Step by Step - Montefalco Vineyard's natural wine making process

Here is a step by step educational look at the processes, the labours of love that go into producing our natural red wine. Starting with the harvest, these days give inspiration to the entire year of being observant and involved.

Once the grapes begin to turn from green to red, we cover the entire vineyard in nets, to make it bird proof. The most un-romantic part of the process to say the least!!

We hand pick with the help of several good friends, it is hard work but it brings us together whistling, laughing, joking and nothing is more rewarding than finishing the day with a big feast and several glasses of wine.

We are able to make a natural wine without adding preservatives because the selected grapes are not crushed and oxidized during the harvesting process. One of the main reasons why we decided to plant a vineyard was to bring back our enjoyment of drinking red wine without any unpleasant side effects due to chemical additives and preservatives.

The preservative Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) or Sulphites is the culprit that is responsible for giving some people a headache or allergies after drinking wine…

This is why we do it all the old fashion way. So we can enjoy each meal with a glass of wine and never regret it.

After picking, the grapes get placed into the de-stemmer and the juice and skins go into a fermenting tank. Indigenous natural yeasts are added to facilitate and synchronize the fermentation process. The skins continuously rise to the top of the juice during fermentation so we have to push them down and stir it, also referred to as punching down the cap.

This vibrant strong colour is why the variety Sangiovese is named after the blood of Jupiter (Sangue di Giove). In Italy the skins are left fermenting with the juice for a week or 10 days to extract as much colour as possible for the wine. Here we leave it for about 3 days just until most of the sugar has fermented and is transformed into alcohol and Baldo the vintner is happy….

The pigment or colour in fruits and vegetables are where many of the antioxidant properties are concentrated. The nutrients resveratrol and the flavonoids are what is believed give red wine it's health benefits. More's the reason to pair a glass of natural red wine to your meal. Wine goes side by side with food like a marriage, one enhancing and complimenting the other.

After the fermented juice is drained from the tanks, the skins are put into a traditional basket press to gently extract the remaining juice then it is set to finish, ferment and mature in French Oak barrels.

After the wine ages in the barrels for over a year, we bottle. We don’t filter, so each bottle remains with the naturally occurring Carbon Dioxide (CO2) incorporated into the wine. This acts as a natural preservative. Not filtering means our wine is suitable for vegans because it does not have any traces of egg white or fish.

Meanwhile after harvest… With all the wine happily stored in French Oak, work in the vineyard goes on…

Autumn to winter the leaves change and fall. We prune the vines and plant cover crops like lupins or broad beans then mustard, alternating row by row, to improve the health and structure of our soil.

These plants have many purposes, they feed nitrogen back to the soil, smother weed growth and after flowering we slash them creating a bed of mulch which feeds and supports the micro-organisms and friendly bacteria in the soil. We believe this bio-dynamic approach accounts for better and tastier fruit.

Winter to early spring is the time for weed control, both mechanically and manually. This is when we witness life returning to the vines.

To prevent powdery and downy mildew, we use the traditional proven methods of Bordeaux mixture and sulphur. Not to be confused with the sulphur preservative that we do not put into our wine.

At Montefalco Vineyard we do not use any systemic fungicides, pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. The wine is not manipulated during vinification, so you get the wine just how it should be, natural and preservative free!

In vino veritas.
(in wine there is truth)

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© 2008-15 Montefalco Vineyard, Porongurup W. Australia. liquor licence # 6180118472. It is an offence for a person under 18 years old to purchase liquor.

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