All grapes used for the Malcolm Creek wines are handpicked. The vineyards are drip irrigated minimally only at the hottest times. The vines are between 25 and 40 years old and harvested each year in February / March, when the winemaker estimates that harvest time is optimal to ensure the high quality. The main criteria for choosing harvest time is of course the weather, but also the sugar and acidity in the grapes, as well as proper tannin content in the skins (red wine).
After a gentle pressing of the grapes in a balloon press, the juice is transferred into classic French oak barrels, for approximately 1 (chardonnay) to 2 (cabernet) years, before bottling. After bottling, the chardonnay is generally released within 6 months, while the cabernet is allowed to mature a further 3 years before released for sale. The Sauvignon Blanc is purely tank produced and released within a few months of bottling, generally towards the end of the calendar year of harvest. The blanc de blanc is produced using the tradition French methods, today labelled as ‘Methode Traditionelle’. It is left in tirage, maturing on lees, for a minimum of 12 months; however generally 2, 3 or even 4-5 years is preferred prior to the last process, the disgorging, and consequent release for sale.
Peter Leske is educated as oenologist from Adelaide University, who is known for offering one of the best oenology degrees in the world. Peter has previously worked as a “flying winemaker” in both Bordeaux and Burgundy and is now making wines in collaboration with some of the best wineries in the Adelaide Hills, including Malcolm Creek who have used Peter as a consultant and winemaker since 2007.