a tradition of authentic hand-plunged winemaking
"Winemaking doesn’t get much more ‘hands on’ than this" says Esk Valley’s Senior Winemaker, Gordon Russell as he pushes a long-handled wooden plunger down into a concrete vat containing three and a half tonnes of grapes harvested from the winery’s famed The Terraces vineyard.
If these 70 year-old concrete vats could talk, they would tell a story of year after year of vintages passing through them…
Once the fermentation process begins the carbon dioxide that is naturally produced, lifts the skins and forces them to the top of the vats.
Hand-plunging is the process of forcing the skins back down into the vats, to ensure that all of their colour and tannin is infused into the wine.
Cellar Hand, Mark Amundsen says; “It’s hard physical work and you don’t get much sleep for a few weeks, but when you see the quality of the grapes going into the vat you know it is going to be worth it.
About a week into fermentation you get these amazing rich chocolate aromas coming up off the vats and you realise why you are in the business of making fine wines."