The clean, modern, minimalist exterior of Howard Park's Margaret River and Great Southern Winery provides a home for some of the best winemaking equipment available. The new production facility is designed to meticulously process small batches of premium fruit. In addition, vibrating sorting tables that allow for grape skins to remain intact, gentle crushing; careful selection and open-top fermentation used by the great houses of Europe are highlights of the significant investment in quality made by the Burch family for this facility.
Grapes are handpicked in small slotted baskets so they cool quickly in the chiller room.
Fruit reception then begins with a vibrating hopper that gently shakes the grapes into the de-stemmer, which has a smooth plastic cage in order not to macerate any berries.
The grapes are gently pumped into the press through a peristaltic pump, using the same technology that transfers live fish or pumps blood during heart bypass surgery.
A high tech German Vaslin Bucher ‘JLB20’ Basket press enables extraction of the finest, softest tannins without harsh phenolics associated with other presses. The Vaslin Bucher ‘JLB20’ Basket Press, reputable as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of winemaking equipment across the world. The key design principle of this press is gentle handling and pressing. The press is programmable with soft pressing cycles, the static pressing and self draining capabilities give clarity of style and fruit not achievable by large airbag presses.
All Red varieties for the Howard Park and Marchand & Burch brands are fermented in small-batch open top fermenters and a pneumatic plunging device is used to gently plunge the cap and manage the extraction of colour and tannin during the fermentation. Open-top vats, bins, and tanks are the preferred fermentors for varietals like Pinot Noir that are thought to be too delicate for cap management regimes like pump-overs. The main advantages of using an open-top fermentor are gentle tannin extraction and more air in the ferment to build supple tannin structures.
All the equipment and processes in the winery are designed to respect the delicate varietal flavors of the super-premium quality, Margaret River and Great Southern fruit.