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.
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.
Unlike with our Chardonnay, the hand-harvested grapes for our red wines are sorted, removing all undesired berries and leaves on the day they arrive at the cellar. This is followed by crushing and destalking, draining and pressing. The juice then goes into below 20° C fermentation tanks on the same day. It is inoculated the next day, after which pump over or racking takes place for seven to ten days. The wine then purposefully does not get any sulphur and is left to run malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation commences, the wine is racked, and sulphur is added.
The wine is moved to French oak barrels in May of the same year, for at least twelve months. Products like boris and five barrels are in first fill barrels for 18-20 months. Wine is selected for the different products, according to quality and our two Bordeaux blends are blended, The Boris blend will be placed in oak barrels again for another 6 months. The red wines undergo cross flow filtration prior to bottling.