Great wine is the sum of hundreds of decisions from vineyard to bottle. As the ‘maker’ all you can do is try to make the best decision you can at any point in time. For us, making the right decision always comes down to asking ourselves one simple question: will this action help or hinder the ability of our wine to show provenance.
One of the biggest decisions is exactly when to pluck the grape from the vine. Too early and the acidity will dominate. Too late and the alcohol will. Getting the timing right is everything if you want your wine to truly express your fruit and where it’s from.
Having named the date we harvest the grapes by hand, picking into small 10kg crates to minimise berry damage and early oxidation. The grapes then take a gentle tractor ride of no more than 100m to the cellar where they’re tucked into a refrigerated reefer for the night.
Gravity is used to transfer the wine from here on – no pumps. There’s no wine filter on The Wine Farm and no fining carried out either. Wherever possible we add nothing whatsoever to our grapes or wine bar 20-30ppm of sulphur at bottling.
While we love the ideal of standing back and letting nature run its course, we watch closely and will step in if we feel a wine is in danger of losing its sense of place. Flaws such as mousiness and volatile acidity can mask fruit quality just as much as heavy oak and added acid. Yes, too much sulphur can take the soul out of a wine and create its own profile, however a miniscule amount can prevent ugly faults and ensure the integrity of the fruit is retained.
We bottle all our wines on site using a gravity-fed hand-bottling unit, seal them with natural cork and cellar them carefully until they’re ready to release to the market.
Four vintages in and the wines are telling us a lot about our new home. They speak of the crisp, bright, freshness that is our climate and the delicate, crunchy, multi-layered soils. They speak quietly and confidently of The Wine Farm.