Bali Wines: Hatten Wines

by Nick on August 22, 2006

by Nick | August 22nd, 2006  

Bali is not a place you’d think of as a wine producing area, but there are vineyards on the north coast. Here is one true Bali wine, Hatten.


Hatten Winery was established in 1994, a unique experiment in viticulture in a tropical climate that, after much trial and error, can now produce grapes all year round. Employing 38 people, producing 300,000 litres per year, and bottling seven types of wine, Hatten Wines are now firmly established as Bali’s premier winery.

The first and truly Balinese winery, located in the heart of Sanur, has been at work since 1994 bringing to hotels’ and restaurants’ tables a taste of Bali in the most interesting way. Our unique winery and its products are defying the traditional winemaking rules in using unconventional grapes, grown on the North coast of the island.

The quite young practice of growing grapes in Bali has started at the beginning of the 20th Century but it is only a few decades ago, after multiple trials and errors, survival to parasites and other vine diseases, that the grapes were grown with satisfaction on a commercial scale and found in markets all over the archipelago. The final choice was a black table grape variety of French origin called ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ or ‘Alfonso’ among the growers.

A visit to the coastal plain of North Bali will take you to vast planted areas where the vines are all trained into an overhead trellis called Pergola and where the posts consist of small trees, which have to be pruned as well. Besides keeping the workers cool, this system reduces the risk of diseases and sunburn on the grapes, all contributing to a better fruit quality. The daily task of seeing the grapes protected from the elements is a full time operation and workers often live in houses built amongst the pergolas to take constant care in case of rain. The crops have a surprisingly high quality and the grapes brought to the winery are certainly ranked as the best of the best.

It is important to note that the tropical climate makes for the unique character of the winemaking in Bali: grapes are constantly harvested from evergreen vines and wine can be produced all year long instead of once a year.

After being harvested, the grapes are transported to the winery where they are gently pressed to extract their pink juice. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with the help of selected Champagne yeasts. Fermenting temperatures are kept low in order to preserve the delicate fruity aroma of the grapes.

The magic of the artist winemaker, Vincent Desplat, then comes into play and the product of his tests and tasting is ready for bottling in due time. Our wines are natural wines, free of coloring and flavoring, made from local grapes and not their concentrated juice versions. We only bottle the best from Bali’s vineyards.

The First Child:
Hatten Wines first product is a delicate summer Rosé wine vintaged in Bali from local black grapes and is Indonesia’s first table wine. This summer wine with its unique flavor of tropical fruits leaves a clean and refreshing aftertaste on the palate. It has become a colorful alternative to the ever-classic white and has also become the first choice for Bali’s Restaurant and Hotel Industry. It comes in two formats, the classic wine bottle and the two liter cask, a great alternative for serving by the carafe or by the glass and easy to store.

The Second Born:
Produced in the traditional Méthode Champenoise, this enticing Rosé Sparkling wine displays youthful aromas of tropical fruits enhanced by a lively mousse. Blushed by the gentle pressing of the local Balinese black grapes, this delightful sparkling wine is best enjoyed whilst reminiscing in the evening, when it evokes the sights and scents of a beautiful day. The perfect drink for a celebration night or as a sweet gift for the honeymooners in Bali.

Alexandria:
A lovely white wine produced in small quantities due to the scarcity of the white grapes in Bali, Alexandria is made from the locally grown Belgia grapes. The grapes ripe and sugar filled are processed to bring the very fruity and perfumed grape flavour wine to its delightful taste. Sweet wines are always appreciated as some of the most complex and impressive flavours and aroma in the wine world. This medium sweet white wine is very aromatic with grapey characters and lovely floral perfumes. The fruity palate is well balanced between sweetness and acid leaving a refreshing aftertaste.

AGA Red:
This light red wine was chosen to represent Hatten Wines’ philosophy: to be unique, different. Delicious chilled therefore suiting Bali’s climate, the young-light red wine is made from the local Alphonse-Lavallée grapes. A medium bodied wine as often associated with the genre of Beaujolais Nouveau, AGA Red takes its name from the word authentic or asli in Balinese language. As some French light wines, AGA Red presents a light color similar to a rosé wine’s with cherry red color impressions with tinges of purple. The complex aromas of berry and prune with flavours of black chocolate on the palate and revealing moderate tannins along with a supportive acid finish. Very enjoyable before meals, AGA Red’s medium weight and astringency are best suited for spicy dishes, make for a memorable match with grilled meats like the local satay. and are a smooth pleasurable novelty in the perpetual summer of Bali.

Pino de Bali:
Inspired by the French Pineau des Charentes method, Hatten Wines’ Pino de Bali Red is presented in a sophisticated 375 ml souvenir bottle. Of luscious amber color, our Rosé Pino is an ‘apéritif’ wine, which has been fortified prior to fermentation, meaning spirit has been added to the juice, stopping any yeast activity and therefore retaining primary aromas of the grapes. The Rosé version, made from the local Alphonse-Lavallée grapes, the Pino Rosé delivers a walnuty and dried apricot scent on the nose along with sweet red fruits flavours. Well integrated with the alcohol, the finish is sweet on the palate and a touch hot. As for the white version, Aged in oak, the liqueur wine is a relatively delicate wine with a warm palate, raisiny and woody overtones flavours along with orange peel and nutty aromas. The Pino wears a smooth finish yet not overly sweet. Pino de Bali makes for a delicious before dinner drink but is also highly recommended with a ‘paté’ as hors d’oeuvres.

AGA White:
AGA White is the long-awaited dry white wine of Hatten Wines. It is a blend of two grape varieties, which are grown on the island at Hatten Wines’ own vineyards on the northern coast of Bali. After fermentation conducted at cold temperatures in order to preserve the delicate lemony-lime character, the wine was matured for 6 months in our new temperature-controlled cellar before release.

The fruity and lively AGA White with lemon citrus flavours and zesty finish is a lovely combination with shellfish and grilled fish. Also, the chosen image for this wine’s label is a wonderful painting of the Ubud style showing the story of Bawang Putih, a great addition to its packaging with an interest to Bali’s visitors.

Tunjung:
The Sparkling White is named after the flower Tunjung, Padma or Water Lily, common in Bali’s gardens. It is produced following the traditional method and further developed by keeping the wine one-year on its lees. In a refreshing style with aromas of citrus peel and flowers, enhanced by a light creamy yeast influence, this new Balinese wine is becoming the island new pride and joy.

Owner:
Mr. I.B. Rai Budarsa was born and raised in Bali where he now operates the family business Hatten Wines. After studies at the University Brawijaya of Malang, at the agriculture department where he majored in food processing, he returned to Bali to look over the operations of Brem Bali Dewi Sri. The famous rice wine company is now under a family member’s management since Mr. I.B. Rai Budarsa took over the Direction of Hatten Wines shortly after the beginning in 1994.

Winemaker:
Vincent Desplat is a French National, living in Indonesia since 1994. He has been behind the scenes at Hatten Wines, as winemaker, since the beginning of the adventure.

His career took Mr. Desplat to overseas experience when he was called as winemaker for a family established winery in Western Australia, Henley Park, where he stayed on for seven years. His portfolio of winemaking experience comprises of: Portuguese-style Port, Sauternes, Beaujolais, Margaret River Cabernet, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Semillon and Sparkling wine.

At Hatten Wines, he has expanded this list with the now famous Balinese Rosé since 1994, the lovely Jepun Sparkling Rosé made with the traditional method of champagne, the new Aga Red light red wine, the surprising Alexandria slightly sweet white and the Pino de Bali fortified wine. He also has been advisor for the vineyard’s management and in charge for all production operations.

Most Circle K’s sell Hatten wine. It generally the lowest priced wine in Bali, for a good reason. I have sampled the red, and can’t really say I’d want to again.

Circle K sells Hatten wines for the following prices:
ASA Red – 60,000rp
ASA White – 75,000rp
Rose – 65,000rp

Hatten wines are also served in restaurants and bars.

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