Chief Winemaker Tim Stevens, Assistant Winemaker Gavin Cui and Production Manager Gage Loveridge are gatekeepers for the 'Estate Grown, Made and Bottled' tags proudly worn on the Huntington Estate label.
Gage and Gavin during Vintage 2016
Tim is a long term fan of Huntington Estate, and the iconic winery was the inspiration for his leap from journalism to Winemaking. He first bought the winery and vineyard next door, and his desire was to produce wines of a similar ageing-style.
“I am a firm believer that the true test of wine is age - Huntington Estate's red wines in particular have proven their worth for nearly 40 years. It is a great challenge to keep that tradition and improve on it.”
Tim’s winemaking approach is based on sensitivity to, and respect for the vineyard and traditional winemaking approaches. He is guided by the terroir, the grapes and the season; and works with and not against what the vineyard provides.
This approach, plus 17 years’ experience of those notoriously challenging Mudgee tannins, certainly comes in handy… and the rewards are self-evident.
He is a true believer in the traditional, tried and tested way of making wine; it might be time consuming, it might be expensive, but it works beautifully and has done for centuries. He has little time for either the current fad of non-intervention with natural wine (oxidised and unpalatable) or for the excessive use of the latest fancy gadgets, newfangled procedures and additives.
White wines are generally fermented cold in stainless steel tanks while reds are fermented on skins, the reserves in open oak fermenters for up to ten days. Small oak barrels from France and America are used on all red wines and a small percentage of whites.
Red wines are usually aged for two years in these barrels before being bottled on-site and aged for a further two to three years before release. The winery is set-up to process 400 tonnes each vintage which is equivalent to approximately 30,000 cases. However, much less is usually processed, enabling more focus on each individual wine.