The wines from Castle Rock Estate were made under contract at Alkoomi winery from 1986 to 2000. The next phase of growth was to make our wines on site at Castle Rock Estate. After the 2000 vintage we decided to bite the bullet and proceed with plans to build a 200 tonne winery on the estate. Despite having nearly twelve months, it was only just completed on time, the first tanks arriving only four days before the first grapes arrived.
Planned by Robert and Angelo the winery building makes use of the natural slope of the land and is built on two levels. The grapes are crushed and fermented on the upper level, then gravity fed into the press below, thus doing away with the need to pump the must. This is very important for Riesling as it reduces skin and seeds which give the juice hard phenolics.
The upper level houses four six tonne red fermenters. When the reds have finished fermenting, the press can be positioned below and filled simply by opening the door!
The winery is a blend of age old, proven techniques and some equipment which is state of the art. The press, de-stemmer/crusher and refrigeration system were bought brand new so we are sure of their ability performance and reliability. The use of gravity ensure we are not over reliant on machines and we believe we have the right balance to maximise quality.
The wine is bottled on site by a portable bottling line which is set up on the back of a semi-trailer. This is an ideal arrangement as we aren't sending the wine away in a bulk tanker and we don't need to outlay huge capital for a bottling line. Bottling on site means we can be sure that the quality and freshness of the wine is maintained.