Hare’s Chase vineyard is located in the hamlet of Marananga in the Barossa Valley, an area highly regarded for its vineyards and the exceptional quality wines that are produced.
The Hare’s Chase vineyard dates back to 1961 where Wilhelm Stoll and his wife Katerine repatriated from Palestine and used their repatriation grant to purchase the property.
Hare’s Chase, “The Name”. Similar to the jack-rabbit in other countries, hares live in scrapes in the soil which allows them body camouflage, keeping their eyes above ground level. Being brave and noble creatures, hares hold their nerve in the face of approaching threat, only breaking cover at the last minute, to make a quick escape.
At Hare’s Chase we are in the “pursuit of excellence” Considerable capital is being spent on re-working the vineyard, working on vine balance and sustainability. We are currently in the process of building a new state of the art winery and barrel cellar due for completion in July 2019.
The Hare’s Chase vineyard covers approximately 14 hectares (35 acres) of vines separated into 12 distinct vineyard blocks, differentiated by different soil profiles, row orientations, elevation and topography.
The Hare’s Chase vineyard is predominately planted to Shiraz making up approximately ¾ of all plantings. Other grape varieties planted include Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro (Mourvedre) and the Spanish grape variety Tempranillo. The average age of the vines is 20 years old.
The vines are spur pruned and low yielding, generally less than 2 tonnes per acre. Our vineyard philosophy is low intervention viticulture and we have implemented new practices to improve soil-vine health.
Our winemaking philosophy at Hare’s Chase is “To produce wines that are reflective of the region from where they are grown and the grape variety from which they are made.” The winemaking journey begins in the vineyard where Jason our winemaker tastes the grapes within each of the vineyard blocks in the weeks leading up to harvest ensuring that the grapes are picked at optimal ripeness and flavour intensity. Grapes are handpicked in the early hours of the morning whilst they are cool and delivered to the winery for immediate processing. We have recently invested in "state of the art" grape sorting and processing equipment, including new five tonne open top fermenters with heading down boards and a new basket press, all to optimise wine quality. Our wines are matured predominately in 300 Litre American oak hogsheads. At the completion of barrel maturation, rigorous tasting and blending sessions are completed. The barrels are then racked and blended into their respective wines with no fining or filtration prior to bottling.
Jason Barrette has a long-held and palpable passion for wine.
Jason studied winemaking at Adelaide University and completed a Bachelor of Agriculture (Oenology) degree in 2005. Upon completing his studies Jason joined the Penfolds winemaking team at Magill Estate, working closely with Chief Winemaker Peter Gago to craft many of Penfolds premium wines including Bin707 and Grange for over twelve years as Penfolds Magill Estate Winemaker.
Outside of the Australian vintage, Jason increased his winemaking knowledge by travelling to the Northern Hemisphere, completing dual harvests as a “Flying Winemaker” for over a decade, consulting in Portugal, France, USA and Canada, Jason has made all forms of wine style, from, Red, White, Sparkling and Rosé through to Fortified and Ice-wine.
Jason’s hands-on approach is a testament to the wines that he creates. He is more at home at the bottom of a fermenter (bogging out), than behind a desk. His attention to detail is reflected in the quality of the wines that he produces.
For Jason, winemaking doesn’t simply finish when the wine is tucked away in barrel for maturation. He believes, and has seen “many a wine where immense time and effort in the vineyard and during vintage come to a disappointing conclusion when it comes time to blend and bottle, though oxidation, bacterial spoilage”. Jason believes that barrel maturation times should not be set in stone for particular wines. “Each vintage is different and capturing fruit intensity, varietal expression and finesse in wines is critical”.
Having worked with premium Barossa fruit for over a decade, Jason is excited to work closely with the Hare’s Chase team.
The Spanish grape variety is well suited to the Barossa Valley Climate. Grapes are sourced from our 1.2 hectare estate grown vines and handpicked at optimal flavour ripeness. De-stemmed and fermented in small batches with hand plunging three times a day for gentle extraction of colour flavour and tannis.