FIRST: WE MAKE A BASE WINE
At the winery, the different varieties are handled separately – blending comes later. We de-stem and gently crush the berries followed by a light pressing, as we don’t want to extract excess phenolics into the juice (that’s a winemaking term for the bitter compounds in skins and seeds). We then cold settle for 48 hours, then the clear juice is racked away from any settled solids. The base wine is made by innoculating with a cultured sparkling yeast, beginning a slow, cool fermentation that will last 3-4 weeks until all the natural sugars are converted to alcohol. The brand new, bone dry base wine is racked off the gross lees (dead yeast) and allowed to naturally clarify and stabilise – this stage can’t be rushed.