To achieve these goals takes careful attention to detail and close monitoring of what is occurring in the vineyard throughout the year. Each season provides its own unique balance of flavours, and the fruit is monitored constantly during ripening to ensure it is harvested when the varietal fruit flavours and textures are at their very best.
Our Frog Choir Shiraz Cabernet cuvee is a classic Australian field blend from our meticulously farmed home block vineyard. We strive to do most of the winemaking in the vineyard, working with open canopies which allow our fruit to gradually ripen over the entire growing season.
Our wine is completely handmade, from the vine pruning to the hand harvesting of our fruit, to the hand plunging of our small batch open ferment field blend.
Oak plays an important role in our Winemaking Philosophy. We believe that oak should be an accompaniment to wine, not dominate it. To achieve this we search for the right Cooper that uses only well seasoned oak of evenly matched grain density in their barrels. This results in an underlying palate structure in the wine that supports and sustains the flavours and textures, rather than over-riding them.
Frog Choir's winemaker, Bruce Dukes of Naturaliste Vintners was named ‘West Australian Winemaker of the Year 2011’ by Wines of Western Australia, brings over a quarter of a century of grape growing and winemaking experience to the table.
A University of Western Australia trained agronomist with a master’s degree in viticulture and oenology from the University of California, David, science underpins Bruce’s approach to fruit selection and winemaking practices. However, he is quick to point out that successful winemaking relies just as much on intuition. While completing his master’s degree Bruce worked as the Assistant Winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola at the historic Neibaum-Coppola Estate.
Professor Steven Kolpan succinctly captured Bruce’s approach to winemaking when he wrote:
“He (Bruce Dukes) articulates the art and science of winemaking with elegance and ease. Dukes knows the finest wines are made vine by vine, berry by berry.”
Bruce credits his training with grounding him in environmental science and shaping his values and practices as a winemaker. “We were trained to approach agriculture in a holistic way. It is our responsibility to sustainably conduct agriculture, while respecting the related ecosystems, with the final objective of leaving that land in better health for the next generation.”
This is the exact priority with Frog Choir. Indeed, the name says it all. Frogs are like the canary in the coal mine for agriculture, as frogs are very sensitive to adverse conditions. We view the presence of the frogs as sign of biological health for our vines and their surrounds.