The wine is named after the co-founder of Bremerton, Craig Hamilton Willson (CHW) and the first vintage was released in honour of him on his 60th birthday.
The grapes were picked to achieve expressive varietal characters balanced by bright acidity. CHW has been made using the traditional French bottle fermentation method. This provides a delicate fine bead (bubble) enhancing dark red fruit flavours. The finish on the wine is smooth with a touch of creaminess from the bottle fermentation and ageing on yeast lees.
The grapes were crushed and fermented in open top fermenters. The resulting wine was matured in oak for 10 months before being transferred to bottle along with a small dosage of yeast and sugar (Tirage). Secondary fermentation occurred in the bottle, which created the characteristic sparkle.
Maturation in bottle for 18 months in contact with the yeast lees adds a layer of creaminess to the mouthfeel. The wine is then disgorged, and a dose of liqueur added before corking and release.
"CHW" will continue to develop it's fine characteristics with aging but is drinking beautifully right now.
As a celebration drink!