A big welcome to Joel Page, who joined Stormflower on 1 July 2019 as our Winemaker/Viticulturist. Joel is a Margaret River local with over 20 years’ experience in the wine industry, and has spent the last 10 years as Senior Winemaker/Viticulturist at Redgate Wines in Margaret River. Joel’s appointment is a huge step for Stormflower, as it involves bringing our winemaking and viticulture in-house for the first time, and establishing a winery from scratch.
The winery is taking shape and will be finished in time for the 2020 vintage. At the moment it is just a big shed, but we are working hard on putting all the pieces together and by the summer we will be ready to go. We will continue to be supported by Stuart Pym, who has made our wines for the past 9 years, and Down to Earth Vineyard Management, who have looked after our vineyard for the past 12 years. I am looking forward to introducing you to Joel at our next event, which will be the opening of the winery this summer.
The establishment of our own winery on site means that our fruit now only needs to travel a hundred metres or so from the vineyard to the winery, and that gives us much more flexibility and control over how and when we harvest and process the fruit. The winery will process up 60 tonnes of fruit, and all the white fruit will be whole bunch pressed. This will produce wines with a softer gentler structure and mouthfeel. The wines will be both elegant and persistent because of the lower amounts of phenolic extraction. We have designed and built a state-of-the-art cool room to bring the temperature of the white fruit down and ensure that less phenolics are extracted.
All the red wines will be done in a small batch open fermentation format, which will allow us to pay more attention to picking at the optimum time regarding both fruit and tannin ripeness. The open fermentation technique is traditionally the best way to gently plunge and macerate the fruit. We can also pay more attention to carbonic maceration techniques (whole berry fermentation) and the sorting of unwanted items from the fermentation to ensure the wine is the highest quality and a true representation of our organic vineyard.