Physiologically ripe grapes are the key to creating superior wine so it is not just a matter of scientific indicators.
Our winemakers James Graham & Herb Friedli, in consultation with our viticulturist, determines when optimum ripeness has arrived and when it is time to harvest.
The grapes are selectively hand picked and placed into shallow trays. They are then promptly delivered to the winery where a further selection takes place prior to gentle crushing and de-stemming.
It is here that Herb shows the experience of many vintages. In his role as concierge he guides the winemaking process in a non-intervention approach with the greatest respect to the natural process of fermentation.
The red wine is fermented in small volumes, often in small French oak wood barrels called barriques. Skins from the grapes are gently pressed in a traditional basket press with the pressings wine added back into the free run wine. The red wine then spends up to eighteen months in new French oak barrels where it undergoes malo-lactic fermentation.
There after it is gently aged in the cool underground cellar with even year round temperatures and perfect humidity conditions. It is racked and tended as required, with all operations carried out gently by hand.
When it is ready the Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec are then blended and bottled. It remains in the cellar to bottle age for a further few months prior to release.
Finally it emerges as a wine that is finely balanced with complexity, eminently ready to drink when young but structured to age well and taste even better with time.
The white wine, Pinot Gris, is fully fermented in older French oak puncheons. Further complexity is added by hand stirring on lees.
When bottled it is ready to drink or savoured over three to ten years, depending on the vintage.