“When men drink, they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends. Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.” – Aristophanes, Greek Playwrite, (448-380BC) in The Knights
Here at Freehand this family owned business is held together by the labour of love of a couple wearing all hats; grape growing, winemaking, and marketing. This allows us to be in complete touch with the product from vine to bottle to your glass.
The task of bottling however is not one that can be fulfilled without the help of family and friends. Our dogs Abbey & Zucker were the first to recruit helpers, by chance wandering off getting lost and ending up with old family friends who were excited to get onboard and help bottle the 2011 reds. Thanks Marion and Rod and of course Mum and Dad!
Preservative free winemaking does come with its challenges as well as many rewards. The wines stay in barrel for two years so the flavours and tannins reach the stability needed for bottling. For the bottling process the wine must be passed from barrel to tank to bottle with the care of passing a new baby as it is a fragile wine baby that has taken three years of a lot of care and effort to make. Oxygen is a ravenous medium set out to steal the berry freshness captured at harvest. It is a winemakers job to minimize this as much as possible.
Geared up with our trusty little team the bottling is taken to task with each person manning one station. The process goes a bit like this; Bottle washing & gassing, filling with wine, putting on the screw cap, drying, labeling then into the box and on a pallet.
The satisfaction of three years of hard work sliding down the neck of the bottle and dressed up in the newly designed Freehand label and box is only the half of it. The laughs and chatter, scones and sandwiches, cups of tea, glasses of wine and time spent with family and friends makes it all a very rewarding process for the soul.
Matt & Danni