ON-SITE ESTATE WINERY
To craft exceptional wines naturally, it is essential to invest in an on-site winery, even for a small vineyard like ours.
Our small but beautiful winery, brought to life through substantial investment, grants us complete control over the entire winemaking journey. This commitment ensures unwavering quality and enables a natural winemaking approach. The hand-picked grapes are processed within minutes -destemmed, crushed, and initiated to cold soak. The exceptional grape quality negates the need for additives or adjustments, allowing the amazing flavour to shine.
Within the winery, we handle our grapes with the utmost care, using an old manual bag press for gentle processing. Our wines age in over 180 of the finest French oak barrels, stored in a beautiful, temperature-controlled barrel hall. Specially finished stainless-steel tanks serve as fermenters and blending vessels. Despite our boutique size, our investment in bottling and labelling equipment ensures quality and control without external transportation.
Our winery also facilitates extended bottle aging to offer an exceptional experience upon
release. Guided by natural winemaking principles, every stage, from grapes to bottle and packaging, happens within our winery, safeguarding uncompromised quality.
THE ART OF WINEMAKING
Our job is to harness the natural expression of the grape's juice and to get it into bottle without interfering too much. If a winemaker manipulates the wine too much with adjustments and additions like flavoured yeast, bacteria, acid, enzymes, sugar, tannins, sulphur, too much oak, too much extraction, diverting off free run juice for concentration - it drowns out the natural voice of the wine. But its not about laissez-faire either, Hans spend days and nights in the winery, nurturing and guiding the grapes we pick into young wines. Great wines don’t make themselves…
It begins with physiologically ripe, beautiful grapes, hand-picked in the early morning hours bursting with health. 10 minutes later they are with me in the winery, still cool, fresh and undamaged.
I destem most of our grapes to achieve purity, elegance, and the authentic flavour profile of each grape variety. Some destemmed berries are crushed, while others are left whole. For certain white wines, like Chardonnay, I sometimes press a portion as whole bunches.
SKIN CONTACT (cold soak)
The skins of our grapes, given their exceptional health and purity, hold significant value. They enable me to employ a technique known as "cold soak or pre-fermentation cold maceration", facilitating a gradual and gentle extraction of fruit, colour, soft tannins, and flavour. This process contributes to the richness and longevity of our wines. To prevent the must from initiating fermentation naturally, we maintain a cool environment and shield it with dry ice (eliminating the need for sulphur), tailored to the grape variety, for a duration ranging from one to five days.
WILD, NATURAL FERMENTATION
Once the desired gentle extraction is achieved, we allow the temperature to rise, initiating 'wild' fermentation. This natural process relies on the health of the grapes, a balanced vineyard ecosystem, and a pristine winery environment, nurturing naturally occurring and robust wild yeast strains that express the terroir. This stands in contrast to cultured yeasts, which can be chosen for a desired style of wine but may alter wine flavours, sacrificing the grape's distinctive characteristics and its sense of terroir.
Red varieties, typically undergo a slow, cool fermentation (<28°C) lasting three weeks. This takes place in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks or open fermenters, with gentle daily 'pumping over' during the peak period, followed by a gradual reduction. Additionally, we grant the wines ample time for post-fermentation maceration to extract a wide range of flavour components.
Pressing is a critical step in winemaking, where the juice is separated from the grape's solid components like skins, seeds, and pulp. The method of pressing significantly impacts a wine's taste and aroma.
Hans takes a hands-on approach, personally overseeing the gentle pressing of our grapes using an old manual bag press. This method avoids crushing grape seeds or applying excessive pressure, preventing overextraction and the release of undesirable acids and excessive tannins into the juice. The result is more elegant and ethereal wines.
Controlled pressure is essential in pressing. Harsh pressing yields larger quantities of grape juice, often of lesser quality, requiring fining.
In contrast, gentle presses provide higher-quality juice, albeit with lower yields. While the former can process larger amounts of fruit simultaneously,
the latter is typically more labour-intensive and slower.
Our old manual bag press, although labour-intensive, produces exceptionally high-quality juice, making it ideal for our small batches of high-quality wine. It consists of a large horizontal cylinder sealed
at both ends, with grapes fed from the top. Inside the rotating drum is an inflatable bladder controlled manually to exert gentle pressure on the grapes.
The juice flows out through small openings on the sides of perforated screens.
This meticulous process yields a vibrant juice and moist pumice, which Hans then expertly distils to create our premium Grappa, a testament to our commitment to quality at every stage of winemaking.
The naturally occurring malolactic fermentation happens normally in French oak barrels. A part of my barrels may be new for some special wine but most have a few years of age for a more neutral take on oak.
Maturation. Bottle ageing. All my wines are matured over many months /years in barrels, amphora and bottle for you to enjoy at perfect drinking stage.