All of Cobden Wini’s wines get hands on attention from winemaker, Mark Davis. When we say hands-on we literally mean hands-on: grapes are fermented in half ton bins, which are punched down by hand two to three times daily (see below). After fermentation is complete, wine is removed off the skins (this wine is called the free run) and the skins are pressed, removing more wine trapped within (called the press wine). The press wine is combined with the free run in 228 liter Burgundian barrels, where it remains for approximately 10 months. During this time, the barrels are stirred and topped about once a month (Mark feels that not overly disturbing the aging wine is essential for it reaching its potential, so minimal opening of barrels is a must). The stirring, or batonage, helps mix solids (called lees) into the wine; adding mouthfeel as well as cleaning up the wine. After about 8 months, the wine is racked off the lees to help clarify it before final bottling. Cobden Wini uses about a third new French Oak, a third once-used French Oak, and a third neutral French Oak barrels. Cobden Wini bottles unfiltered, though filtration could always be an option in the future. Cobden Wini wines are also not fined, as fining can be somewhat nonspecific as to what it fines out of a wine and thus can bind with important aromatics leaving a wine less complex. Cleanliness is key to the winemaking and aging process and an almost insane approach to cleanliness is used in the making of Cobden Wini wines.
Mark doing some bin punchdowns. See, no kidding; hands on.