Some background to our winemaking process
Our winemaking philosophies
Grapes are harvested and transported to SA for vinification, under the skilled eye of Director / Vigneron John Gledhill, a now well regarded craftsman in Oenology.
Vinification takes place in small open fermenters, with a few days of cold skin contact to stabilise colour extraction, inoculation with a Mauriferm yeast strain, fermented dry before pressing and transfer to French Oak barrels for malo-lactic fermentation for a further 12-18 months.
Flavour and colour extraction is achieved by a combination of plunging and pumping over of the cap three to four times per day which is determined solely by daily ferment tasting. A rack and aerative return may be employed if we wish to achieve more extraction or if there is any presence of Hydrogen Sulphide during ferment that yeast nutrient does not reduce.
During these tastings, the wine is analysed for sugar metabolism and alcohol production, wine pH and acidity and yeast nutrient requirements. Additions to the ferment may be made at John’s discretion to maintain optimum fermentation conditions or to modify the balance of flavour, aroma, structure and texture of the wine.
After fermentation and suitable extended maceration, the grapes are basket pressed over a 12 hour cycle combining traditional, old world techniques with new world, modern day equipment and facilities to ensure quality and integrity is maintained through good hygiene and safe work practices.
The pressed wine is left to settle and clarify overnight in a stainless steel vat before being racked off gross ferment lees to barrel for the duration of the secondary Malo-Lactic fermentation (MLF). This secondary ferment softens the acidity of the palate as malic acid is metabolised to lactic acid and improves microbial stability reducing food sources for any indigenous spoilage organisms.
At the conclusion of MLF, the wine is carefully racked out of barrel off “malo lees” to a holding tank, where antioxidant and any required post fermentation additions can be made to keep the wine protected from oxidation during the maturation phase of the wine’s development.
The barrels are high pressure washed with hot water, left to drain and dry out overnight so as dilution of the wine does not occur and then refilled with the wine to begin maturing.
The wine will then develop and evolve in a constant temperature barrel shed over the next 12-18 months when each barrel is tasted and assessed for quality parameters and blending potential. All of the barrels are graded, the best of these are identified, isolated and blending options are assessed in the tasting room in a process of trial and error to determine the absolute best possible blend of whole or part barrels that give the richest, fullest and most balanced final wine.
The proportions of each chosen barrel are then transferred into a holding tank once again before being dispatched to Torresan Estate bottling hall, a state of the art wine bottling facility in McLaren Vale that specialises in packaging and warehousing of premium bottled wine.
The integrity and longevity of Gledhill wines (as with all wine) is very much reliant upon the quality of the final packaging of the product. A well-made wine can sour quickly if the bottling process is sub-standard, and it is for this reason that we choose to have our wine bottled and packaged by the Torresan family and their staff.
This packaged wine is then stored in the temperature controlled barrel shed alongside our growing stack of barrels, until requested by you the consumer, when we authorise the dispatch of the wine which is delivered to your nominated address by courier, if not personally delivered by any of the Gledhill family where we can.
Here is where the Gledhill Vignerons story becomes your story as you open a bottle of our wine and enjoy a glass of our dreams and passion. We hope you find the wine a pleasure to drink and have attained some understanding of the efforts made by our family in bringing this wine to you.
Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy our wine.