We've finally got our mini winery up and running (ok it's a posh shed) and just in time for us to make our 2021 Shiraz on-site. The grapes were sourced from Michel Chapoutier in the cool climate region of the Pyrenees. This biodynamic and organic site showcases some incredible fruit from the foothills of Australia's Great Dividing range.
Due to the cool temperatures in the months of April and May, we experienced a prolonged fermentation period. The temperature of the vats slowly rising with the aid of indoor heaters over a 6 week period, this slow rise will really help capture all the beautiful nuances and complexity in the final wine.
Unlike some of the more modern and fancy pants machinery out there, we use a basket press and old school muscle to press the grapes. Leaving behind the pomace or what we call the cake. After doing this several times and being careful not to over extract the skins, (over extraction can lead to bitterness) we pump the remaining juice straight into barrel. Now locked away in French oak barrels (50% new) this cool climate Shiraz has found it's home for the next 12 - 18 months. We'll update you soon on our next steps but for now we're looking forward to seeing our Shiraz develop in barrel.
If you don't want to wait 18 months for a drink (totally understandable) try our Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2019
Along with our Northern Hope Pinot Noir, this year we're pretty pumped to be making a cool climate Shiraz thanks to our friends at Michel Chapoutier in the Pyrenees. Our site in the Macedon Ranges is a little too cold to ripen this variety so we've looked further a field to find this magical cool climate site.
The Pyrenees foothills and ranges create a remarkable diversity of microclimates and soils providing a wealth of options for winemakers like ourselves. The cool weather patterns and unique soil in this region are an ideal place for Chapoutier’s biodynamic winegrowing philosophy, and something we're very excited to experiment.
We decided to pick the fruit around the 12.5% Baume mark as we want to achieve a style of Shiraz that's a little lighter and racier than most. Avoiding some of the more jammy and higher alcohol characteristics that Shiraz can be known for.
Selecting parcels from the coolest part of the Chapoutier site, we set about loading up our vats on a day which turned out to be stinking hot. Thankfully the picking crew were on hand to help us pick our 2 tonnes of grapes - they were incredible!
It's going to take some time before we get to release this little bad boy but we look forward to sharing our progress and the the forthcoming wine making stages. Previously all our wines have been made with the help of our friends at the Lyons Will Estate.... this time we're on our own making it at our very teeny tiny winery / shed @Northern Hope..... (add dramatic music here haha). This is going to be epic!!!
Oh and speaking of epic.... our Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2019 is now available, check it out here>