Growth is in the air as Spy Valley Wines continues its investment programme in the heart of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley.
With resource consent granted to extend the Marlborough winery’s capacity to 3000 tonnes of grapes, the family owned business has this month increased its press capability to meet the extra demand, becoming the first winery in the region to solely use inert grape presses.
Four Bucher Vaslin Inertys presses have been commissioned this week, as picking of the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes begins.
Paul Bourgeois, Spy Valley’s Chief Winemaker, says that the Bucher presses increase the options available when it comes to winemaking.
“Pressing is such a critical stage, with the demand to retain juice quality. The Inertys presses retain a controlled atmosphere, and give the option of pressing juices without oxidation,” he says.
Bourgeois explains that for Spy Valley Wines, the investment in the new inert machinery was a logical decision to make, providing increased efficiency for the New Zealand winery as well as the possibility of a rise in juice quality.
“Pressing without oxygen reduces the harmful effects of oxidation, where some of our unique fruity characteristics could be removed. We also now have greater control over our levels of maceration – the contact with the grape skins – and therefore on the style of our wines. The machines’ intelligent program option lets us take all sorts of variables into account and will speed up our pressing time, all of which means we can pinpoint our picking times more accurately,” he says.
Spy Valley Wines has invested $1.2 million in plant and infrastructure, including the four Bucher Inertys presses, a new Pinot Noir destemmer and open tanks designed specifically for hand-picked Pinot Noir. The new style vibrating destemmer allows more gentle separation of the grapes and the ability to sort individual berries.
While the winery was originally designed to handle a maximum 2000 tonnes each vintage, the new resource consent allows for an increase of up to 3000 tonnes.
“Optimally, we would like the ability to pick within a 10-15 day harvest period, and our new equipment should allow us to meet that target if conditions demand,” says Bourgeois.
“We’re serious about enjoying our winemaking, and incredibly excited about the developments and improvements our new equipment will provide,” he says.
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