A Freehand to create wine
WA'S Great Southern region is a fruitful and flavoursome hidden gem when it comes to producing quality wine.
Tucked away on 6ha just west of Mount Barker, Matthew Eastwell and Danni Paviour-Smith set themselves apart as vintners producing organic, biodynamic and preservative free wines.
Mr Eastwell and Ms PaviourSmith started their eco-agribusiness Freehand Natural Wine five years ago with a single aim – to offer people a unique experience.
As part of the Taste Great Southern Regional Food and Wine Festival, Freehand will run a fermentation workshop on March 18 from 2pm to 6pm.
It will give participants a crash course in natural winemaking, stomping grapes and tasting the juice at various stages of fermentation before taking home a single mini ferment.
Mr Eastwell said the workshop was designed to demystify the natural process of fermentation, from both a theoretical and practical standpoint.
“People are finding they can't handle as many additives and preservatives so generally stop
drinking wine after having a bad experience both with cheap conventional wine, possibly heavy in additives, or a bad tasting ‘organic’ wine,” he said.
“But Freehand wines are made from single vineyard, estate-grown biodynamic grapes.
“While our fermentation process is possibly different to most conventional processes, it is not necessarily based around not adding preservatives.
“Rather, we make wine in small batches with low tech equipment, looking to produce a quality authentic tasting product from the grapes we grow.”
Freehand grows shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes, from which a range of sparkling wine, skin contact white wines, full bodied dry reds and fortified wines are produced.
The Freehand Natural Wine juicing process.
Vintners Matthew Eastwell and Danni Paviour-Smith.