At Tawse, winemaking begins in the vineyards. Healthy vines yield quality fruit which allows us to craft terroir-driven wines of great elegance, depth and character. Promoting the health of our vines and vineyards requires a labour-intensive and hands-on approach. We tuck and thin the shoots by hand to increase sun exposure and air flow. We keep the yields low by cluster-thinning to ensure that all the energy of the vine is focused to ripen fewer higher-quality grape clusters. Our grapes are harvested by hand at optimal ripeness and are hand-sorted to select the very best fruit. We also proudly practice organic and biodynamic farming.
Biodynamics & Organic Farming
Organic farming feeds the vines and controls diseases without the use of synthetic insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers. Biodynamic farming is an approach that sees the vineyard as its own self-sustaining ecological entity and aims to work with the energies that create and maintain life. In the vineyard, this means treating the soil as a living organism and working to bring the grapevine and the soil in balance. Biodynamic farming uses the earth’s natural cycles and natural preparations to increase microbial life and nutrients in the soil and to produce balance between the soil and the vines. We strive to create a diversified balanced ecosystem that generates health and fertility from the vineyard itself. Healthy vines mean less need for outside substances to control diseases and promote growth. By being present in the vineyard, we are able to anticipate and prevent issues. We also get help from our friends from the animal realm. Our chickens feed on bugs, our sheep eat the lower vine leaves to expose the grapes to the ripening sun, and using horses instead of tractors whenever we can helps avoid soil compaction.
Our grapes are harvested by hand at optimal ripeness and hand-sorted. Our reds are de-stemmed before pressing and our whites are gently whole cluster pressed to avoid the bitter characteristics from the stems, skins and seeds. Aromatic whites are fermented in stainless steel. We barrel-ferment our Chardonnay in French oak using wild yeast. All our reds are fermented in oak fermenters and then aged in French oak from 12 to 18 months depending on the varietal
The architecture of our winery was carefully conceived to be environmentally-friendly. Our 6-level design allows us to use gravity as much as possible to gently move the wine as is processed, from pressing to cellaring. Our Chardonnay and our reds are aged in underground barrel cellars covered by 6 to 8 feet of earth, which keeps the ambient temperature between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius, with a natural humidity of approximately 85%. This relatively stable temperature and high humidity allows our wines to age gracefully with a minimum amount of evaporation. Our modern geo-thermal energy system has reduced our use of traditional forms of energy by 80%. We also have a wetland bio-filter which allows us to re-use of all our sanitary and winery process water.