Kevin Holt, award-winning winemaker, shares his approach to winemaking
Contrary to popular belief, non-interventionist winemaking is a myth. The end result of crushed grapes and natural biochemistry is actually vinegar. To stop the process at the desired “wine” stage requires artful intervention. The winemaker’s job is to decide how, when and where to intervene. While there is a place in the world for both “natural” and “manufactured” wines at opposite ends of the spectrum, I personally believe that great wine is made somewhere in the ever-shifting ground between these two extremes, carefully considering the many factors along the way.
As with any craft, the skill lies in knowing when and how to apply the correct tools to gently shape the product, and when to get out of the way and let the beauty of the raw material shine through. Finding and expressing the character of a great vineyard is what makes great wine, and sometimes that takes a bit of spade work, but it never requires burying the grapes in winemaking. Finding the balance point is the key. Balance in the process results in balance in the glass.