21 January 2019 | Raidis Estate
As winemakers, we often get asked by people about how the vintage is looking, and whether we’re expecting it to be a great vintage, a good vintage, or something lesser than we’d like.
Luckily for us in the Coonawarra, seldom do we have lesser vintages. It’s more common that we expect either a good or a great vintage as in general, we’re blessed with great conditions to grow grapes.
But how do we know?
Well, there are a whole lot of tell-tale signs leading up to the vintage that give us a good idea of how the vintage will look well before we harvest the grapes and make the wine. So, to give you some insight into what we look for, we thought we’d share just a few of the things:
Just the right amount of rain
Firstly, the condition of the vines is key and this relates to a whole bunch of environmental factors and vineyard management practices. Ideally, we’re looking for a relatively cool, consistent spring with some nice rains to keep the moisture levels up in the soil and ensure that as the vines start to grow all the foliage needed to produce the grapes that they’re not too stressed for water during this time.
Capturing the sunlight
It’s imperative that the vines grow enough leaves during the growing season as it is these leaves that capture the sunlight and convert it into energy for the vines to produce the fruit. If there are not enough leaves, the vine will struggle to produce the energy needed to produce the grapes, and the ones it does produce can get sunburnt. And if there are too many leaves, the quality of the grapes can be affected due to over-shading of the fruit, and it’s a waste of water.
Another sign we can look at is the amount of fruit that the vine is producing in the early stages of the growing season, and as the grapes begin to ripen, we look at the uniformity of the crop to make sure the bunches are all progressing nicely, and that the fruit sets properly into nicely shaped grapes.
Temperature and Sugar
And of course, as the grapes start to ripen and any early growing season concerns have been overcome, we can look at how the sugar is accumulating in the grapes as they ripen. Ideally what we need is sufficient rain early and then we don’t want too much rain during ripening as it dilutes the sugars, flavours etc. of the grapes. The other key factor is the temperature during the growing season as if the weather is too hot, the vines can shut down, they waste water and the leaves get burnt and thus can’t efficiently produce energy for the vine. If the weather is too cold, then the reduction in acidity/ sugar accumulation in the grapes take longer and in some cases, the grapes may never reach optimal ripeness.
So, in a nutshell, these are just an idea of what we can look for in our vineyard and the grapes prior to harvest which shows us what the crop loads will be like, and of course how the quality will look. Luckily for us, we’re nestled nicely in one of Australia’s best winegrowing regions, and it shows in our wines!
14 January 2019 | Raidis Estate
Why did the Chicken cross the road? Well, we’re sure it was chasing one of our Cheeky goats, the namesakes of our delicious Pinot Gris, who love to get out and about and see what this amazing place is all about.
We can’t be mad at them when they try and experience all that this place has to offer, as we love nothing more than to do it ourselves.
Now we can assure you that no chickens were harmed in the great escape above, however, it does get us thinking of how delicious roast chicken is when it finds its way to our table.
And with that in mind, we wanted to share with you one of our special recipes which is the perfect pair for the Cheeky Goat Pinot Gris, but be warned, the Cheeky Goat might just disappear before your eyes too.
What you’ll need
1 large roasting chicken
12 Chat potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ tsp. coriander seeds
¾ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. crushed chilli flakes
1 ¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground turmeric
Combine spice ingredients in mortal and pestle and grind into a homogenous mixture.
Place whole chicken into baking dish. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle spice mixture over chicken making sure to get even coverage. Cut 2 lemons into halves and stuff inside the chicken.
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Surround chicken with Chat potatoes and place into oven. Cook for 1-1.5hrs or until cooked through.
Serve cooked potatoes and chicken with steamed carrots and green beans. Add a knob of butter to vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
7 January 2019 | Raidis Estate
Temperature control is critical when it comes to wine, and not just during fermentation, but during maturation, storage, and consumption.
During fermentation, temperature significantly affects and controls the rate of the fermentation of sugars in the grapes into alcohol. It also changes the way the wine comes together. A cool fermentation will take longer than a warm fermentation to convert the sugars to alcohol, and will help to retain more of the delicate aromatics in the resulting wine.
A rule of thumb is a longer, cooler fermentation process results in better wine, with softer, more primary fruit characters coming out in the final wine. A warmer fermentation temperature pushes the flavour profile of the wine toward more ‘secondary’ characters and greater extraction from the grapes, and less primary flavours. (For example, a Shiraz with a cool ferment will show more red cherry and perfumed blueberry characters, and when fermented warm, it would be more ‘jammy’ with preserved fruit flavours, rather than juicy berries).
Temperature is just one element of influence the winemaker has over the final wine. If you tasted wine made from the same grapes with the only difference being a 5-10C difference in fermentation temperature, you would be tasting two completely different wines.
Maturation and Storage:
Typically, during maturation, the wine is best kept cool (not cold), and ideally, the temperature kept stable and constant. Significant fluctuations in temperature increase the rate of the ageing process and the wines can become more ‘advanced/ developed’ than is ideal at the time for bottling. This is the same concept as for how you should manage wines in your own cellar at home. Cool, constant temperature means the wine ages slowly and becomes more integrated and balanced in the process.
Now, storage and consumption temperatures are not the same. In storage, you want to slow the ageing process, and the release of volatile (flavour/ aroma) compounds in the wine, but when the wine is being consumed, it’s no longer about trying to reduce the release and development of those compounds for a later date because consumption time is that later date.
Before consuming your wine, it’s important to warm the wine up a little to allow those flavour and aroma compounds to be released which creates that beautiful bouquet you enjoy when the wine is in the glass.
Typically, you should add a few degrees Celsius to the storage temperature of the wine before serving (you can smell when the release happens).
The exact temperature to enjoy each wine at really depends on the wine, and the situation. The best guide is your own sense of taste and smell.
Next time you open a beautiful bottle of Raidis Estate, take note of how long it takes in your glass to warm up from storage and release those gorgeous aromatics that we craft our wines to show.
You’ll know when you like it, and you’ll be glad you took the time to check.
3 January 2019 | Raidis Estate
The new year brings with it some closure on the year that was and gives us a chance to reflect on the things that worked, the things that didn’t, and the things we need to focus on for the year that lies ahead.
At Raidis Estate, 2018 was a massive year for us with so many exciting things happening both in the business and on a personal level. And no matter whether 2018 was a great year or a little less than great for you, it’s important to make sure you start the new year on a high. With that in mind, we’re pulling out the big guns with this recipe for a huge Tomahawk steak, which is perfectly suited to a glass (or two) of Raidis Estate’s finest, The Trip.
What you’ll need
1 x 800g Tomahawk Beef Steak
Handful green beans
8x small Chat potatoes
Salt and Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Place potatoes in baking dish with a knob of butter, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
Pre-heat lightly-oiled griddle pan over high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
Once the pan is hot, cook steak for 3 minutes each side (or until slightly charred).
Remove steak from pan and place on a plate in the oven. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until medium-rare. Remove from oven, cover with aluminium foil for 5 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, boil beans for 2 minutes, remove from water and strain into a bowl. Add a knob of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
So, start of your new year on a high, and set your sights on a fantastic year ahead. With this beautiful food and wine match, you’re setting a high bar and one that will see you achieve great things for 2019.