Springfield's natural approach to winemaking starts with eco-friendly practices in the vineyards. Minimum spraying is applied and a platoon of snail-eating ducks patrols the vineyards. Irrigation is used only to relieve grape stress.
Whenever possible grapes are harvested at night so that the winemaker can work with them at their coolest. This helps maintain the concentration of fruit flavours and enhances their varietal characteristics. The grapes are handled as little as possible and the wine is never pumped if it can be avoided, since this harms the fermentation process. Filtering is kept to an absolute minimum. "Sterile filtering results in much of the unique flavours of our country's best wines ending up on the cellar floor", says winemaker, Abrie Bruwer.
Instead of using commercial yeasts in the fermentation process, the use of natural, wild yeast that adheres to the skins of the grapes when harvested is practised to a large extent. "If the wild yeast works, it is worth it a hundred times over – even if it only happens once in three years", is the winemaker's justification of what many conventional winemakers regard as high-risk winemaking.
Springfield's success is proof that with attention to detail and the experience of history and time, great wines can be produced with minimal intervention.