Wine
Making

Chardonnay and Chavant

Different vineyard blocks are treated according to the specific Chardonnay style demanded from a specific block. The grapes for the unwooded and Chavant wines are harvested at full phenolic ripeness, but earlier, and at a slightly lower sugar level than those intended for our Louisvale Chardonnay. Special care is taken with the grapes intended for our flagship Chardonnay.

The grapes are harvested at a later, riper and more complex stage, as the juice needs to marry with the new French oak barrels to create a well-balanced, harmonious wine with neither the fruit nor wood, overpowering each other. On arrival at the cellar the hand-harvested grapes are immediately placed in the refrigeration room and left overnight at 8° C. The following morning, they undergo a meticulous and time-consuming scrutiny, where all the undesired berries and leaves are removed at the sorting table. This is followed by crushing and destalking, draining and pressing. The juice for the unwooded Chardonnay is fermented at 15° C in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. The lees are returned to the wine.

On arrival at the cellar the hand-harvested grapes are immediately placed in the refrigeration room and left overnight at 8° C. The following morning, they undergo a meticulous and time-consuming scrutiny, where all the undesired berries and leaves are removed at the sorting table. This is followed by crushing and destalking, draining and pressing. The juice for the unwooded Chardonnay is fermented at 15° C in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. The lees are returned to the wine.

The juice of the Chavant and flagship Chardonnay wines is inoculated with the yeast strain in the stainless-steel tanks. As soon as fermentation commences, it is moved to the barrels. Louisvale uses 50% new 225 litre French oak barrels for the Chardonnay, where it remains on the lees for six to eight months. Malolactic fermentation is never induced, but if it happens naturally, it is allowed to continue. The lightly wooded Chavant spends four months in second, third and fourth fill barrels and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. The wines are refined, stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.

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