Timing is everything to get the proper sugar/acid balance and flavors. We are in the vineyard frequently to sample randomly ensuring that each pocket in the vineyard is where we want it before picking. Everything in our vineyard is hand picked. This ensures only quality fruit is crushed and anything below our standard is discarded. Ideally harvest happens when nights are cool so we finish with a slow ripening with extended hang time to obtain fine tannins, good balance and colour. Timing is usually Sept – Oct but depends on varietal.
Pressing And Fermentation
We start with de-stemming to remove any bitter components, then crush to obtain skin contact with the juice. Depending on the varietal we begin pressing after cold soaking up to 2 days to extract flavour/aromatic compounds. Cool temperature fermentation on the whites minimizes loss of aromatics. Some whites are partially barrel fermented in French oak. Reds are done in small bin ferments with manual punch down to maximize gentle extraction of flavours.
We clarify and stabilize whites when fermentation has reached a desired point. Reds are fully fermented and left to age in barrels where they undergo malolactic fermentation. Reserve wines are aged 21 months in barrel with up to 50% new oak. Reserve wines are not fined or filtered, this is in line with our minimal intervention philosophy. We also keep sulphite use to a minimum. Near the end of aging, wines are blended to achieve unique complexity and balance – every year is different.
Red wines depending on variety can be aged up to 10 years from vintage, while whites are generally best in 1-3 years. White wines do tend to change overtime losing some of their fresh fruit character and maturing with more complex earthy notes.