Vidal Winery Hastings, Hawkes Bay Vidal Winery in Hastings was established in 1905 and is a producer of some of Hawkes Bay's most award winning and historic wines in New Zealand. After a long history of varied ownership, in 1972 the Vidal family once again aquired the winery. And in 1976, George Fistonich and Villa Maria Estate purchased Vidal winery. Vidal winery now has access to some of the best vineyards in the country with top tier Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Hawkes Bay Blended reds. Vidal also produces Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Gris and processes Gewurztraminer for the Villa Maria group. The large barrels built by Vidal family coopers are now out of use but provide a nostalgic backdrop around the property in urban district where Vidal Winery lies.
The Black Label 'Reserve' Syrah from Vidal is consistently awarded high praise and come from some of the best parcels on the Gimblett Gravels.
The winery is set into the neighborhood of Hastings. Houses surround the property. Cellar hands must be mindful of the neighbors during our late nights and early mornings during vintage.
Portable tanks Receival area destemmer/crusher pit Equipment at Vidal can be large, but most of it is compacted into a small area and tends to be Older. This old property and equipment does provide some disadvantages and can make work more physically demanding. But, it does make the crew concentrate on the important quality factors in winemaking and use more traditional, proven methods
Cellar hands are expected to be familiar with all the equipment, including the large pieces. Shown here, is the destemmer/crusher built into a pit in yard between the cellars. If not operated correctly, fruit will end up on the floor and you'll find yourself with a tough cleaning job and more importantly slowing the operation down. You will also be buying beers for the rest of the crew that week.
Though Vidal winery is not a large operation, it is part of the Villa Maria winery group, the 3 rd largest group in the country. Safety regulations are monitored closely, especially at this older facility. Here, I wear a harness during a dig-out and a coworker is nearby if I need a hand.
Throughout the winery during vintage there are small ferments scattered in different cellars. This keeps the blocks from the different vineyards separated. Plunging and temperature control is done up to four times a day and a cellar hand must be sensitive to issues such as Sulphur containing compounds coming from the ferment.
Some of the top range Syrah and Pinot Noir are fermented in these 'closed-open fermentors. The insulated sides and shape allow for great temperature control. These fermentors which were used for Pinot Noirs and Syrah consistently had higher temperatures.
Wines are kept in vineyard batches well past vintage time.
And when it's all over you can sometimes enjoy the fruits of your labor.