Our Philosophy

Anderson winery is all about wine quality. Here are a couple of things we feel strongly about:

When Howard established his own vineyard, he always wanted it to be dryland (unirrigated). In his prior experience as a winemaker for other companies, he had seen over and over again that grapes from dryland vineyards make better wines (particularly full bodied red wines).

It is well documented that when grapevines experience a certain degree of water stress they produce wines with more flavour and better structure (including aging potential). You don’t want it to tip over into extreme water stress & dehydration though, as that negatively impacts wine quality. Grapevines are very hardy, so most years our rainfall is enough (though our yield is low). We do have a small dam on the property to help out in very dry years, but when we do use it, we only give the vines the equivalent of a couple of buckets of water each, maybe 2 or 3 times in the season. We just want to stop extreme water stress (i.e the leaves falling off!).

This lack of irrigation does mean that our yields are much lower than most vineyards, particularly in drier years. But we are happy to accept this because it means our wines have great fruit intensity and age-ability, and truly reflect the conditions of the season in which they were grown.

When Howard built the winery building in 1992, he put in a large rainwater tank to provide water for the winery. This again was a wine quality decision, as although we don’t add water to our wine, the chlorine in town water can taint wooden barrels if used to wash them, and can also affect the viability of yeast cells if used for rehydration. So, to this day, our winery runs 100% on rainwater collected on-site.

So, although we’d love to say we did it all for the environment, it’s just a happy coincidence that making the best wine also saves water! Yay!

 

Another thing we feel strongly about is using minimal preservatives in our wines. Although we are not certified organic, we follow many organic principles, including choosing to stay below the allowed organic limit for sulphites in all our wines (yes, organic wines can contain sulphites).  The only preservative we use is minimal pure Sulphur dioxide gas (220) - never Potassium Metabisulphite (223). Potassium Metabisulphite is a powdered form of sulphite which is used in most Australian wines, and we believe some people (including ourselves) have an adverse reaction to it (sinus headache anyone?). Unfortunately it is not an option for us to go completely preservative free, as then our wines could not be reliably cellared.

We actually go to quite extreme measures to avoid using Potassium Metabisulphite, particularly in our sparkling wines. Traditionally made sparkling wines need to have some sulphur dioxide added when the yeast sediment is removed after bottle fermentation. The yeast stop the wine from oxidising while it’s still in the bottle, but when it’s removed before sale, the wine will then oxidise without protection. The only way to get sulphur in is by adding to each individual bottle just a few millilitres containing enough sulphur for the whole bottle. Believe us, it is much, much easier to dissolve the powdered Metabisulphite than it is Sulphur dioxide gas! But we do it, because we don’t want to use Metabisulphite.