5 Reasons we love Wineries in Winter
Winter is a time for winemakers and cellar hands when attention to detail is paramount.
It is when the frantic scenes of vintage have been left behind, replaced with contemplation and measured steps. It is when the young wines start to open up and share their true characters.
Here are 5 reasons we love wineries in winter:
1. Try new Wine releases
Ageing and settling wines are scrutinised and analysed and the complex chemical changes are monitored. This is to ensure that a premium product is produced. It is a great time for pre-release barrel tasting and a chance to explore the developing vintage. You may get the inside gossip on which wines could well be a sellout before they are all sold out.
2. Warm by the Cellar Door Fireplace
Many Cellar Doors provide a warm and welcoming ambience . This makes for cosy spot to shelter from the fog and mist. You can sit by the old pot belly stove and enjoy hearty and rustic home style cooked meals. It is a great environment to taste rustic winter red wines and admire the landscape.
It is also a great time to sample fortified wines which is always a great way to finish the cellar door experience and great way to put some colour into your cheeks.
3. Marvel at the behind the scenes Winery Activity
In winter, barrels are topped up to ensure the wine retains its integrity and excess oxygen is excluded after the “Angels take their share”. Angels are said to be the ones that take a small amount from each wooden barrel, when in fact this is what evaporates from the slightly porous barrels.
Adjustments are also made. Tasting is done by the winemakers to identify potential partners for blends. Wines which are stored are racked, wine is drawn off and moved between vessels where unwanted sediments are left behind.
4. Explore the vineyard
During winter months when vines go dormant much still goes on in the vineyard worth discovering and exploring.
Winter is a crucial time when man and earth combine to determine the future of the season and vintage to follow and when pruning begins. This is when younger canes harden and mature and in many boutique winery vineyards hard men and women brave the elements to hand craft the adolescent wood, training it to become worthy.
Excess canes are cut away, remaining canes are trimmed and some trained onto their trellis. This pruning ensures the vine retains its ideal shape and that good fruiting wood is preserved to ensure the following years’ crop is a quality one.
5. Marvel at the Vineyard’s ‘cycle of life’
Winter is also a time when vineyard staff replace soil nutrients and soil is conditioned after the preceding vigorous growing season with minerals and trace elements being applied. This is done when vines are dormant in preparation for the following spring when they once again blossom into life.
Ceremonial events such as ‘burning of the canes’ which traditionally helped to keep pruners warm, ensure destruction of diseased wood and an efficient way to clear cut canes is celebrated. This is now done as a gesture to mark the season.
A great time to tour SA’s Wine Regions
Our tailored bespoke small group tours take in all of the diverse winter scenery of the wine regions surrounding Adelaide. Each tour focuses on exposing all that is unique and beautiful at this more tranquil time of year, from the warm comfort of our luxury tour vehicles.