**BRONZE MEDAL - InterVin International Wine Awards 2016
The select grapes Merlot 2013 were hand harvested in mid-October allowing the grapes to fully ripen and maximising the hang time in the cool autumn nights. After hand sorting, only the ripest and best fruit is de-stemmed and lightly crushed assuring full ripeness rather than green herbaceous tones. The grapes then were cooled to almost freezing temperature and allowed to cold-soak to further the extraction of flavours and tannins before undergoing a traditional red wine fermentation using both manual punch downs and machine pump overs twice to four times daily. After Fermentation, wine underwent a gentle pressing to remove skins and was racked into French (50%) and American (50%) oak barrels. While in barrel, the Merlot underwent full malolactic fermentation to soften and add complexity. Barrel ageing was extended to 10 months before filtering and bottling. Merlot is thought to have gotten its start in France, it has actually been found to be a descendant of Mediterranean vines, transferring to Bordeaux in the early Christian era, where it has been traced back to the first century in Bordeaux. The grape did not make an appearance on its own, however, until the nineteenth century. It was at that time that Merlot evolved out of the biturica varietal, along with Malbec. Although it was then that the Merlot began to be dispersed throughout the continents, but the wine never gained the true acclaim that it deserved until the 1970's, when fine wine became a booming proposition.