Organic winemaking practices at Harris Organic are traditional methods handed down from the icons of the Swan Valley.
These people have served the Swan Valley community for over 25 years.
Organic grapes are hand picked and left over night to cool in the vineyard before crushing and destemming.
Ceramic wax lined tanks, dont look pretty,but are useful for the vintage season as open fermenters. These usually cost a carton of beer and with a large valve cut into the base of them, they are efficiently used as recycled containers.
The organic red wines, organic sweet dessert wines are made in these plus the organic white wines.
Must cooling by way of a refrigeration plate inserted in the ferment is used to cool the fermentation's exothermic reaction.
Following fermentation of the red skins, the juice is bucketed and skins are hand shovelled into the wine press. This is a gentle way of handling the red fruit without an expensive perastaltic pump.
The chiller is used later in the season to cool the organic white wines to remove tartrates, the crystals that form as wine diamonds. Once maturity is reached the wines are bottled in glass bottles and sealed with aluminium screw caps or natural corks.
Duncan Harris owner and organic winemaker and distiller has learnt the techniques of organic winemaking from self tuition and the gathering of knowledge
from his fellow peers.
As a mechanical engineer, he spend every spare moment working to better his winemaker’s dream of better organic winemaking practices and an efficient organic vineyard and winemaking facilities at the Swan Valley wineries property.
The organic wines are unique versions of traditional Swan Valley Mediterranean warm climate varieties; Shiraz and Malbec for dry organic red wines, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Chardonnay, Madeleine for dry organic white wines, and Muscat and Pedro Ximenez for rich sweet dessert liqueur wine styles.
An organic winemaking definition defines the difference between commercial non organic conventional winemaking and organic winemaking.
The major difference is in the quality of the wine grapes produced by the organic viticulturalist, or vigneron.
Organic farming uses not herbicides like glysophate, nor pesticides, like synethetic pyrethrim, or chemical fertilisers like super phosphate. The grape vines can take up these chemicals and their residues can appear in the wine grapes. These end up in your bottle of wine.
In general, organic farmers, take better care of their vines than conventional farmers and therfore the quality of the grapes is better.
"The more love you put into your grape vines the better the crop."
Harris Organic wines are produced with great attention to their development from their one and only Swan Valley vineyard. It is the only certified organic vineyard and organic winery in Perth, Western Australia.
The organic grapes are hand picked into plastic 22L stackable crates, then the winemaking begins with grapes being crushed and destemmed, pressed where necessary in a 1200 L pneumatic draining press and small batch (less than 100 cases) fermented with the natural indigenous yeasts of our area. A yeast starter is made a few days before picking the grapes so that the culture is “going” before crushing.
The fruit of each variety is softly basket-pressed, generally the crushed grapes are drained in the press before the must is pumped to a fermenter and assisted in it’s transformation into organic wine by the attentive winemaker Duncan.
Additives to our wines are either nil or minimal compared with many commercial Australian wines. See the Additive List. All of our organic wines are vegan and vegetarian friendly.
The organic red wine is then stored in oak casks in our underground cellar, before bottling and hand labelling.