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The Moon and Wine

Winemakers using biodynamic farming methods implement strategies guided by the phases of the moon. These strategies, as determined by the founding father of biodynamic farming, Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and meta-physicist, theorised that the optimum time to adhere to specific actions in agriculture was accorded to the movement of the moon through certain constellations. These phases were divided into four categories known as ‘fruit, root, flower or leaf' days. As an example, a winemaker might remove old vines, plant new ones, or use a ‘tea’ of natural microbes to fertilise the vines ensuring good root development on leaf or root days, while fruit days are deemed the best time to harvest grapes.
But what of full moons? A full moon creates a higher gravitational force, something most of us are aware of when it comes to the full moon and ocean tides, so winemakers for centuries have been using the same theory of gravitational pull in order to assist the winemaking process.
Once wines are barrelled a process called ‘racking’ takes place, in which the wine is moved from barrel to barrel over time to ‘clear’ a wine of sediment. While some winemakers might use a filtration or fining system, biodynamic and traditional winemakers allow nature to assist the process by only racking during a full moon whereby the higher gravitational pull allows the sediment to settle more fully.
Bottling involves emptying the wine from barrels into large vats, and this is also done just before a full moon to further assist the clearing process. Similarly, a winemaker might mix the barrels during a new moon phase when there is less gravitational pull allowing the sediment to stay suspended in the wine and thus creating a more textural finish.
Giammarino Wines have been utilising these natural processes with the view of maintaining the quality of the soil, the vines, the fruit and the fermentation process while minimising interference as much as possible. The aim being to craft Single Estate wine that ultimately embodies the place of creation and all of its natural elements.
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Pasta con aragosta e pomodorini | Pasta with crayfish and cherry tomatoes

Pasta con aragosta e pomodorini | Pasta with crayfish and cherry tomatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 crayfish tails (1/2 crayfish tail per person), peeled and diced into 2cm pieces

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or crushed

1 punnet of ripe cherry tomatoes cut in half

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

350g spaghetti

125ml white wine

200ml double cream

3 tbsp roughly chopped Italian parsley

Method:

The key to this dish is to have the pasta ready at the same time as the crayfish and sauce.

Prepare all ingredients prior to starting to cook.

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add pasta and cook as per the instructions on the packet.

Heat oil in the pan on medium/high head. Add garlic and stir until aromatic and just cooked. Do not allow it to burn. Throw in tomatoes and stir for a minute, then add crayfish and stir to combine. Stir for 2 minutes until just cooked. Add white wine to the pan and reduce slightly. Add in double cream and stir through.

Drain the pasta and pour into the pan along with the parsley. Toss through gently, season with salt (if required) and freshly ground black pepper serve. Once plated, add a drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil.

Whilst some may protest, we do add a little quality shaved parmesan.

 

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Dino Giammarino on making great Chardonnay!

Dino Giammarino on making great Chardonnay!

 

From all the tasting events we have been involved in, Chardonnay is a variety that seems to create such different reactions from people. I believe this is because there is such a diversity in the methods that the wine is made, between different winemakers, along with the influence between regions it is grown, and lastly if the Chardonnay is bottled under a screw cap or cork.

There are some winemaking techniques that endeavour to have the wine taken from vineyard and placed straight into a press as whole bunches with the subsequent juice going into tank or barrels for fermentation. Where on the other spectrum of wine making the grapes are separated from their stalks and sit on skins for a period of time prior to going to press then subsequently to barrel or tank for fermenting. Our preference is the second method as we are of the belief that structure is built into the wine when it has time on skins prior to pressing.

Where Chardonnay is grown can provide such differences in the end result. The amount of direct sun light and the intensity of this sunlight does change the flavour profile of Chardonnay more so than many other varieties. Our preference is for the vines to have speckled direct sunlight on the grape bunches to help create thicker skins, which in turn assists in the extract of flavour profiles during our wine making where we are having direct skin contact for a period of time as part of the process.

Of late we have been using screw caps when bottling our Chardonnay, but we will be looking at doing a mixture of both wine under screw cap and cork in the future as there is a further complexity created in bottle under cork that we believe suits our style of Chardonnay.

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Start of the 2020-2021 Growing Season

October 2020

With wonderful Autumn and Winter rains embellishing the soil with plenty of moisture in preparation for the growing stages of our vines we have seen consistent shoot growth within our vineyard through all blocks.  The above photo shows a single shoot of Shiraz with 2 new grape bunches emerging. It has been many years since we have had a vineyard that has the majority of shoots carrying 2 bunches per shoot. We can place some of this consistency to the vines having access to ground water in this rapid growth period.

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2019 Vintage in review

2019 Vintage in review
The 2019 vintage reminded us that fundamentally we are farmers who are in the hands of Mother Nature. This growing season and vintage has been one of the steepest learning curves our family has experienced. We were faced with new challenges and through these experiences, we have come out much better and wiser.
We ventured into some unfamiliar territories, with quite different experiences and therefore lots of thorough testing. The resultant fruit quality was brilliant, even with the extremely low rainfalls during the growing season. Our grapes ended up delivering intense flavour profiles and tannin structure and we are seeing this flowing nicely through to the wines that have been placed into barrel.
The lower rainfalls meant we witnessed more wildlife in the vineyard than we have ever seen before. They were searching for water and of course our grapes were a key source of this. With an appreciation that these animals required a source of water and food, we came to a decision to sacrifice a part of the vineyard, where the wildlife could gather and we would not try and scare them away. This proved to be a blessing in some ways, as it concentrated the wildlife to one section of the vineyard during the harvest period and retained our fruit quality through the rest.
I actually feel as though we went through an intensive boot camp over the last 8 months. It was a huge learning curve, but we are now super ready and resourced to take on anything in future growing and vintage seasons.
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The 2019 Season Starts

The 2019 Season Starts

Having had some great rain falls towards the very end of winter we have commenced Spring with excitement as the vineyard awakes and we are into the 2019-2020 season.

Bud burst across the vineyard has been consistent with new shoots in every variety even Cabernet Sauvignon which is usually the last to burst in Spring.

This year we have pruned to very low bud numbers with the thought that we may be in for a warm growing season. We are not wanting our vines to be stressed during the peaks of summer and possible ow rainfalls. The reduction in grape bunches will facilitate that we achieve phenolic ripeness as harvest time. This in turn allows for the resultant wines to have a finesse along with a rounded tannin structure.

There has been some long hours on the shovel digging out black berries between vines as we continue to strive to be as sustainable as we can.

We are having our annual Spring Open Weekend on the weekend of the 19 th and 20th of October, all are invited to enjoy the weekend with us.

Currently in the winery we are doing bench trials of all wines that have spent the winter in barrel, with the intention to commence bottling shortly.

We hope to see or hear from you soon.

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New Releases 2020

New Releases 2020

August 2020.

We are so excited to present to you our New Releases for 2020.

There has been such an amount of work from vineyard to bottle to get to this point but the journey will be one to remember for us.

Along with our Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Fiano, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir we have also released this year our Single Estate Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose’.

View latest releases

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Vineyard and Winery Update

Vineyard and Winery Update

It is now coming to the end of October 2019.

In the vineyard we have continued to have overcast days which has seen the shoots of the vines grow steadily. We have sprayed out our first compost teas and will continue to do so every fortnight for the remainder of the growing season. When walking through the vineyard the the day after the spraying of teas the vine leafs appear more robust and with a darker green colour which is such a positive sign and indication of an improvement in the vines health.

In the winery we continue working our way through tasting barrels to assemble our final blends that we wish to bottle shortly. I honestly find this the most difficult part of the year as it actually takes so much concentration and attention to every detail to ensure the final blends are of the quality we strive for.

We have also been creating new art work for some new releases collaborating with a local artist Jess Jarvie. Her water paintings are so beautiful and captured our attention after we saw them advertised as part of an up coming exhibition. We are really thrilled to see the end results and believe they work so well with delivering a ” From the Earth” feel, which we also inspire to do with our farming and wine making.

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