Ridgemill estate has a longstanding philosophy of getting the best out of our vines. Quality wines begin with quality fruit, nurtured to reach their peak of flavour.
“Every bottle touches our hands, from the vine to the labelled bottle. It’s all done on site,” declares Peter. His business card reveals the title of ‘The Vine Whisperer’, while owner Martin, who is equally hands-on, is ‘The Minister for Fine Wines and Fun’. “If you’re smiling when you’re dealing with the vines and the wines it shows in the final taste,” says Peter.
If this positive attitude is reflected in the quality of the wine it is certainly not the only ingredient in creating outstanding vintages. The hands-on approach means the vines are all hand-pruned, shoot and crop thinned and the fruit is tasted weekly until it reaches its pinnacle when it is then hand picked. Until recently even the pressing was done by hand in a traditional ratchet press to squeeze the best out of the annual 20 tonnes harvest of fruit but practicalities have meant converting to an air press. Nevertheless, the winemaking, bottling and labelling are all done on-site by hand.
Ridgemill estate employs the principles of organic and biodynamic farming for healthy soil. To ensure the intensity of colour and flavour in the grapes, the vines are dry grown and bunches are thinned to give the best chance of developing outstanding fruit. It puts the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. The rest is up to Mother Nature.