From grape to bottle
Our goal is to produce premium wines that capture the unique essence of the local environment. The rugged, pristine natural beauty, the juxtaposition of hot summers and the refreshingly crisp Southern Ocean. This is what Condingup, Esperance, and the South East Coastal region are all about. And we aim to bottle this into delicious, approachable wines that are intended to be enjoyed.
In accordance with our artisan approach to production small parcels of fruit are selected for picking when they are at optimum ripeness for their intended use. The fruit is handpicked and transported to the winery – located onsite at the vineyard. Each parcel of fruit is handled differently according to the winemaker’s intention for the final wine. The general winemaking process is as follows.
All fruit received at the winery is weighed, recorded and then transferred into the crusher-destemmer. This machine removes each grape from the stalk and lightly squeezes the berries to open them slightly. The way the grapes are handled after this point varies depending on the type of wine being produced.
For white wine or rosé, the freshly liberated berries are pumped from the crusher-destemmer into our basket press. Our small press can only handle around 600kg of fruit at a time. Basket pressing is a more traditional method of juice extraction in winemaking and results in arguably far superior quality wines than other methods. Basket pressing is gentle, preventing the extraction of harsh tannins from seeds or skins and provides a beautiful clean juice for the production of delicate, subtle wines. The oxygen exchange allowed by the basket pressing method also adds interest and complexity to the flavour of the juice and resultant wine. Juice is transferred from the press to temperature controlled tanks and cooled and settled to clarify. The winemaker selects an appropriate yeast strain for inoculation and low temperature ferments are carried out over the course of around 2 weeks to transform the juice into fine dry wine. Low temperature fermentation maintains the integrity of the fruit flavours extracted from the grapes through into the finished wine.
The process differs somewhat for red wine. The characteristic deep colour of red wine is extracted from pigment in the grape skins called anthocyanins. To achieve this, red wine is made by keeping the skins and seeds together with the juice for all or part of the fermentation process. The grapes are moved from the crusher-destemmer to the fermentation vessel, either an open 500L tub or a fermenter tank. Again yeast is selected by the winemaker and the mix of juice, skins and seeds are inoculated. As with white wine the fermentation is temperature controlled, though not as stringently, and can take up to two weeks. During the fermentation the amount of colour and tannin extraction from the skins and seeds is closely monitored by the winemaker. Once satisfied with the level of extraction the wine is drained off the skins and transferred to tank. The skins are then transferred into our basket press where the remainder of the wine is gently extracted and moved to tank.
At this point the resultant wines red, white or rosé are once more treated in a similar fashion. The wines are refined and matured either in stainless steel tanks or in oak. This process can take between 6 months and over a year and is carefully overseen by the winemaker. Once mature our wines are blended and bottled. And ready for your enjoyment.