28, March 2023
What would you do with 4.5 tonnes of McLaren Vale Grenache?
We asked winemaker Alan Varney of Varney Wines just that:
"Well I’ve split it into four ferments:
1. 100% whole bunch wild carbonic maceration (the plastic cover keeps in the carbon dioxide and allows for this unusual style of fermentation which brings out aromas from the melon end of the spectrum and when at its best can even sometimes edge into the funky body odour end of the scale!). 🙈
2. Fully crushed and destemmed with submerged cap. This fermentation method is all about gentle tannin extraction and creating a wine full of structure and chewy grip.
3. 50% whole bunch for a burst of fruit and ripe stemmy tannin.
4. 20% whole bunch edging more towards structure and tannin but with a nod towards approachable fruit driven balance.
It's these building blocks that are later used to create Grenache based blends with personality, complexity, and balance."
Alan Varney, Winemaker Varney Wines
Alan's approach to winemaking starts in the vineyard. At times picking grapes at varying degrees of ripeness to provide different characters.
Once back in the winery a range of different winemaking processes are used to achieve different attributes in each parcel, resulting in what Alan calls his 'building blocks'.
Then the magic happens. Alan creates his final wine through the precision blending of the 'building blocks'. Although the term 'blending' may imply a multi-varietal wine, in the case of Varney Wines Grenache the final wine is in fact the same variety (Grenache) sourced from two old vine McLaren Vale vineyards. Alan's winemaking skills enhance the already exceptional flavour that has developed in the vineyard, to provide a McLaren Vale Grenache that is approachable upon release yet with structure and complexity to age very gracefully for many years to come.
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