Are you a lover of fine wine? Or do you consider yourself a wine connoisseur? Regardless of your answer, the Budswell event is the one to attend. It's a free wine tasting of 5 local wineries, plus a cheese and olive producer taking place at the RACV Club 2 - 5 pm on Sunday the 26th of October.
Today Inverloch3996 caught up with Dayna of Lithostylis Winery to talk about the upcoming event and to answer some of your questions about wine making...
Dayna, great to meet you, can you tell us where the idea came from for 5 local wineries to get together and create an awesome event?
The idea for the Budswell event stemmed from a desire to showcase some virtually unknown but amazing winemakers in our own South Gippsland region - many of who have been hard at work for some years handcrafting superlative wines. Many locals may not have heard of these vignerons as they currently do not have cellar door access, hence its a fantastic opportunity for people to meet them and to become familiarised with emerging wine labels. As a Gippslandian, I think it's high time we developed more of a sense of pride in our local produce, support it and see its high value especially on an international level.
Can you tell us about how soil is the soul of wine, especially in South Gippsland?
For wine enthusiasts, there is a french term known as “terroir” which speaks of the interplay or relationship between soil, site and eventual wine expression. The soil definitely has a huge impact on the vine’s growth and vigour, and subsequently the grape juice flavour, grape skin colour and structure. These elements obviously provide the base composition that is the aroma, flavour profile, mouth feel, alcohol and acid balance of the finished wine….and then its in the hand of the muse!
South Gippsland benefits from having a diverse range of soil types, ranging from rich red volcanic soils to grey loams. These all allow a diversity of grape varieties to be successful (season depending of course!). Mostly it has been Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties that traditionally have turned heads in our region, however we are also seeing some great Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Shiraz and Cabernet emerging amongst others.
How does each vigneron differ itself from one another?
The five winemakers involved all have quite diverse but exciting vineyard approaches and wine operations. Some source locally grown fruit to make the wine under their own label. Others own and manage large plantings of vines and occasionally sell on fruit to other winemakers depending on the season. Some export internationally, others focus on the local and Melbourne market. One producer is in the process of obtaining organic accreditation.
Budswell is therefore a great opportunity for people to find out more about each of the varying vineyard and wine making philosophies. Each of the winemakers generally have specific wine varieties and styles that they love to express - for some its the pursuit of making a cracking Pinot Noir….sounds easy but believe me, its wrought with trials and tribulations!
The 5 local wineries taken part are below - click their respective logos for more information.
Are you expecting experienced wine connoisseur's to attend the event, or people who just love wine?
The event is open to all wine lovers of all levels of experience. We would love for anyone with an interest to come along. We always welcome people to come and visit our wineries and talk openly about wine around others. You don't have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy good wine.
Although some wines do have high price tags, I’m of the belief that wine should be for everyone and everyone is entitled to have an opinion on it. Like viewing or experiencing art, the same is true of wine. One will love a wine….one will not. Thats life isn’t it! Just spare a little thought for the vigneron when you say you don’t like their wine - we have skins as thin as grapes :)
What is the most popular questions people ask at wine tastings?
With white wine, people have often asked to try our sweetest wine. Its true that some wines have more residual sugar than others and I think for a lot of people that is their preference. However, we aim to make wines that are well matched to food, and so on their own, they may not taste sweet, but with a simple cut cheese and bread it all suddenly makes sense.
Trying wine with simple food is the ideal for wine tasters and the merits of each wine seem to be accentuated. At Budswell we are fortunate to have Golden Creek Olive Oil and Prom Country Cheese producers present showcasing their amazing produce.
How many harvests do you get a year?
Leaving the quirks of some vineyards planted in the tropics to one side, the answer is just one, starting around September in the northern hemisphere and March in the southern hemisphere. The harvest of fruit is gathered and taken to the winery, and the whole cycle begins again with the vine dormant over winter and bursting back into life in spring.
How much wine does a vine produce?
It depends on many factors including the vine's age, the variety being grown, the growing conditions, the style of wine being made and, most importantly, the quality of the wine. The volume of fruit harvested is determined by natural factors and by the hand of the winemaker: removing bunches during the growing season concentrates the remaining fruit, and is a common practice for quality wines.
It takes just over a kilo of grapes to produce enough juice for one bottle of wine, but depending on the factors above, one vine might produce enough fruit for just a single bottle of high quality wine, or enough for several bottles.
What does the year on the label mean?
This is the year in which the grapes were grown, not the year the wine was released. Almost all quality table wines are the product of a single year, though blending of two or more vintages is common in some wines like Champagne and Sherry.
Do wine makers stomp on the grapes themselves?
We don’t personally - there is enough washing up to do as it is! Its amazing how staining on your hands and nails pinot noir grape juice is. Maybe we shall have to think about a grape stomp this harvest….I know our kids would love it a bit too much!
Are you excited? We certainly look forward to attending Budswell at the RACV Club, to taste, test and try some new flavors. For those of you who are also looking to attend please RSVP by txt or email response for door listing to the event (0458060025) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to mention Inverloch3996 :-)