The vintage gallery

Hawkers Gate red wines are made using small open fermenters with a submerged cap system using heading down boards (what we call “heads”)

The head holds the cap of skins under the surface, where the colour, flavour and tannin of the grapes are gently leached into the juice. To aid this leaching, the juice is circulated around the fermenter in a process know as a pump-over. Open fermenters, through their gentle extraction and contact with air, can produce wines soft, velvety tannins, great colour and beautiful fruit flavours.

When fermentation is nearly complete, the liquid, which is now wine, is drained off to a tank, and the skins left behind are transferred to the basket press. This type of press dates back to the Romans, and is similar to the open fermenter in that it allows some contact with air and is a soft method of pressing.

We press when the wine is still slightly sweet, which allows us to let the wine finish fermentation in oak. This results in better integration between fruit and oak flavours and the two dance in the mouth.

At Hawkers Gate we handcraft our wines. Careful attention is paid to little details to ensure the best possible wine is made from the grapes nature has given us each year. Sometimes we even sleep by the fermenters during vintage.