Wine and Food with a Dash of Sunshine; Noosa Styleool

Wine and food; Noosa Style

leanne / March 26th, 2015

Is your next holiday destination Noosa?

Well maybe it is, if we have anything to do with it. It is so easy to enter our little comp – Just buy a bottle of Rococo, La Boheme or one of our Yarra Valley Estate wines at participating stores/restaurants, keep your receipt and enteronline at

Four lucky couples will be winging their way to the fabulous Noosa Food and Wine Festival (May 15th to 17th)….and you could be one of them. Hope to see you there.


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2015 Seafood spaghettini - small

Autumn Dining in the Yarra Valley

leanne / February 27th, 2015


Food and wine are so connected that we can’t (or wont) do one without the other. At our Yarra Valley vineyard, our Italian-style ‘Locale’ restaurant has been in operation for 25 years (yikes, I am really showing my age now). For us it is all about showcasing our wines with food and for that same reason we have set up a Cheese shop and maturation room within our Cellar Door Sales.

Adam Mead, our head chef makes delicious food, sourcing as much locally as he can, growing as much as he can and relying on good produce from reliable sources. I must say, it speaks volumes to see the contented look on customers faces after dining in the restaurant. Autumn is such a lovely time to visit too. You could be dining in the restaurant, supping on our 2012 Shiraz whilst seeing the 2015 Shiraz being harvested right outside the window. Now isn’t that worth a visit!

Just in case you are interested, the restaurant (which has undergone some recent renovations) is open from Thursday to Monday for lunch as well as Saturday night for dinner. Phone 03 5965 2271 or book online at Hope to see you soon


Leanne de Bortoli

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Braised short ribs

Rib tickling Winter Braise

leanne / August 21st, 2014

Winter is the time for slow braises and this one is a beauty; tasty and finger licking good. This recipe is matched with our Heathcote Shiraz – a warming combination.

Click here for the recipe Braised Beef Short Ribs

Sally and Kate with their father, Steve Webber.

Next Genners having a Wow of a Time

leanne / April 17th, 2013


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

By the way, if you do go, make sure you say hi to Kate and Sally.



Follow me on Twitter@DeBortoliWines or visit us at

La Boheme Pinot Gris and Friends

La Boheme Act 3; Amongst Friends

leanne / April 15th, 2013

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.


La Boheme-rose_0100 copy copy

Who Drinks Pink? We Do

leanne / November 13th, 2012

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, 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!

Check out the Rosé Revolution website for more details on the QT Port Doulas Resort prize, the Real Men Drink Pink campaign and lots of other cool stuff.

As for me, I’ll be down at Feddish in Federation Square. See you there.

Vive le Rosé


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Also check out the Rosé Revolution facebook page and twitter page


What is so Cool about Shiraz

leanne / August 23rd, 2012

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!



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Picking Gamay from Roundstone Vineyard. Lynne and John Derwin

Vinoque 2011 Yarra Valley Roundstone Vineyard Gamay

leanne / August 15th, 2012

Who wouldn’t get excited about a glass of Gamay. Think gorgeous Beaujolais (no, not nouveau; I am talking about the slightly more serious stuff) and you are on track. A medium-bodied wine; rather plump and slightly spicy full of black cherry and briary flavours.

We purchased the fruit for this ‘frighteningly drinkable wine’ (Steve Webber’s description) from the Roundstone vineyard owned by John and Lynn Derwin. They have been growing Gamay since 1998 but unfortunately they lost their winery, home and restaurant in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The Derwins were fine, the Gamay survived the ordeal and John and Lyn kindly sold the fruit to us. Lucky us.

When we first released the Vinoque Gamay  in April 2012 it happily coincided with mushroom season. Pine Mushrooms to be exact. As Autumn turned into winter, we gulped down the Gamay with mushrooms tossed through some gnocchi. In fact if Steve had his way, we would have been drinking it out of tumblers too.


To find out a little more about winery life in the Yarra Valley, follow me on twitter

Wine of the Century….You Decide!

leanne / July 1st, 2012

What distinguishes one vintage from another? And for that matter, who decides whether one year is great, middling or indifferent; Winemakers, winewriters or should you, as the consumer, be trusting your own instincts?

Recently I was contacted by N.M. via twitter regarding the condition of our 1995 Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. She was opening a bottle for a wine tasting that night and wanted some information on it.

Via my limited 140 characters, I wrote back to her… ‘@N–  terrific vintage, perhaps best Cab we made in 90’s. Classic Yarra season, cool, dry, Indian Summer. From 2 Estate vineyard blocks’

I received another tweet a day later to say…‘thanks Leanne! Was a great drop. Wine of night in line up of oz cab. Strange, wine companiolassus 95 difficult, wet vintage’

It is so easy to strike a line through a particular vintage from a particular year because of a generalisation. 1995 happened to be a terrific year for Cabernet Sauvignon. Well, at least for De Bortoli, here at Dixons Creek, here in the Yarra Valley. Whether it was for anyone else, who knows, but we rate it as one of our best Cabernet vintages in the 1990’s. We are still lucky enough to have a few magnums of this wine and it is holding up incredibly well.

Fast forward 16 years to the 2011 vintage. Yes, it was wet, and could also be described  as being difficult, but we have made some gorgeous Yarra Valley Chardonnay. Speaking to other winemakers in the region, their thoughts echo ours. Sure, it was a year where winemakers had to be diligent throughout the growing season but those who did, were amply rewarded and therefore, hopefully you will be too.

It brings to mind a story told by Kermit Lynch in his book ‘INSPIRING THIRST – VINTAGE SELECTIONS FROM THE KERMIT LYNCH WINE BROCHURE’. (2004) Here are some Excerpts from the chapter Combat Vintage Chart Mentality, Part III.

He says :…..“My experience, seventeen years in the wine trade, has taught me never to reject a vintage out of hand, and never to go overboard with enthusiasm. I cellar my favourite wines in all vintages. That is what I consider fun”…..

……“Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant may even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine”.

To which he also included the KERMIT LYNCH VINTAGE CHART. See below







cut it out and save.

Kermit allowed us to reprint the full chapter in one of our newsletters some years ago and we hope his kindness still prevails. If you are interested in it in it’s entirety, just send me a note and I’ll forward it to you.


So next time you are tempted to pass over a wine because the vintage was not rated highly, stop for a moment and consider whether you may be passing up the wine of the century.



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Rose party in 2010

Party with Rosé this Summer

leanne / October 27th, 2011

For the last few years, Steve and I have been enamoured with premium Rosé and we are not alone. If you have ever been to the south of France, you’ll know what we mean and if not, trust us, they’re delicious!

The wines we are talking about are Rosés for grown ups – dry, savoury and gluggable. The variety doesn’t matter, it is all about style.

We feel that these wines suit the casual Australian lifestyle perfectly and go well with so many different foods. So there is an opportunity to spread the message about these delightful wines.

Hence Rosé Revolution.

So what is the Rosé Revolution about?

It is about some like-minded Australian and international wineries joining forces to spread the word on dry, textural Rosé.

What better way than to have a big party to spread the word.

To kick off the Rosé Revolution celebrations and just in time for summer, there is a taste and tweet on the 10th November. With 20+ venues around Australia hosting their own events it is a good chance to jump right in and see what all the fuss is about.

Check out our website for events that may be happening in your area.

Most of the free Rosé tastings will take place from 5-7pm AEST and then Rose Soiree parties will kick off from about 7.00pm. Dress in pink if you like, and taste away…..just don’t forget to use the hashtag #roserev when tweeting!

If you can’t make it to one of the parties, you can still participate. Just buy a bottle (or two) of Rosé  to share with some friends and jump onboard twitter to join the chatter on all things pink! Click here for some of the 30+ participating wineries

So, be bold and give Rosé a go, you could be very pleasantly surprised.


Leanne De Bortoli

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Activities will be happening throughout summer so continue to check out the official website Also check out the Rosé Revolution facebook page and twitter page

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