Happs – How to make great Wine

Title: Happs – How to make great Wine
Broadcast: Episode 2, 8th July 18
Presenter: Scott Taylor

Ever wondered how the production of sweet wine and a dry wine differ? Scott continues his visit to Happs Wines to show us how they produce great wine.

  • Happs Wines is one of the most fascinating wine producers you will ever visit, with its diversity of grape varieties and philosophy in producing wines.
  • Mark Warren is the Head Wine maker and has so far had 16 Vintages at Happs Wines and knows exactly what goes into making an exceptional bottle of wine.
  • Mark was attracted to Happs by the great vineyards, their care for growing quality fruit and the extensive range of alternative varieties.
  • Mark believes ‘Great Wine is made in the Vineyard’ all the wine maker can really do is preserve the potential that is in the grapes themselves, so you need the commitment to having a high-quality ingredient.
  • The team will soon be starting pruning and cut away all last year’s growth, allowing the vine to start forming new growth and the formation of bunches of Grapes.
  • When the bunches are fully ripe and mature with the right flavour, acidity and sugar levels and the Wine Makers are happy with these levels and parameters the grapes will be harvested, crushed and pressed.
  • The sugars will then be fermented into Alcohol and the grapes will be turned into an exceptional bottle of wine.
  • With a sweet wine, Warren needs to ensure the sugars that exist naturally in the grapes isn’t all fermented into alcohol. So, they rest the fermentation at a point they are happy with, that has the right amount of sugar in the wine to keep it sweet. Which is a little different to what other places will do.
  • Happs has specialized tanks that have cold bottoms on them, allowing them to get the wine very cold very quickly, so even though they are trying to stop the fermentation, the fermentation is still continuing and the harder the skill to try and get the right level of sweetness.
  • Warren feels that you get a much better product by resting the fermentation and keeping the natural sugars in the wine.
  • The up and over trellis system allows for the shoots to be spread out to make the most of the solar array, creating more sugars and allows the vine to dry out after rain, which is beneficial in controlling disease.
  • Great producers like Happs are experts at maintaining acid levels and combining the sugar flavours all in one glass, so you get a wonderful flavoursome glass of wine, that finishes nice and clean.