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Woongooroo Estate Wines Wine maker and making wine

Ray Costanzo - Wine maker

When setting up a vineyard, it is most important to produce top quality grapes for the making of premium wine. The other half of the equation is the services of a top quality winemaker. Our Estate chose Golden Grove Estate at Ballandean to craft our wines. Multi award-winning winemaker Sam Costanzo made our 2000, 2001 and 2002 vintages. Son Ray took over in 2003 and has continued our Estate’s fine association with Golden Grove Estate. Our array of medal winning wines over the years is testament to quality grapes and excellent winemaking skills.  The pictures below give a snapshot of basic steps from vine to wine.

Verdelho grapes
Verdelho Grapes

Here we see a half tonne bin of Verdelho grapes. The grapes are picked in the early morning when it is cool. The grapes have already had their sugar content measured, for this assists in indicating the time to harvest. Our grapes are handpicked at vintage by friends and relations. Careful handling ensures berries reach the winery is top condition.

Chilling the grapes is part of the process for making premium wine
Grapes are chilled

On reaching the winery, the grapes are weighed and chilled in the coldroom as this cooling promotes good winemaking practice and conditions for the production of premium wine

Each bin is tipped into the Crusher/Destemmer. This machine separates the grapes from the stalks and leaves. The stalks etc are spat into a bin at the front end of the Crusher/Destemmer and the macerated berries and juice are pumped to the press with the whites - and for red wine, the must is pumped directly to a stainless steel fermentation tank where the red wine will ferment with skins and seeds to extract colour and tannin before going into oak barrels to age.

Crusher/Destemmer machine used for both reds and whites
Crusher/Destemmer
Ray Costanzo - winemaker ready to press the Verdelho
Grape Press

The white wine grapes gather in the Press until capacity has been reached. Our Winemaker uses an airbag Press which is inflated with compressed air to gently “squeeze” out the juice .The juice collects in a drip tray under the press and is then pumped to cold settling tanks where any solids settle out over night.

Stainless steel variable capicity fermentation tanks
Fermentation Tanks

Temperature controlled fermentation/winemaking has been one of the greatest innovations over the last few decades. This allows for the retention of flavours and freshness in the wine. The fermentation process is slowed and more controlled. This photo shows stainless steel, variable capacity fermentation tanks. The fermented wine goes though filtering and clarification before it is finally bottled. Our completed bottled wine comes back to our Estate where it is ‘capsuled’ and labelled ready for sale.

The styles of wine our Estate produces are planned according to markets demands/trends, discussion with our Winemaker and of course the vagaries of each vintage. We produce/market an extensive range of dry/medium dry whites and reds, four sensational semi sweet wines, three fortifieds and a red semi sweet sparkling.

Our range
The Result

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Email – woongoorooestate@bigpond.com  Ph/Fax + 61 7 5496 3529

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