Westbrook is a boutique winery which has successfully combined four decades of traditional wine-making methods and complemented those processes with the best of modern technology. This winning combination has resulted in an adventuresome wine style that showcases the incredible depth and diversity of New Zealand’s grape-growing regions, winning Westbrook Winery hundreds of accolades as well as a host of gold medals, trophies and awards 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 until 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. the right amount of skin contact (if any), if malolactic 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 fermentation tanks and yeast added. At this stage monitoring of fermentation is done twice a day, and recorded on a graph. This is the temperature and sugar being recorded. This is a very important stage. Controlling the temperature and time it takes the sugar to ferment out will vary depending on wine type. It can range 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 wine-maker alike.
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Went to a few wineries close to riverhead/kumeu, this is the best one so far! But this greeting you on the doorstep explains everything, you literally feel like home! Great wines too! Highly recommend!
Lovely place to stop for wine tasting. NZ$6 for six different kinds to try. Very nice atmosphere. It'll be wonderful if they can have a restaurant or even a cafe. The good news is that the owner said its coming, may be in two years time.
Great atmosphere and very friendly staff. Will visit again!
Delicious wine tasting and fun, knowledgeable host. Unpretentious and it's great to see the local businesses promoting each other. Looking forward to returning.
Outstanding wines. Outstanding location. We took a wine tour that had selected North Island wineries near Auckland. We particularly enjoyed this stop. Award winning wines in a beautiful setting. They were knowledgeable and served beautiful wines.