The Modern Winery & Wines
Old Walls has invested in the same modern
technology that now graces the great New World wineries and
provides us with the exciting fruity and fresh tasting wines
we love. The key to good wine making is cleanliness and speed.
The sooner the grapes are harvested and pressed the better
chance of capturing the great flavours inside the grape varieties.
Old Walls Winery has the facility to harvest and process at
present 20,000 litres of wine per season producing around
27,000 bottles of red, white, rosé and sparkling.
Old Walls produces four types of wine, a white, red, rosé and sparkling. These are produced from a mixture of varieties, in particular the whites are Reichensteiner, Bacchus and Auxerrios. The red varieties are Regent, Rondo and Dunkelfelder and there is also a Pinot Noir Early.
The modern process is a long way from the image of peasants
treading grapes with their bare feet in stone troughs. The
modern Winery owes more to science now in its efficiency and
ability to turn grape juice into clear great tasting wines.
To vinify wines (fermenting) you need to store them correctly
and this process is undertaken in ten 2,200 litre stainless
steel tanks at Old Walls. In other parts of the World this
may be done in stone, cement, copper, iron or wooden tanks.
During the fermentation process the wine is left to settle
for at least 4 to 6 months before it is filtered, bottled
Wines may be classified by vinification methods. These include classifications such as sparkling, still, fortified, rosé, and blush. The colour of wine is not determined by the juice of the grape, which is almost always clear, but rather by the presence or absence of the grape skin during fermentation. Grapes with colored juice, for example Alicante Bouchet, are known as teinturiers. Red wine is made from red (or black) grapes, but its red colour is bestowed by a process called maceration, whereby the skin is left in contact with the juice during fermentation. White wine can be made from any colour of grape as the skin is separated from the juice during fermentation. A white wine made from a very dark grape may appear pink or 'blush'. A form of Rosé is called Blanc de Noir where the juice of red grapes are allowed contact with the skins for a very short time (usually only a couple of hours).
Sparkling wines, such as champagne, are those with carbon dioxide from fermentation. They vary from just a slight bubbliness to the classic Champagne. To have this effect, the wine is fermented twice, once in an open container to allow the carbon dioxide to escape into the air, and a second time in a sealed bottle, where the gas is caught and remains in the wine. Sparkling wines that gain their carbonation from the traditional method of bottle fermentation are called Méthode Traditionelle . Other international denominations of sparkling wine include Sekt or Schaumwein (Germany), Cava (Spain), Spumante or Prosecco (Italy). In most countries except the United States, champagne is legally defined as sparkling wine originating from a region in France.
Wines are usually named either by their grape variety or by their place of production. Generally speaking, Old World (European) wines are named for the place of production, with the grapes used often not appearing on the label. New World wines (those from everywhere except Europe) are generally named for the grape variety. More and more, however, market recognition of particular regions and wineries is leading to their increased prominence on New World wine labels. Examples of recognized locales include: Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, Willamette Valley, Sonoma, Walla Walla, etc. and the grape variety is almost invariably present on the label. (apart from table wines which cannot specify the grape variety). This is not the case with most European wines because of tradition and legal restrictions. However, to consumers, the system can be confusing if not impenetrable, for example, 72% of French adults report that they have difficulty understanding wine labels. This is understandable as the many systems of geographic nomenclature, with their precise meanings and implications, are highly complex.
If you would like to learn more about the winemaking process please look here.