Sirromet Winery

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Sirromet Winery 2017-06-07T00:13:22+00:00

Adam Chapman, chief winemaker at Sirromet gives his take.

Adam Chapman has applied over 20 years experience and knowledge and earned Sirromet Winery over 630 national and international wine awards.

Adam recently added Magnum 675 ceramic wine fermentation vessels to his suite of “toys” for winemaking primarily for Chardonnay production at Sirromet.


We asked Adam about his exciting new project.

“I wrote a thesis – a new manipulation of cropping, handling, fermentation and finishing – treating a specific block of grapes differently to create a different-edged Chardonnay. We’re mindful of the commercial angle but making it as pure and left field as possible – within reason. We’re launching 2,500 bottles from a specific block – there’s no other Chardonnay uniquely like this.”


We asked Adam why winemakers should consider using Magnum, he replied:

“It should be driven by the vineyard. If they have a specific small block that is something special and they really want to portray the specific character and variety and block – this is the way to do it.”
“We’re not trying to be ‘greeny’ – we think it can give us a different edge. Block 7 is aimed at the people who really understand wine – who have 6-10 things they want to know about the wine they drink.”

Adam Chapman – Winemaker

Thanks Adam – we value your opinion!

We then asked Adam how he’s using Magnum ceramic vessels.

“We have four Magnum – two 43 litre and two 675 litre versions. We’re using the 675 Magnum as fermentation vessels for 2014 Block 7 Chardonnay and are pretty excited about the whole thing.

The difference is the Magnum ‘egg’ shape. What you get out of an egg is evenness. It provides convection that’s slightly magical. With a barrel you have to stir the lees…

Magnum blew us away – we invested 2-3 tonnes of Chardonnay – around 3 tonnes of grape – most going into the eggs with half a tonne going into barrel… and used it as a
yardstick to show the difference.”

What did you use the 43s for – did they lead you to the 675s?

“43s were good – one season, one wine was the eye-opener. It gave us a guide. I was blown away – it pushed the boundaries – green colour – very textural (which is one of the hardest things in wine to get right).

In the egg, we got a nice set of results – it pushed the science boundaries.”

What characteristics were you looking for from vitreous/clay?

“That’s yet to be defined – probably more in mid-palette – the wine seems to be ‘richer’. Phenolics, extraction of potential flavour – usually you try to minimise phenolics in whites. With Magnum eggs it’s exceptionally high in phenolics, it pushes the boundaries. It extracts them and oxidises them out, giving a richer palette. It challenges [accepted] science.

Fermenting skins in clay for weeks – it has a beautiful, textural quality. The approach of having skins in there becomes an emotional thing. You have to be headstrong.

Ask yourself ‘is there really a difference?’ The industry needs a buzz. It’s a huge point of difference.”

What style are you promoting?

“Some winemakers can be too loose. I like to push the boundaries – but not too far. It’s liquid architecture – via the egg.

I’ve got my finger on it – so it’s clean. There’s microbial stability – it has to be consistent.
With eggs, the flavour index over time is very consistent, as opposed to oak.

We hope to create some sort of movement for Chardonnay with this type of winemaking.”

What was the reaction to your idea for a new Chardonnay movement?

“As a winemaker we are always looking for something a little bit different. In Australia, if someone said ‘Put white wine on skins’ – you would normally think ‘No way!’ but people have been doing it
for thousands of years.

In Slovenia and Georgia – white wine is king because of the fermentation process. It’s the hunt for the Holy Grail – so I thought ‘Gotta give it a go’.

What were the issues you faced?

“The biggest problem with innovation is that you have to educate the consumer. These eggs and the wines we are making in them are for the top 2% of wine drinkers – people who understand.

I knew of Josko Gravner’s work. If another winemaker had used the same pitch, based on science it wouldn’t have worked.

If you had heard ‘Put Chardonnay in a vitrified container’, I would have absolutely disagreed. In fact, I tasted some wines and they didn’t appeal to me – BUT I thought there must be
something there…

You aren’t taught this in college… it’s put a bit of a buzz into the industry. ”

Get in touch with Sirromet

Visit the Yangarra Estate Vineyard website to find out more:

Cellar door is open 10am – 5pm, 7 days a week.

Address: Sirromet Winery, 850 Mount Cotton Road Mount Cotton QLD 4165
Phone: 07 3206 2999

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