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Commercial vs Craft

When we show people the vineyard and winery, we often get asked

‘What’s the most important part of the winemaking process?

Individually berry sorting the cabernet at L.A.S. Vino

The truth is, there isn’t one particular thing you can do in the winery to create great wine. There are only thousands of small things. Small things that in isolation seem irrelevant and time consuming. But when combined, it’s this attention to detail that makes all the difference. They are also the same things most big corporate wineries think are a waste of their money and time.

In its most crude form making wine is simple- machine harvest fruit into a truck, dump it into a vat, add a lot of chemicals to stabilise and fine it. Ferment in a big tank, squeeze the bajeeza’s out of it and pump it into bottle through a multitude of filters. This is how most $10-$20 wine is made in Australia. It’s the equivalent to Mcdonalds. It’s a commodity. It does the job. You are eating/drinking to get full. Yeah, we all hit it once and a while, but there’s no soul, no love and you are left feeling a bit sick after it all.

In contrast: Hand picking into small buckets, hand sorting the bunches, individually sorting the berries, plunging open ferments by hand. It all adds to the taste of the final wine. Slowly the 1% that didn’t really matter, accumulates. All because time was taken to really care about the craft. For us wine isn’t just some product, it’s a way of life. We do this because of the love of creation. The love of creating something beautiful, different, interesting and personable and nothing else.

*Note the final photo is from a friend working at a big commercial winery. Yes that’s a possum in the vat of grapes. He was one of the lucky ones, he didn’t have to drink the wine.

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