"Have you always known your wine would make it to ‘the world’s greatest wines?
It was the promise I made to my wife when leaving a 500 year winegrowing tradition in Switzerland."
????On-site Estate Winery
The beautiful organic wine estate was kept small to craft some of New Zealand’s most respected, estate bottled wines.
Hans’ high quality standards are evident in his fully equipped winery where everything, including the old bag press, is designed for the gentle processing of our hand-picked grapes. More than 180 of the finest French oak barrels age the hand-crafted wine in a beautiful temperature controlled barrel room. Specially finished stainless-steel tanks in sizes as small as 100 liters for special selections are used mainly as fermenters and for blending. Hans never lets his wines out of sight and his own bottling and labeling equipment guarantees quality is never compromised.
?Most of our wines enjoy substantial additional bottle-aging in our winery at the perfect conditions????? before they are released. Age-worthy wines, built to last.
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 looking for purity, elegance and typicity of flavour of each grape variety. A faction of the destemmed berries are crushed, with the rest left as whole berries. I sometimes only press whole bunches for part of our white wines, like Chardonnay.
The skins are a valuable part of the grapes, if they are healthy and pure like ours. It allows me to let them soaking, also called "pre-fermentation cold maceration" to encourage a slow, soft extraction of fruit, colour, softer tannin and flavour aiding to the richness and longevity of our wines. To avoid the must starting naturally with fermentation, it is kept cool and protected with dry ice (avoiding the use of sulphur) depending on grape variety for the duration of one to five days.
Long, Cool Alcoholic Fermentation
Once I feel there is enough of this soft form of extraction, the temperature is allowed to rise for the 'wild' fermentation to start. For this to happen seamlessly and naturally, again it needs healthy grapes and a balanced ecosystem in the vineyard and a clean winery environment for naturally occurring strong and clean yeast strains (‘wild or indigenous yeast’ in opposite from inoculated cultured yeasts).
Red varieties are usually fermented with a slow, cool (<28C°), three-week fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks or open fermenters with twice pumping over in peak time and than gradually less. They were also given ample time for a post-fermentation macerations extracting different
Whites are gently pressed and usually fermented for four weeks at less than 18C° directly in 500 litre French oak puncheons.
Pressing is done manually, with a gentle old bag press.
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 month/years in barrels, amphora and bottle for you to enjoy at perfect drinking stage.?
Taste the Scent of True Craftsmanship
Hans is a quiet and modest vigneron with an admirable experience of over 50 vintages. Unfettered by commercial considerations, he has adopted an experimentalist stance, cultivating an eclectic array of grape varieties all of them highly acclaimed organic wines, rich in varietal character and showing off the covetous terroir.
The unfathomable diversity of one of the most remarkable organic single estate vineyards in the World... for you to savour.
From Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Arneis, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner to our Spirit of Marlborough Bordeaux Blend, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, St Laurent, Tempranillo, Saperavi, Carménère and Cuvée Thérèse Rosé Méthode traditionnelle, Botrytis releases, Grappa (Montepulciano and Gewürztraminer).
All for the love of wine...
Hans & Therese Herzog are the stewards of this artisan wine estate acclaimed throughout the world for growing handcrafted wines from their exceptional ‘Grand Cru like’ organic vineyard. The unique terroir and a ‘hands-on’ approach with almost uneconomical low yields sets the bar for outstanding wines rich in varietal character. Hans’ winemaking is traditional but innovative and purely natural - letting the grapes work their magic.
Hans is fanatical about quality. With each wine he strives for perfection to fully express the varietal characteristics. Not someone who talks much, he has the firm belief that his wines speak for themselves. Indeed, they have made their stance as some of New Zealand’s finest wines and stand proudly in line with the best of the old world.
These famed wines have stolen the hearts of wine lovers all over the world. An amazing collection of rare grape varieties handcrafted into some of New Zealand's finest wines.
"The superlative wines need little introduction."
- Gourmet Traveller