Handcrafted wines

At Macaw Creek Wines we take a hands on approach to winemaking.  This starts in the vineyard where the grapes are dry grown with minimal irrigation from low yielding vines in an organic environment – free from systemic fungicides and pesticides.

The wines are then carefully handcrafted, to ensure we consistently produce outstanding wines that truly reflect the variety and region.

Grapes arriving at winery – The juice is drained from the truck initially into the receival bin and pumped into the fermentation tank prior to the truck tipping the grapes into the receival bin.

Crushing and de-juicing – The grapes drop from the receival bin into the hopper on the crusher and are destemmed via a rotating cylinder with perforations and then crushed between rubber rollers.

Fermentation and pump over – Once the crushed grapes and juice have been pumped into the fermentation tank, yeast is added and fermentation begins, the yeast convert the grape sugar into alcohol and release large volumes of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) in the process, this gives the bubbling appearance of fermentation. Twice a day the juice from the bottom of the fermenter is pumped over the top through an rotating irrigation plate to wet the skins floating on top of the fermentation to allow the colour to be leached out from the skins, making the wine red in colour, red grapes have white juice so skin contact and leaching is required to colour the wine and extract flavour and tannin.

Filling the basket press after fermentation – When the yeast have converted all the grape juice into alcohol the fermentation is complete and the wine is called dry (meaning all the sugar has been converted and the wine is no longer sweet to taste), at this stage it is time to  drain the wine from the tank and press the skins to ensure all the wine is squeezed from the skins as well as more tannin.

Basket pressing – The basket press works by hydraulic pressure where a large stainless steel plate pushes down on the skins within the basket forcing the juice out between the wooden slats. There are many different type of presses but winemakers generally agree that using a wooden basket press it one of the best methods to press grapes due to the gentle nature of this type of pressing which ensures that any bitter tannins from crushed seeds is avoided.

Collection of pressings – As the pressure within the press increases so does the flow of wine from the squeezed skins, it flows into a stainless steel collection tray  before being pumped away to tank or barrel. Basket pressing is labour intensive but well worth the effort to ensure a high quality wine is produced.

Tasting and assessment of pressings – The winemaker can taste the extracted wine as it flows from the press and determine the quality and make decisions instantly about what oak treatment or other processes may be required to maximise the natural quality of the wine.