Nick and Hamish

PHILOSOPHY

TRADITIONAL WINEMAKING

"The objective is to interfere as little as possible in the creation of the wine making process"

"The importance of the terroir is fundamental to obtaining a high quality wine. In this context, terroir means to reject the more fertile soils in favour of leaner ground."

For red wine, the grapes are fermented with the aid of natural yeasts in open stainless steel tanks at between 28 and 30ºC. Without any outside influences and by using only wild yeasts that occur naturally on the skins, the wine remains true to its terroir and its micro-climate. The skins are punched down 4 to 8 times during peak fermentation. Malolactic fermentation takes place in 225 litre French barrels. During the following 18 to 20 months, there is minimal handling of the wine to allow it to evolve, stabilize and integrate with the wood. Sulphur levels are kept to a minimum and carefully balanced, to preserve the wine on the one hand while allowing it still to develop on the other. When necessary, the wines are racked by means of gravity flow. No mechanical pumps are used. Racking assists in the proactive development of the wine and leaves unwanted sediment behind. There is no filtration, only a light egg white fining prior to bottling.

For white wine, the crushed grapes undergo skin contact for only two hours. After spending one day in a settling tank, the must is racked straight into barrels where fermentation takes place. The aim is to reduce air contact to a minimum, which promotes clean varietal flavours. The grapes are allowed to ferment spontaneously with the aid of wild yeasts that occur naturally in the vineyard. By harvesting the grapes early in the morning while it is still cool and by using natural yeasts, the must fermentation is slow and remains fairly cool at around 17 to 19ºC. The wine is left on its lees and stirred regularly to enhance complexity. Thereafter, the wine is fined with bentonite but remains unfiltered before bottling. Sulphur levels are kept to a minimum.

Chenin Blanc
Post House Vineyards - Raithby Road - Raithby, Helderberg - South Africa - nick@posthousewines.co.za