Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia

Vintage at d'Arenberg

Vintage 2017 has arrived across some of Australia's wine regions while elsewhere the grape harvest will begin over the coming weeks.   This is a truly fascintating time to visit a variety of wineries and vineyards to observe the different techniques, pace of activity, attention to detail and to soak up some of the passion of those involved in making the exciting and diverse wines Australia is increasingly becoming known for.  

At d'Arenberg, in McLaren Vale, a less-is-more approach to viticulture has been adopted across all d’Arenberg owned, leased and contracted vineyards to ensure grape quality and environmental responsibility. This includes minimal or no irrigation, no soil cultivation, minimal spraying and most importantly, no fertilization.

From a wine production perspective, this minimal intervention philosophy encourages strong root systems that penetrate multiple levels of soil which is reflected in lively tannin structures, soil characters and fine minerality in the final result; as well as lower yields and therefore more concentrated flavours.As vintage approaches, Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn classifies and determines the ideal picking time for each individual vineyard by walking the vineyard rows and sampling the fruit.Small batches of grapes are gently crushed, then transferred to five tonne headed-down open fermenters, all batches remain separate until final blending. The red wines are foot trod two thirds of the way through fermentation, and then basket pressed.
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Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn, with a traditional wooden basket press
d'Arenberg is the only winery in Australia to basket press both white wines as well as reds, making for a labour intensive process, but the quality of the results makes this worthwhile as the action is controlled and extremely gentle.White wines are basket pressed before fermentation to ensure no colour or tannins are extracted from the skins, and the reds are pressed afterwards. After pressing, barrel fermented components are aged on lees to slow aging and keep the wine fresh, while also reducing oak influence.Chester and the winemaking team undertake an extensive barrel tasting process to determine the final blend. There is no racking until the final blending, and the wines do not undertake fining or filtration prior to bottling.All this and more can be discovered in a very special Vintage experience available only during March and April at d'Arenberg.

Behind the Scenes Vintage Tours

Come behind the scenes at d'Arenberg with a vintage tour and tasting. You'll be guided through the winery, taste from an open fermenter and see the traditional winemaking methods we still use, such as foot treading and basket pressing.Your wine journey will continue with a tasting experience in the original cellars, featuring wines that showcase a range of winemaking techniques.
Dates: 20 March – 17 April
Time: 10:30am-12pm daily
Cost: $55 per person Click here to book online.