Focused Hand Crafted Winemaking
West Brook is a boutique winery that combines traditional winemaking methods complimented by modern winemaking technology. Respecting traditions, and creating new ones, produce adventuresome wine styles that show the full potential and diversity of New Zealand’s growing regions.This has earned the company hundreds of accolades, a host of Gold Medals and Trophies for its outstanding wines.
On the arrival of the fruit at the winery and before crushing is commenced, information is recorded as to visual condition of fruit, how long its taken from picking till its arrival at the winery, temperature, time and weather conditions at harvest. Tests are done on sugar, acid and free sulphur, as all of these help to decide on the way we handle the fruit, e.g.amount of skin contact (if any), if malolatic fermentation will be required, what type of yeast to use, how hard to press the fruit, if acid adjustment is required prior to fermentation, or maybe the freshly crushed fruit requires cooling, the amount of enzymes used in crushing will help to yield maximum quality and quantity of juice, so once these few basic assessments are done, crushing is ready to begin. A number of the above assessments have already been considered during the regular tests over the ripening period.
Once we have crushed and pressed the fruit, the juice is cool settled for twelve hours, then racked to the fermentationtanks and yeast added. At this stage monitoring of fermentation is done twice a day, and recorded on a graph. This isthe temperature and sugar being recorded. This is one of the very important stages, that is to control the temperature and time it takes the sugar to ferment out, depending on wine type it will vary from twenty-one days to forty days at temperature of approximately eight to twelve degrees Celsius over the main fermentation period. This is where the fruit flavours are retained and even enhanced in the finished wine. Once fermentation is complete, we then decide when to rack the wines off lees and yeasts. This will also have an affect on the wine style to some degree, particularly if malolactic fermentation is required. Each wine in each and every tank or barrel is monitored throughout every stage of its fermentation period. All details are recorded at every stage making each individual wine, a truly hand crafted product. After the wines have been protein and cool stabled, filtered, etc. tasting and analysing the various wines is undertaken to determine when to bottle or further wood mature, whether to blend one variety with another and if so, what proportion. This is a stage of tinkering with the various wines endeavouring to extract that bit extra thus weaving a little magic of our own, for the enjoyment of the consumer and winemaker alike.