My daughters, Kate and Sally, who are 4th generation De Bortoli kids, are both at university and whether they come into the family business, I don’t know. What is more important is for them to find their way into the wider world and if they show interest in the family business, we’ll certainly welcome them with open arms.
In the meantime, whilst having a wow of a time at uni, they have had the privilege of meeting up with a few other next genners in the wine industry through our family’s involvement with Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW). Set up a few years ago it is a very diverse group of 12 families and we have all joined together at numerous events to collectively sing the praise of Australian wine. During that time, I have had a chance to meet many of the sons and daughters of these other families and they are terrific fun; full of enthusiasm and energy.
Kate and Sally, along with their cousins, Ben, Anna and Sophie, joined all the Next Genners last year on a weekend of discovery that covered the De Bortoli, Campbells, Browns and Tahbilk wineries in Victoria. They were somewhat nervous meeting the other next genners but they needn’t have worried. By the end of the weekend, when I picked up two very tired girls from the bus, they were bouncing with the stories of who they had met and what they had done and it wasn’t just all about wine. There were some serious tastings, lightened by the laughter and camaraderie enjoyed by all. There were some hidden talents discovered…..but as they say; what happens on tour, stays on tour.
Now it is their turn to shine. At a tasting in Melbourne on Friday 19th April, each AFFW next genner will have a chance to show the public who they are and highlight one of their favourite wines from their family’s stash. Unlike your usual tasting, it will be a more relaxed affair, more like a party than anything else. They’ll all be there (well, nearly all of them) and there will be music (loud), food (lots of it) and I am sure some very interesting conversations.
For more information about this event, go to http://affwunleashed.roller.net.au/?booking_date=2013-04-19
By the way, if you do go, make sure you say hi to Kate and Sally.
I love this wine. When we decided to add a Pinot Gris blend to the La Boheme Range, one could have thought that even Dame Nellie Melba would have approved of it. After all it was one of her favourite operas to perform. Named ‘Act 3′ in the range , the Pinot Gris is backed up by Riesling and Geuwrztraminer and the result is a beautifully aromatic white wine. Very enjoyable on its own but quite chummy with salmon or chicken.
Usually around this time each year we are asked for our Vintage Report for the Yarra Valley.(Our thoughts on Vintage Charts can be found by clicking on this link)
Harking back to the days when Murray Tyrrell would be featured on the nightly news, espousing each vintage (in the Hunter Valley) as the best vintage on record, do you expect me to be any different. Each and every vintage is different. Each vintage we try our darndest and we stand proudly behind every vintage we make.
In a nutshell, the Yarra had good winter rainfall followed by a very dry and warm growing season leading into an early harvest that nearly caught our winemakers unawares. One minute we were coasting along, suddenly it was “Oh bugger, everything is ripening…quick, start picking now!”
The date was the 18th February. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay came pouring into the winery; hand-picked and machine harvested. Very hectic time of year with someone usually yelling out at some stage “It’s a … circus!!”
Much needed rain arrived in late February to cool the tempers, cool the vines and bring everything back to a state of calmness. Calm winemakers make calm wine (so they say).
In early March we did have some rather warm weather with fine conditions to start reeling in the Shiraz and Cabernet. The early Shiraz is showing lots of promise with good maturity and balanced flavours. Some more welcome rain followed over the weekend (I can’t say I was too displeased for my veggie garden). The scene looks set for a cool, mild Autumn which should result in lovely tannin development for those leaving reds out for a few more weeks.
Overall cropping levels are down to about 20% in most varieties which is not surprising.
Anything else to add will be done over the next few weeks, as our precious wines are nurtured, cajoled and pampered (ditto the winemakers). First Yarra Valley wine to be bottled will most likely be our 2013 La Boheme Pinot Noir Rose (being emptied out of barrel today). Look for it in May and then you too, can rejoice with us.
Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/DeBortoliWines
Looking for a very tasty but rather easy dish to make. Why not try my Chicken Cacciatore. Perfect with polenta or rice for those cool Autumn days. Make a big batch and you have lunch sorted for the next day! http://www.debortoli.com.au/cellar-doors/de-bortoli-recipes.html#march-2013
Autumn is truly a spectacular time in the Yarra Valley, with the earth showing its full bounty.
Join our head chef, Heath Dumesny, for a morning cooking demonstration followed by a long table luncheon matched with our Estate grown wines. Experience the enjoyment & satisfaction of growing your own produce & cooking it up into something delicious. Numbers are limited.
Date: 14 April, 2013.
Time:10am – 3pm
To book: Phone 03 5965 2271
Summer is a beautiful time to visit the Yarra Valley. The vines are laden with grapes, taking their sweet time to ripen. Join us on the 17th February for a Summer feast prepared by our head chef; Heath Dumesny and guest chef from the fabulous European restaurant; Ian Curley.
Start with nibblies in the garden, glass of wine in hand as you listen to the sweet sounds of the vocalists from the Dame Nellie Melba Trust. Followed by a 5 course luncheon matched with very fine Yarra Valley wine. $150 per person all inclusive. Check out http://debortoliyarra.com.au/events-deals for further details or phone 0359652271 for bookings. See you there.
We’re excited about Rosé and hope you are too. When you think of Provencal style Rosé – pale, dry and sexy – it just screams fun, Summer and good times.
Bring on Rosé Revolution.
So what is it all about? Join us on Wednesday 14th November at events held around Australia to celebrate all that is good about Rosé. Click here for participating venues. Whether you are at one of these rosalicious venues or at home and also happen to be a twitter nut (like me), don’t forget to use the hashtag #RoseRev.
Buy a Rosé from one of these participating wineries over the summer months, rosewinerevolution.com/wineries and you can go into a draw to win a terrific prize of 5 nights at the fabulous QT Resort in Port Douglas. How good it that!
As for me, I’ll be down at Feddish in Federation Square. See you there.
Vive le Rosé
This zippy low-alcohol white wine just hits the spot for the warming Spring days. Made from Moscato Giallo grapes grown at our vineyard in the King Valley, it is fresh, slightly spritzy, beautifully aromatic and best of all, only 5.5% alcohol. A touch on the sweet side but balanced by drying acidity, this Moscato is perfect chilled as an aperitif or with chunks of seasonal fresh fruit. Lip-smacking good.
There is a lot of care that goes into growing and making our Yarra Valley Reserve Syrah and here’s why….
The Old Hill A8 Shiraz block consistently delivers excellent quality fruit, producing only about 4.4 tonnes per hectare (= 30 hectolitres per hectare) from vines planted in 1971 (yep, that’s 40 years ago).
The grapes for the 2010 Vintage were hand picked on the 1st and 2nd March at 12.8 Baume in the cool of the morning (9 degrees to be exact) and delivered into the winery in small crates. The vineyard lads had done their part.
The grapes were hand-sorted into the open fermentation vats with 40% destemmed fruit and 60% whole bunches (just very lightly foot-stomped). What followed was about 3 weeks of maceration, wild yeast fermentation, hand-plungin’, more foot-stompin’, gentle post-fermentation pressing, settling and gravity feeding into barrels. The winery crew had nearly done their part.
Then it was a waiting game as the wine was left to mature in barrels for 10 months. Lots of sitting around, reading newspapers, drinking coffee … waiting… patiently. Finally, it was racked (again by gravity) and filled to bottle without fining or filtration. Can you feel the winemakers relief?
Click on this link to check out these pikkies of the people and process that go into making this very fine wine. All for your enjoyment!
To find out a little more about winery life, follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/DeBortoliWines
Who wouldn’t get excited about a glass of Gamay. Think gorgeous Beaujolais (no, not nouveau; I am talking about the more serious stuff) and you are on track. Medium bodied red wine; plump and slightly spicy, black cherry and briar characters. Delicious with gnocchi and pine mushrooms.