Fermentation takes approximately six days and the ferments are allowed to rise in temperature up to twenty-eight to thirty degrees centigrade. They are then maintained at this temperature to maximise tannin extraction. Fermentation is in both small open topped stainless steel fermenters and vinimatic roto-fermenters. Pumping over is done twice daily with complete working of the skins to ensure maximum extraction of colour, flavour and tannins from the skins to build more complex tannin structures in the wines.
To build complexity, a portion of the Cabernet crop is barrel fermented in new tight grained French oak barriques. The fermenting wine is pressed off skins into new barrels at 1-2 Be to complete fermentation and develop the special coffee bean/fruit cake aromas of reds made in this way.
New red wine is settled followed by blending after which it is transferred to oak for maturation with malo-lactic fermentation, usually completed in oak. Wines are racked and reworked once or twice during oak maturation, which takes between twelve to eighteen months, depending on the wine and vintage. Barrels are stored at twelve o’clock with regular topping. Reds receive a light egg white fining and minimal filtration before bottling. Wines are gently pressed off skins when ready, no augers or conveyors are used, the skins are raked into a bin and tipped into a bag press or dropped in directly from the vinimatics. This produces softer tannins in the pressings wines.