Winemaking doesn’t end after harvest, during the winter months the cellar is buzzing with action. Hygiene is the most important aspect of winemaking, and come harvest end, the cellar is cleaned thoroughly, from the floors to the walls and tanks, and nothing is left untouched.
Wine in barrel is inoculated with malolactic bacteria, in order for the second fermentation to occur (malolactic fermentation). Barrels are topped regularly. And Batonage (stirring of the lees) occurs after long intervals on white wine both in tank and barrel.
Additions e.g. (sulphur dioxide) occur on older wine that is still ageing in barrel, as well as topping up of these barrels.
Monthly samples of the wines are sent for a full analysis to make sure all the wine is healthy; here we check the pH, Ta, Alc, RS, and MLF for those wines that are still going through the second fermentation.
The most important task during this time of year is to start blending the 2014 Sophie and Sauvignon Blanc and to get these wines in the bottle. We will do the final fining and sulphur adjustment and make 100% sure that the wines are stable before bottling.
Lastly, but more importantly is the vineyard: the winter months being the most important season in the vines physiological life cycle. With composting occurring, planting of cover crops, and while the vine is dormant-the strenuous process of pruning, which initially shapes the vine and its yield for the following season.