Welcome to the Deep Creek Wine Estate information worldwide. In order to support you in your new venture we would like to give you some basic information about our Winery and the way we produce our wines.
First we would like to assure you that we are having the best product available with equal quality for all our domestic and export markets. Deep Creek Wine Estate Winery is a small boutique winery with high quality wines in limited amounts, therefore our wines are often sold out before the end of the year. This is a good thing. Since the wine are always in a great demand it makes our wines more desirable and collectable.
The Huber family has been in the wine business for several hundred years, in fact the Huber family tree can be traced back to 1167 where we started growing grapes for King Henry the Lion. For over 800 years the family passed on the wine making techniques from father to son to grandson. Starting in 1750 the Franciscan monks started writing down the grape growing and wine making methods of our family until 1914. Our winemaking methods are unchanged since 1856 when the Huber family created their own Wine Purity law (Wein Reinheits Gebot). It has been followed ever since by all wineries owned by the Huber family. All our wines are produced according to natural organic and bio dynamic winemaking like in the old days. We still do our work to the wine and vineyards in accordance to moon tables.
The wines produced by the Huber family owned wineries in Canada, Hainle Vineyards and Deep Creek Wine Estate, are no exception. We follow strict the family grape growing and wine making rules made in 1856. Our wines are made to an AOC (Appellation ď Origin Controlee) system like in France also with categorisation of single vineyards and Grand Cru vineyards. For example our Pinot Noir Reserve wines are AOC Deeep Creek Vineyards and single vineyards first growth Grand Cru wines. Our quality is equal in quality to any of the France Grand Cru wines, we have won many times against the best wines in the world on international competitions.
Secondly, all our wines are handcrafted by Wine master Walter Huber who learned the profession of traditional winemaking from his Great Grandfather from an early age on. Albert Huber (Walters great grandfather) studied winemaking together with Henrie Jayer and passed this winemaking methods on to his great grandson Walter Huber. All our white wines are made in an Alsatian wine style. All Red wines are made either in a Burgundy or Bordeaux wine style according to the grape varietals used.
How are our wines and vinegars made and what makes our wines different than anyone else?
Here is how commercial wine (not our wine) is made worldwide today. Vines are planted, irrigated, chemicals are added to keep the vines free of insects and pests. The grass will be cut and cultured several times per months to keep the vineyards looking good and trim. The grapes are sprayed several times a year with chemicals to keep the harvest as high as possible (on average 6 to 10 tons per acre).
Then the grapes are mechanical harvested and pressed including the clusters wood which gives the wine high tannins which will be chemically reduced during the wine making. After fermentation the wine is filtered, chemicals and flavor additives are added before the wine will be bottled (on average 3 to 6 months after harvest).
Here is how we make our wines:
Vines are planted, they are irrigated the first 3 years, after that we gradually reduce the irrigation to get the roots to grow deep into the ground. After the plants are 5 years of age they will not be irrigated anymore. Only one spray of lime sulphites is applied in March to keep mildew away from the plants. The grass is then cut once the beginning of April. The 2nd time the grass is mowed when summer solstice is, in 2014 this was June 21st. During the time from April till Solstice the grass is allowed to grow, this way the grass and clover planted in the vineyards will keep most of the insects in the grass away from the vines and grapes. Once the grass gets mowed the roots of the clover and grass will release nitrogen into the ground which on the other side will be picked up by the vines as natural fertilizer. Then the grass will be not mowed again until a week before harvest. As the hottest months the year July and August will dry out the grass and clover the roots of these plants will also dry out and allow the soil to get oxygen into the ground naturally so we do not need to move and turn over the soil with machines. Of course the plants will have dropped enough seeds to grow again once the rain starts falling in the fall. The vines will be allowed to grow without interruption. There will be anywhere from 20 to 40 clusters per plant. This way the plants are stressed to the maximum. Since they are not irrigated we will only receive 1 to maximal 2 tons of highest quality grapes per acres planted. When picking time is close our winemaker goes through the vineyards checks the grapes daily for taste and ripeness. This is done by moth test only not with any chemical analysing of the grapes. Close to 50 years hands on experience and wine knowledge has enabled us to get the best quality wines year after year. Harvest will be done by experienced pickers all by hand to avoid clusters which are not well developed or 2nd growth which is usually not ripe by the time it gets harvested.
Winemaking is very much all natural as in 1856 with the exception of the use of electric machines to process the grapes faster. Once the grapes come to the winery they will be processed immediately so they will not stay in bins more than a few hours which prevents mold to build on the grapes. All our grapes white and red are going through a crush system in which the grapes are separated from the stems in order to keep the tannins low in the wine and get the better quality wine generally speaking.
White wines are crushed, pressed and then transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The must of grapes will sit in the tank for approximately 4 to 7 days to cold soak before we will add the starter yeast. The starter yeast consists of our own yeast from the grapes we harvested as well as a mixture of old lees from our best wines produced in previous years to start the new wines. After fermentation which will take 10 days to 3 weeks depending on varietal the wine will be removed from the rough lees. Then the wine will sit on the good lees for another 6 to 12 moths depending on wine varietal to go through a very old wine making Sur Lee treatment. The lees will keep the wine from going bad which eliminates the need to use sulphites during wine making. After that the wine will be racked 5 times every 6 weeks until it is completely clear. Depending on varietals we may use a bentonite fining to reduce the time to clear the wine. Once the wine is clear it will be bottled at which point we measure the natural sulphite in the wine. Is the sulphite under 35 gram per 1000 liter we add natural liquid sulphite to bring it up to 35 gram per liter in order to prevent the wine to spoil when transported in hotter weather.
Red wine production is a bit different from our white wines. First we crush the grapes to separate the stems from the grapes, then the grapes go into 500 liter bins to cold soak for 4 days before the mixture of yeast and previous vintage lees are added to the grapes. After addition of the yeast fermentation starts usually within 1 day. At this point we hand punch the grapes in each bin 4 times per day to macerate the grapes (this is the process to add color tannins and flavor from the grape skins to the wine, it is sometimes also done to white wine). The bins will be open to full exposure of air during fermentation which again is very much old style winemaking. The grape skins stay with the wine juice for 4 to 6 weeks before they are separated and pressed off into 100% used French Oak barrels medium tossed. We use 5 different wine barrel suppliers from the area of Burgundy and Bordeaux. All barrels are made from 100 to 150 year old oak trees grown in Frances most famous oak tree areas. Then the wine stays in oak barrels on the good lees anywhere from 12 moths to 72 moths depending on varietal, vintage and wine styles we produce. Once the barrel aging is finished the wine will be removed to stainless steel tanks to rest and settle for another 6 months off the lees before finally bottled without filtration. At that point we will bottle our red wine through the top valve of the wine tank which allows us to use 90% of the purest wine. The remaining 10% will then be used for refilling the remaining barrels (barrels loose about 5 to 10% of juice per year, it evaporates) The barrels will now be reused with the remaining old lees kept in them for the new vintage wines. Every 4 vintages the barrels will be cleaned out of the old lees before reuse. This way 25% of our barrels start out without any old lees every year. This is done in order to keep the quality of our wines very much the same year after year without being too much effected by the weather conditions of the current year.
By the way, we are the Canada’s only winery who doesn’t irrigate their grapes. The vines are stresses extremely high in order to get the best quality grape juice.
Wine vinegar: Basically wine vinegar is good wine made traditionally by our winery, then turned over to our vinegar tanks outside the winery were they sit on the original mothers from the 1800’s to convert the wine into vinegar. It is important to use good quality wines, the better the wine is the better the vinegar will be. Most vinegar producer use low end wines to make their vinegars and then add water to be able to sell if for a low price. Hainle Vineyards and the Huber family wine estates have a very good name and our reputation for vinegar is the same we receive in wines.
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