The First Taste, On the Vines
Our viticulturists and winemakers visit every vineyard to taste the fruit and determine the optimal time to start harvesting.
Grapes are picked. Some are picked quickly in the cool of the night with a harvester to maximise the flavour and aroma compounds. Some are picked by hand during the day, where the site is too steep or bunch selection is required.
Time is critical. We fill the grape bins in the vineyard and take the grapes by truck to our winery as soon as possible.
The de-stemmer gently removes the stalks from the grapes.
The press gently squeezes the juice from the grapes, leaving behind the skin, pulp and seeds.
The fresh juice is separated from the grape solids to improve the clarity prior to fermentation. By improving the clarity of the juice for fermentation, the flavours become more pure and fruit-driven.
The juice is then fermented with either natural or added yeasts. Under the careful watch of our winemakers, the fermentation takes two to three weeks. For aromatic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, the process is finished and the wines prepared for bottling. For our Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay, a portion is moved into barrels which will take another week or so to ferment.
For our Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay, all parcels go into malolactic fermentation. This process transforms malic acid into softer lactic acid, and produces our famous creamy mouth-feel. We will then set aside some of our Chardonnay parcels to mature for a period in oak barrels for additional complexity and texture.
Through filtration, stabilisation and clarification, the wine takes its final, clear and bright form. This is done with the lightest touch possible to deliver you a wine that showcases the true character of the fruit we harvested all those months ago.
To ensure freshness, Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay is bottled only when needed. We bottle our whites mostly in screw cap for preservation of quality, and also a small quantity in traditional cork for the few countries which prefer it.