We make our gorgeous white wine Alias I from a mixture of white varieties grown on our vineyards. If I had a dollar for the times it has been suggested to me that “so it’s just where you put all your left-over bits then!” I’d have enough cash to buy a Chupa Chupp, maybe two if they were on special.


We don’t make it from the leftovers, in fact we try really hard with each and every variety that we use to express something special with it, something that will make a fantastic contribution to the whole wine.


This year we are making the Alias I from Semillon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Marsanne. I won’t discuss the protocols for them all, but here is a run-down on our Semillon make.


Two weeks ago we picked the Semillon from our St Leonards block for the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc wine.  It was a fairly standard procedure, night harvest, cold crush-press, settle, rack and tank ferment. All done cool, quickly and cleanly to maximise the aromatic potential of the grapes. The wine will be gorgeously bright and zesty. Of course the easy thing would be to just take a bit of this wine and blend it up with the other varieties for the Alias I, but that misses the point!


For the Alias I we left a few vineyard rows with fruit on them for another ten days in which time the flavour ripened up more and became richer, less citrussy. The fruit was picked and crushed into bins where it sat in contact with the skins for six hours with regular stirring. We then pressed it out in the old wooden basket press. Terribly labour intensive and slow, but very gentle. This juice was settled overnight and then racked to barrel for fermentation. The wine will be completely different to the batch done earlier, far fuller and richer, more tactile, but altogether less vibrant and crisp.


We don’t make much Alias and it is a bit of a labour of love, but we think it is worth it.


Here's some images of the team preparing the Alias 1...