OUR WINEMAKING PROCESS
SPRING | SUMMER | FALL
Every stage of our winemaking is a hands-on experience from vineyard to bottle. We work with nature to develop a balanced vineyard ecosystem, one that embraces all the diversity that nature entails. This diversity can at times be scarey, but with experience and confidence it leads to a system of inherent self reliance and resistant to invasive pests.
One may ask, what does this have to do with my wine? It is only from complex biodiverse ecosystems that real and true flavours can be achieved.
Planting the seeds of future success. Here we are releasing ladybugs to help control pest insects. After a few seasons of releasing these beneficials they have taken up home on the farm coming back season after season to lend a hand.
Black oil seed sunflower providing forage for bumblebees and predator insects, a great backdrop for our vineyard weddings, and an organic oil source for the farm kitchen. The forage provided by the sunflowers also attracts pigeons and other seed eating birds ... these birds in turn are prey for red tail hawks which by their very presence keep the grape eating starlings away from the vineyard.
Fall is an exciting time with the onset of harvest. We closely monitor the maturity of the various varieties, we have 13, to determine the optimal time for harvest. Testing and tasting to get that perfect balance of flavour, acidity and mature tannin.
All our grapes are hand harvested. This preserves the delicate flavours and freshness while allowing for the culling of imperfect clusters.
On the crush pad every cluster of grapes is inspected again and sorted for the very best to carry on to the crusher.
In the cellar we minimally intervene in what is a natural process, grapes fermenting and becoming wine. Where possible indigenous yeasts take us to new places, expressing every essence of our land.
Whether it's red, white, or rose we closely monitor the fermentation to ensure its healthy and progressing according to the style and type of wine we wish to make.
OPen Top Fermentation
Red wine fermentation takes place in open top fermentation tanks. The wines are monitored at least twice a day to manage the cap (the grape skins that float to the top). Using either manual punch-down or pump-over to extract just the right amount of colour and flavour from the grapes.
In the cellar the close observation of the ageing and settling takes place. Some whites are aged "sur lie" to develop deeper flavour and mouth feel. The reds are racked to barrel.
the barrel room
The freshly fermented reds are racked to barrels and allowed to go through malolactic fermentation which softens the wine by converting malic acid to lactic acid. The wines are then regularly topped and left to age 14 - 24 months in French and American oak barrels.