Winemaking

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“WE’RE ORGANIC VIGNERONS FIRST AND FOREMOST”

Leon Hill

 

Here, amongst the vines at Organic Hill, we believe wine tastes better and is better for you, made the good old-fashioned way. Organic. Free of the effects of artificial pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.

With no synthetic hormones, no growth promotants, no fish and animal products, no GMO and no genetic modification of any kind. And in the case of our Preservative Free ‘PF’ range, free from added noxious Sulphur Dioxide and related preservatives. In fact, no unnatural anything! 

We’re true believers that the best wines are created naturally organic, from the ground up. Just like ‘paddock to the plate’ is to food, our growing philosophy is ‘soil to the wine - organically’.

Our vineyards are rich in natural nutrients and jam-packed with living organisms that naturally enrich the soil, the vines and the grapes they bear. It’s the natural foundation for the premium 100% organic wine ranges we make. 

All our vineyards and winemaking is formally “certified by NASAA" who place strict restrictions on the amount of sulphur dioxide that can be added along with fining agents (in our case vegan) that are used in the winemaking process.   

 
 
 
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“Our organic vineyards philosophy”

The secret to the quality and integrity of the Organic Hill range is the fastidious selection of our vineyards and working relationships with our organic growers and winemakers.

From the outset we knew that to have the finest organic wines across a range of varieties we would need premium growers and vineyards in different regions and sub-regions.

A region and vineyard producing superb Shiraz probably will not provide the ideal terroir for Pinot Grigio and visa-versa.

So, we travelled and sampled and experimented and made organic and preservative free wines until we found the perfect South Australian grower and winemaker partners in the Limestone Coast and the premium Riverland sub-regions of Renmark and Barmera.

Forging that experience and those relationships into the distinctive, premium Organic Hill ranges we bring to you today.

 
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“We’re passionate organic Terroirists”

We’re often asked, “What is Terroir?” In the classical French conception, it’s about "somewhere-ness".

The special, unique quality imparted by the earth, the soils and the surrounding environment in all mother nature’s nuances and complexities, that transcends the winemaker's personal style, contributions and quality aesthetic.

A particular group of vineyards or block of vines, while belonging to a specific appellation and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions and grapes, will have it’s own distinctive environmental DNA or ‘terroir’ that carries those distinctive, indelible fingerprints through the winemaking savoir.

In the case of Organic Hill, ‘terroir’ takes on an added Organic dimension - and with our McLaren Vale vineyards, the addition of Biodynamic principles.

We don’t adhere to the stereotype of conventional winemaking, rather focusing on bringing the unique expression of nature's vineyard, unadulterated, to the fore - and allowing the fruit and wine to naturally and organically express itself, with minimal intervention – just the way nature intended.

 
 

“A vintage bathed in pure McLaren Vale sunshine”

Our grower’s organic and biodynamic vineyards in the primo McLaren Vale wine region of South Australia are bathed in over 2500 hours of pure, golden sunshine every year. And boy, in 2017 did those vines bask and bask and bask in all those rays of golden goodness.

The buds blossomed, without any unnatural chemical intervention; all in the good time that Mother Nature and the Gods of growing intended (and quite simply, that’s what Organic and Bio-Dynamic farming is all about).

The fruit fruited gloriously and we walked the rows selecting the nicest, ripest bunches of gorgeous red berries and then simply – without any unnatural intervention – crushed the fruit, fermented it with natural wild yeasts and hand made it into premium organic, biodynamic, preservative free Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

With the only additives being our winemaking team's talent and many years or organic winemaking experience. 

Leon Hill

FOUNDER & ORGANIC VIGNERON

“The secrets of Organic & Preservative Free winemaking” 

Organic winemaking.

Organically grown grapes are only half the picture. A critical, essential part but not all wine make from organic fruit can be ‘certified’ made organically by process. All Organic Hill Wines are fully certified organic from the vineyard to the bottle.

At The Winery our winemaking techniques are strictly organic as well and certified as such; and that means little to no unnatural manipulation of the wines with traditional techniques like reverse osmosis, excessive filtration, flavour or tannin additives, or oak chips and staves.

Most organic winemakers also prefer wild yeasts for fermentation – certainly we do. 

That aside, much of the winemaking process we employ follows the same time honoured techniques and practices as conventional winemakers and wineries. The same craft and oenology skills, the same focus on quality and delivering a premium expression of the fruit.  

Sulphites can be used in organic wines but onlyin extremely small quantities. This is to help stabilize wines and enable the use of some premium winemaking techniques, for the benefit of the wine. In our case all wines must be under 0.XX g/ltr – virtually negligible and undetectable in terms of any likely allergen responses. 

 
 

Biodynamic winemaking. 

Biodynamic winemaking follows the teachings of Austrian anthroposophist Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), and incorporates homeopathic treatments, as well as astronomical and astrological considerations, into the organic process. 

The greatest impact is in the vineyard and subsequently with the quality and characteristics of the fruit. However, it’s critical that the winemaking is sensitive to and understanding of this ideology, and that appropriate methods are employed at all stages of the winemaking process. Timing is also critical to biodynamic practices – driven largely by moon phases.

Our super-premium McLaren Vale ‘Founders Release’ range features Shiraz and Cabernet fruit grown with biodynamic principles.

Preservative Free winemaking.

At Organic Hill we’ve been bucking the ‘preservative’ convention since we started, by making wines with no added SO2 or preservatives at all. Zero, Zippo, Zilch!  No Preservative 220 (Sulphur Dioxide) and no Preservative 224 (Potassium Metabisulphate), none of the dodgy chemicals well known as common allergens causing unpleasant side effects for many wine lovers.

To succeed we’ve developed, trialled and adopted careful ‘preservative free’ techniques and winery practices, allowing us to make wines of great purity and freshness, while still displaying the premium characteristics of traditional quality wines.

We have very deliberately researched and worked with grape varieties that have proved optimal for sulphur-free winemaking (also rejecting other allergens like fish nuts and milk products), with inherent ‘tannins’ that act as their own natural preservative, while fortifying the natural flavours and aromas. 

As well as the issues with sulphites as allergens, our winemakers argue that the preservatives actually mute the vibrant flavours of fruit in fermentation, and that by not adding sulphites these characters can shine through naturally. As we think the rich, juicy fruit flavours and aromas our PF Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon attest. 

Whether organic, biodynamic or preservative free (or all three as is the case with our new ‘Founders Release’ range) it’s a painstaking process to get there, but one we’re very proud of. 

The Role Of Certification 

When a label says “organic,” it means the wine has met certain standards that are set by Australian Government agencies and policed and verified by a ‘certifying industry body – in our case the highly respected NASAA. 

You can get more information on Organic and Preservative Free winemaking here: