Winemaking or vinification is the process of taking grapes and turning the juice of those grapes into wine. The process is a simple one, but it requires special attention at key events. There is both an art and a science involved in the process and it can be argued that the skills required by the winemaker amount to craftsmanship.
MAKING THE WINE
Our winemaker is Dave Longden, his role is to ensure that at each quality event he takes extra care to craft the wine. Every stage whether it be grape sampling, harvesting, crushing, pressing, fermenting, filtering and bottling requires attention to detail and sensory analysis to craft the finest wines we can for each vintage.
The special ability to craft the wine ensures that every single bottle we produce is a reflection of the site and speaks about the vintage, the climate and the different flavour profiles that each season brings. It’s the difference in vintage that makes winemaking an art and the ability to bring these flavours to you that makes wine so interesting.
The line between the vineyard and the winery is not as absolute and clear cut as it might seem at first. The winery and much of its equipment is but a passing phase in the transition from grape to wine. All the equipment in the winery cannot itself guarantee quality, identity or style. These things come primarily from the fruit supplied and the winemaker’s imprint on them. At every stage of the process different options are available to the winemaker. Even given identical grapes it is these options that determine to a large extent the final quality and individual style of what is finally bottled. Our philosophy at Churchview Estate is to make the best possible wine we can and make that affordable to you. We have built a reputation for quality and affordability and we are confident every bottle of wine we produce will impress you and those who you share it with.
THE IMPORTANCE OF OAK
Most of our premium wines will have an element of oak in their flavour profile. Quality oak barrels are an important factor in the making of quality wines. The very best French Oak barrels are sourced to make our wines and these barrels are as important as the fruit when it comes to crafting the wines.
These barrels are sourced from France, they are grown in the famous oak forests of France and made by French coopers. These barrels are expensive and form a major part of the cost of making fine wines. A barrel or barrique holds 225 litres they are only used a handful of times before they serve no further purpose as they do not add any further “oak” flavour to the wine. We will invest several thousands of dollars each year on oak barrels and it is for this reason that some of our very best wines will carry a higher price tag.
What many mass producers will do is add oak flavour to their wines using free floating oak chips in the fermentation tanks, this cuts costs but it also cuts quality. It can be argued that the flavour added to these wines using these methods is overpowering and can often be unpleasant, it is for this reason that many people may choose to opt for wine styles that do not have any oak flavour. Wine is all about balance and a well balanced wine may contain a well balanced oak component. We encourage you to embrace these traditional methods and enjoy the complexity and depth oak will add to our wines. The Bartondale chardonnay is a wine that will showcase how oak and fruit can work so well together, that the experience when drinking this wine is simply magic.