Winemaking Philosophy and Style…

Ministry of Clouds are modern Australian wines made simply and traditionally, with complexity derived from many small ferments, either in traditional open vats or concrete eggs, with indigenous yeasts, multiple picking passes to retain acid, and a mosaic of distinguished vineyards to provide layers of flavour and tannin.

The goal is transparency, balance and elegance, recognition of site and season, sustainable farming, contemporary yet classic wines from the ancient vines and geology of our home in McLaren Vale.

Our own 11-hectare vineyard, The Chase is perched atop the rugged Onkaparinga Gorge at 200m above sea level, situated in the historic sub-region of Seaview, characterised by its austerity, altitude, an extremely thin layer of friable topsoil over an ancient bedrock dating back 650 million years of age. Both our vineyard and winery are certified with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.  

We believe in the value of detailed hand work in the vineyard, beginning with modest and careful pruning to limit yield, and paying careful attention to vine structure to avoid crowding of bunches, to enhance air flow into the canopy, and dappled light penetration.

Continuing with our belief that great wines are grown not made, we use the full gamut of shoot thinning, green harvest, leaf plucking, and multiple wire lifts to provide optimal exposure, and to ensure the even ripening so important for those of us that wish to retain natural acidity by picking early. 

Our preference is for hand picking on cool mornings so that we can sort on the vine where only the most pristine fruit are picked to allow judicious use of whole bunch. 

With the goal of retaining delicate aromatics, slender fruit intensity led by a linear tannin structure, each individual pick from each separate vineyard will have multiple open ferments, with varying degrees of whole bunch included, and the balance always as whole berry. Ferments are tasted twice daily to manage extraction, worked extraordinarily gently to ensure purity and left on skins for varying lengths of time to build tannin line.

Ferment temperatures are kept modest to retain freshness, barrels are filled by gravity for maturation on fine lees and natural malolactic fermentation to occur over time.

Any new oak character is carefully managed to only support varietal aroma and vineyard personality, with varied maturation undertaken in a mixture of stainless steel, concrete, Stockinger demi-muid, large format old French and European oak foudres, with the balance in puncheons, hogsheads, and barriques.


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