The winery team began trialling large format oak in 2019, which quickly took our Premier Sauvignon Blanc to new heights through experimentation.
Experimentation in the winery continues each vintage, in a bid to champion discovery and unearth a better understanding of vineyard plots and their personalities. The 2023 vintage has been no different, introducing another three 3000L French oak foudres for trials of Chardonnay fermentation.
Having previously not fermented Chardonnay in anything larger than puncheons, the team earmarked a plot of Gingin Chardonnay from our Adams Road Vineyard for experimentation, which, oftentimes contributes to our Premier Chardonnay. Fermentation took a little longer to kick off, however beautiful autolytic characters began to emerge once it did, with subtle hints of new oak. Given the unique shapes of the foudres, a gentle natural convention occurs and continues for several days once stirred, allowing solids to coalesce with the wine.
2023 trials are looking promising with exciting prospects for our single plot wines due to the benefits of keeping the same plot together throughout fermentation and maturation, harnessing the induvial characteristics of a unique vineyard plot, while also looking at the sustainability of the oak program by increasing the longevity of vessels.
Peruse stills below, featuring foudres, our battonage program, and trials in alternative fermentation vessels.