What happens when you crush a grape?
... it lets out a little wine!!
Sorry about that, couldn't resist. Anyway, it was great to be involved with the latest stage of the winemaking process this weekend!
We’re doing something a little different with this specially selected batch of our 2021 harvest. These Seyval Blanc grapes were purposely harvested later in the season to allow an extra-long bunch hang time and ensure that the skins reached the utmost ripeness.
The grapes were taken to a newly established Welsh winery, under the guidance of experienced wine maker Dave Morris, where they were immediately hand loaded into steel fermentation vessels and allowed to breakdown under their own weight to gently draw out the free run juice. The juice was then left in contact with the whole bunches to impart the aromatic flavours of the skins into the finished wine, in a process called maceration.
The job we were helping Dave with was the digging out of the grapes from the vessels and loading them into the press where they were slowly and gently squeezed under controlled pressure to extract and preserve only the optimum flavours of the grapes. Tiring work when there is 1.5 tonnes to move!
This juice will now undergo a natural fermentation using only the wild yeasts present on the grape skins themselves, which will ensure this wine is a true expression of the vineyard and its environment. Once this fermentation is fully underway, it will then be moved to ex-Bordeaux barrels where the fermentation will be completed. The breathable nature of the barrels will help provide the wine with a wonderful structure and viscosity and will make this a truly unique and naturally low alcohol, premium Welsh wine.