In 2003 our state of the art winery was constructed. Having established our vineyard and excitedly tasted our first vintage where all our hopes for wine quality were realised, we decided that to take the next step of quality and quality assurance, we really had to be in control of the winemaking process rather than send our fruit to a contract winemaker in the Granite Belt.
We set out to design and construct a winery that was state of the art to ensure we could realise the huge potential of the quality in our wine grapes. If a winery like ours had existed on the Granite Belt when we first started we would have been happy to not build one ourselves.
Our winery is built out of cold room sandwich panel to assist with insulation and speed of construction. The cement floors slope to the middle to assist with washing down so all waste is funnelled neatly to the end of the room without need of drains. We ensured there were not any drains with steel grates over them as they are difficult to keep clean and cellar hygiene is essential for quality winemaking.
We employed the services of Advanced Metal Products in Warwick QLD to construct our variable capacity wine tanks. Each tank has a coffee plunger style circular lid that slides down the inside of the tank to sit at the same level of the wine inside and then sealed off to keep the oxygen away. Each tank has a chilling jacket on the outside which is controlled by a solenoids linked to a control panel in the laboratory so that we can exactly control temperatures of each tank in the winery. Temperature control is essential in all aspects of winemaking, no more importantly then when a wine is fermenting. A hot fast ferment will blow out all of the beautiful aromas out of the wine into the air, whereas a controlled cool slow ferment will keep all the delicious aromas trapped in the wine, so that when you open our Sauvignon Blanc or Gewurztraminer your hair will blow back like a 1980s rock video.
In winter, our barrel room has gas heated hot water circulated through the cement slab to maintain a constant 17 degrees. Electric heating in the slab is not possible due to the way lightning travels through the ground on the Granite Belt for large distances and is guaranteed to destroy your wiring in the slab every year! Air conditioning is employed in summer months to maintain the same constant temperature. When storing wine in barrel or bottle, it is essential to maintain constant temperature.
Our destemmer/crusher and air bag press were imported from Italy and are state of the art. The press is so gentle we extract larger volumes of free run juice from the white grapes compared to old style presses. We should probably call it an air bag tickle…
Our laboratory has all the modern bells and whistles and machines that go beep. Automatic titrator efficiently and accurately measures pH and TA with a very small footprint. One machine imported from South Africa provides a combination of distillation and ebulliometry to measure sulphur and alcohol with a fraction of the footprint of older machines. There is also a refractometer to measure progress of malolactic fermentation. A tensiometer measures the slip and break of screwcaps as a wine is bottled to ensure proper tensions are employed during the bottling process.