Brothers In Arms Winery
A state of the art winery was built just in time for the 2002 vintage as we outgrew the facilities of outside wineries. Having control of the wines from the soil to the bottle gives us great satisfaction. We understand how each parcel of fruit came to be and where certain distinct characteristics may be found. This is invaluable when it comes to blending the wines, building each layer of texture and flavour to create styles which we believe best showcase our estate and the Langhorne Creek region.
The winery itself is a unique facility designed and built based on our philosophy that whatever we do, we do it well from the start. The initial stage of the winery can be expanded at any time but we’re in no hurry. Our focus is on quality rather than quantity, being effective and efficient.
A key feature of the winery includes the set up for small batch treatment to express the personality of the vineyard. We have computer-controlled fermentation and everything post fermentation where possible is gravity transferred by a lifting tank - so there is minimal pumping after fermentation which is gentler on the blend. The fermenters were also tailor made and there is capacity to ferment 200 tonne at any one time. This efficiency which gives us more time for quality control.
The most notable thing about Langhorne Creek is the ability to grow premium quality grapes with a minimal amount of fuss. The climate is warm enough that we don’t have to endure some of the cool climate headaches such as devastating frosts, labour intensive canopy management or inclement weather associated with late harvest dates. Instead we avoid the risk of frost damage in the spring and are able to grow our vines as a hassle free sprawl, and enjoy a relatively early harvest time while still producing the same quality fruit found in cool climates.
The secret to the success of growing cool climate grapes in a warm region is the presence of a large body of water only 5 km from the vineyard known as Lake Alexandrina which is about 3 times the size of Sydney Harbour.
During the summer months, the convection currents created from the hot air movement over the cooler water body result in a cooling breeze known affectionately as “the Lake Doctor”. The Lake Doctor moves through the vineyard in the afternoons, aerating the canopy and lowering the temperature of the fruit. This ensures slower ripening of the berries which gives them enough time to develop the more desirable complex flavour compounds. The Lake Doctor also reduces the relative humidity in the canopy lowering the incidence of disease, and reduces the need for excessive use of fungicide sprays.
The soils are also excellent for grape production; with much of the Metala vineyard growing on free draining, deep sandy loam. This is an ideal soil type for grapes as it allows us to manipulate the vines through our nutrient and water inputs. We regularly monitor soil moisture during the growing season which allows us to control vine growth and berry development by applying water in a regulated manner.
The outcome of all this is that we are able to produce super premium quality grapes without all the bother!
Another very positive part of our job is having the opportunity to be involved with classification of the wines when they are ready and also following through to the blending of parcels as the wines are “built”. It’s such a wonderfully creative process and it builds my knowledge of the impact our viticulture can have on the final wines.