineyard and winery managers work closely during harvest to ensure the grapes are crushed immediately when delivered.
On arrival at the winery, grapes are immediately weighed, sampled, tasted and tested. The best Italian crushers have been specifically chosen for their gentleness and ability to vary in speed depending on fruit harvest method and the wine style desired.
White juice is cold settled to remove flesh and pulp before decanting or “racking” to the fermentation vessel. Reds are all fermented on skins for at least five days. All fermentation yeast is purchased freeze dried from Swiss Isolated and French Rhone Valley cultures which have been selected for their unique fermentation characteristics. Temperature during fermentation is raised or lowered to control the yeast activity.
Trials are conducted frequently regarding temperature, yeast, red skin fermentation management, barrel fermentation, secondary fermentation, different oak styles and many other winemaking variables to ensure the best decisions are made. Application of ISO 9001 quality system ensures all our wines can be fully traced and recorded on their way from vineyard to bottle. Each wine is also closely monitored by regular testing and chemically analysis to monitor quality and development.
Fruit-driven white wine styles are kept cold and bottled young to retain freshness. Oak aged wines are monitored and regularly topped in barrels, then drawn out when ready to bottle. Our bottling is carried out by a specialist bottling company called Vinpac International prior to release.