The Winemaking Process

Reserve Chardonnay

Discover how Reserve Chardonnay is made

The winemaking process starts with the grapes on the vine but a number of important steps are taken following the harvest to ensure we craft great wines. The process can vary greatly depending on whether a wine is red or white, its style and flavour. In the following guide we've shown the steps we take to craft our Jacob's Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.

STEP 1: 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.

STEP 2: THE HARVEST

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. Once harvested, they are transferred to the winery as soon as possible.

STEP 3: THE DE-STEMMER

The de-stemmer gently removes the stalks from the grapes.

STEP 4: THE PRESS

The press gently squeezes the juice from the grapes, leaving behind the skin, pulp and seeds.

STEP 5: THE CLARIFICATION

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.

STEP 6: THE FERMENT

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.

STEP 7: MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

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.

STEP 8: FILTRATION

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.

STEP 9: THE BOTTLING

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.