Great wine is the sum of hundreds of decisions from vineyard to bottle. As the ‘maker’ all I do is try to make the best decision I can at any particular point in time. It may be right this time, but the same decision in another vintage could be disastrous.
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. Nothing is added to the grapes or wine except for up to 20ppm of sulphur at bottling, but I’ll avoid that if I can too. When it comes to wine, the more you add the more you take away.
Bottling is done on site using a gravity-fed hand bottling unit and sealed with natural cork and wax.
With our 2015 wines all safely under cork our approach to the farm in this first vintage has produced acid-focused whites full of varietal flavour and reds that are perfumed, fresh and crunchy. 2016 was a very different season and we look forward to seeing how the wines look in the bottle later this year.