Saturday 24th February 2024 is ‘Open That Bottle Night’
What is all this about you ask?
Back in the year 2000, ‘Tastings‘ columnists, Dorothy J Gaiter and John Brecher created Open That Bottle Night to encourage their readers to open a significant bottle and share their stories about the wine. They decreed it would be the last Saturday in February each year. It has become a day to celebrate your cherished bottle of wine, that you may have been given or are saving for a special occasion.
Don’t wait for that rainy day, ‘Open That Bottle Night’ is here
I think we’d all agree great wine is made to be shared. It doesn’t have to necessarily be the oldest bottle of wine you have in your cellar. It could be a bottle that takes you back to a special moment in time, or the latest release wine you’ve been meaning to open. One of the great things about wines are the stories attached to them, whether it be about how you first discovered it, where you tried it or maybe the company you were keeping at the time.
Unearth that wine you’ve been saving, gather friends and family and make an occasion of it. If it’s an Italian variety from us here at Vineyard 28, why not have an Italian theme dinner.
Share with your guests all you know about the wine and why it is special. Did you meet the winemaker ? Purchase it on a special weekend away? or just pop down to your local for something new and different?
If it is an older red wine we suggest you consider decanting it.
Tag us on social media (@vineyard28) and use the hashtag #OTBN or send us an email of how it all went. We’d love to hear your review if its an older Vineyard 28 wine, but equally we are interested to hear about all wine.
Here at Vineyard 28 we love working with like-minded people and partnering with other local businesses.
If you are looking for a way to make your wine tasting experience a little more unique or maybe looking for a transport option to bring friends and family for a visit.
Our recommended partners are:
We love to partner with our friends at Picnic Cheer to offer an indulgent luxury picnic and wine tasting experience here at our Cellar Door.
Each picnic is styled with rugs, low table/s, cushions, ottomans, matching tableware and table décor, fresh and/or dried flower arrangements, cloth napkins and glassware.
Whilst relaxing in your gorgeous Picnic setting you can experience the full range of Vineyard 28 wines paired with a delicious grazing board. Owners, Mark or Pippa will be on hand to provide tasting notes, guide you through your tasting and share their story with you.
Picnic experiences are bookable for groups of 2 and 4. If you have a larger group, please contact Mel & Pippa to discuss.
Based in Mandurah (1 hour drive, south of Perth) they pickup guests from either the main Train Station, Visitors Centre, local hotels/accommodation or from your residence in Mandurah. No need to drive, they happily do it for you.
They offer tours from 2 to 22 persons and are able to have much larger groups on a tour of your choice, or a customised tour to suit your preferences.
Your host Paula, includes Vineyard 28 in her itineraries. Paula is very friendly and professional, loves to travel and create memorable days and experiences while showing guests around the beautiful Peel and South West regions.
At A1 Bus Charters, they take pride in offering more than just transportation, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of our wonderful countryside. Operating from the coastal town of Binningup, they offer a transport service around the Geographe Wine Region, visiting local wineries, cideries and breweries. They are happy to work with you to tailor an offering to suit your needs, and partner with Vineyard 28.
Come check out the new space and new wine releases at our cellar door. During the winter break we got busy and made a few changes to freshen up the space for you.
For those who remember when music came on those round things called records, it will be a nostalgic visit, as Mark & Pip have resurrected their ‘vinyl’ collection. There’ll always be something playing on the turntable inside the cellar door. (Hint: it’s a bit of a trip back to the 80’s with some early 90s and classics thrown in.)
The most important change is that we would prefer you to book or make an appointment when coming to visit the cellar door. There are lots of ways you can do this:
We will still accept ‘walk-ins’ during opening hours, but booking ahead will ensure we can provide you with the best wine experience.
Why bookings – because we are keen to give you our undivided attention,
and make your visit, engaging and memorable.
Cellar Door Hours – Thursday to Monday – 10am to 5pm
Guided Tasting with Food Pairing
You can still just book a Guided Wine tasting, but we’ve also added a simple food pairing option for those times you just want a light snack whilst tasting our wines. Choose 6 wines from the Vineyard 28 range and we will pair them with a sample plate for you to enjoy.
’28’ Wine and Grazing Experience
We’ve also upgraded the ‘28’ Wine and Grazing experience – its even more sumptuous than before, with some extra cheese, dips, local relishes and breads added to the board. It’s a great way to enjoy the full range of Vineyard 28 wines. Gluten free options still available.
When the cellar door reopens in July we will no longer accept ‘walk-ins‘. Visiting the cellar door will be by appointment and bookings only.
Mark and Pippa are looking forward to being able to continue to share their wine with you. When you make an appointment for a guided wine tasting or a booking for one of our wine experiences, you will know you are going to be hosted by them.
Pippa and Mark love sharing their passion for their wines with visitors.
Cellar Door Hours (from Friday 7th July 2023)
Thursday to Monday for appointments and bookings
between – 10am to 5pm
How to Make an Appointment or Book
The more you plan your visit ahead, the better we can provide you with a great wine experience.
Our 21st Vintage got under way on Wednesday 8th February this year with the Muscat Petit a Grain Rouge, destined for Moscato. This is usually our first grape to be harvested, and it was again this year, only a few days later than in 2022. We thought the season was going to be slower than usual, due to the cooler spring, and milder summer temperatures, but it turned out to be almost on par. Both the Pignoletto and Arneis were harvested on the exact same dates as in 2022, the 16th and 17th February respectively. The second half of February was busy, with the Fiano, Dolcetto, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc all coming into the winery on consecutive days. This made for some long days for Mark and Kieran, and lots of sunrises for the harvest crew.
Then as per usual we had what we call the mid vintage break, well it is for those picking. As the Cabernet Sauvignon wasn’t harvested until the 15th March, and then finally the Nebbiolo on 7th April on the eve of the Easter weekend. In between we picked a small quantity of Barbera as well from the Wildwater Vineyard.
Harvesting the grapes is just the beginning of the winemaking process. From de-stemming, to spending time on skins, different fermentations, pressing, barrel time and filtration; these processes commence the day the grapes are harvested and will continue for many weeks after. Winemaker Mark and assistant Kieran will still be working away in the winery over the next few months, tasting, checking and working on the wines. Typically the Nebbiolo spends up to 6 weeks on its skins, so it can be the end of June before it is pressed off and transferred to barrel.
Thank you to our Vintage 2023 Harvest Crew
A huge thanks to our 2023 harvest crew, the regulars – Bruce, Carol, Julie, Phil and Fran who this year were assisted by some other locals, Vicki, Ken, young Xavier, and brother-in-law DJ. This crew make all the difference to the quality of our wines, as they diligently weed out any not so good fruit. Our wines are very much hand made from beginning to end.
Overall Vintage 2023 has brought us in some exceptional grapes, with great flavours and in the right quantity too. We had very little disease pressure this season, and minimal impact from the weather. It was a lovely ripening season from December through until Easter. Our biggest issue this year was the lack of Marri flowers locally, thus netting the vines was extremely important on all our vineyards, as the bird pressure was high. You can look forward to some exceptional wines in the future years. Check out the gallery below for a few snapshots from this vintage.
2023 is the year Vineyard 28 turns 25. It’s quite a milestone and one we feel is worthy of celebration. This year also happens to be our 30th Wedding Anniversary.
How did we get to 25 years?
It all started 34 years ago in Melbourne; the Kiwi girl met the West Aussie boy whilst working for the same company. There was a spark, a date and as it is often said, the rest is history.
We quickly discovered we both had a shared interest in travel and wine. Whilst living in Melbourne, you’d find us ‘up country’ chasing down some obscure winery or helping out our friends in their wineries. The search for different varieties and wine styles began all the way back then.
Travel was a big thing, and it was Mark’s dream to traverse Africa. So, in 1991 we quit our jobs and took off for the UK, embarking on an overland trip from Morocco, through Algeria, across the Sahara down into West Africa. Have to say there wasn’t much wine on that trip – mostly beer. 1992 was spent living and working in the UK and traveling as much as possible.
Upon returning to Australia in 1993, we announced we were getting married. A huge wedding party was thrown for all the friends and family back at ‘359’ -the Cumbers family home in Australind – over the Australia Day Long weekend. Wine was of course a feature of this event, a fine selection from Killerby’s and the Moss Brothers.
Settling back into working life in Melbourne a house was bought, our first child Bailey was born, and we still spent most weekends chasing wine. All through that time was the phrase “one day we’ll start our own vineyard”. This was the beginning of our dream.
In early 1997 city life and raising a child with no family support was fast losing its appeal, so we decided to move back West to where Mark’s family was. Mark would get a job, we’d buy some land, hopefully with a house on it, and we’d start our own vineyard. It was meant to be, as Mark had a job offer quickly, the house we owned sold within 2 weeks, and within a couple of months we found ourselves living temporarily in Mandurah looking for the dream property.
One should point out at this stage – we didn’t actually know that much about growing grapes or winemaking – we were just really good at sampling the final product.
270 Bagieau Road
Bagieau Road which became Vineyard 28 was found by accident one weekend, on the way down to visit the family in Australind. Back then there was a house, some paddocks, a few trees and horses roaming. A second visit was organised a few weeks later and soil samples were be taken to see if it was even remotely possible to grow grapes there. Everything lined up, and the position close to the highway was considered ideal, so bargaining hard, they took possession and moved in on Boxing Day, December 1997.
The Dream Begins
In Spring 1998 the first vines were planted at Vineyard 28. It started out with a small trial block just to get the hang of growing these things. Then each year it just kept expanding. Initially with the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and Nebbiolo blocks. We realised very early on that we needed a point of difference, and Nebbiolo provided that opportunity, thus the decision to travel the Italian path. With industry assistance we planted the first Arneis vines and then a few years later Dolcetto.
The cellar door has been in operation for 18 years this year and it has gone through many changes. Starting out just doing tastings, to now focusing on providing the ‘28’ Wine and Grazing Experience as well as tours. During that time the family grew up and Jasper the red cloud kelpie grew older too.
A few of our major milestones over the years include opening the Cellar Door in 2005, winning our first ever Gold medal in 2011 for the 2011 Arneis at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. This was also the same year Mark took on the responsibility of making all our wines. A few years later in 2014 we leased Wildwater Vineyard and starting growing Pignoletto, Dolcetto, Barbera and Montepulciano up there. We were very proud in 2018 to receive a trophy for Best Red Italian Variety for the 2018 Dolcetto at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Then again in 2022 we were overjoyed with receiving the trophy for Best Geographe White Wine at the 2022 WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show for our Fiano.
There is always something exciting and new to explore in the wine industry. Pippa is currently studying her Diploma of Digital Technology(Wine) to better understand how to use IoT (Internet of things) in the vineyard. Mark is constantly looking for the next variety to pioneer and ways to keep raising the bar on the wines he’s already producing.
Each year the seasons are different and sometimes they bring us new challenges and adventures.
Over the next 12 months our emphasis is moving towards providing more wine experiences and events for our Cellar Club members. The cellar door itself will slowly move towards being open by appointment and bookings only.
We look forward to sharing our next adventures in wine with you all!
The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on the 18th and 24th of February 2020. The fruit was then destemmed, cooled to approx 16 degrees C and a wild yeast was added. Prior to completion of the ferment, Malolactic ferment began. When the wine had fermented to dryness, skin contact was maintained for a further 7 days. The wine was pressed off skins and transferred to a stainless steel tank and allowed to settle for 36 hours before transfer to oak barrel. The wine was aged in a mixture of new and older French oak barriques for 12 months.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon is a velvet and warm red with luscious blackberries and boysenberries on the palate.
The 2020 Nebbiolo was harvested on the 25th of March 2020. The fruit was destemmed, cooled to approx 14 degrees C and placed into closed fermentation for two days. The juice was warmed to 16 degrees C and yeast was added. The juice/wine was then controlled to a maximum of 29 Degrees C during fermentation. The wine was not plunged for the first 36 hours. Then gentle plunging was done twice daily for 20 minutes.
Prior to completion of the ferment, Malolactic ferment was begun. When the wine had fermented to dryness, skin contact was maintained for a further 14 days. Tanks were closed off from the atmosphere. The wine was plunged once every 2 days during this period. The wine was pressed off skins and transferred to a stainless steel tank and allowed to settle for 36 hours before transfer to oak barrel. The wine was aged in 3-5-year-old French oak barriques for 18 months.
Our Nebbiolo is savoury, plummy and tannic wine with spices, light raspberry, and cherry characters, with a dry finish.
The 2020 Nebbiolo was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2022 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.
On Saturday 15th October we hosted a picnic adventure up at our Wildwater Vineyard. Starting at Vineyard 28, our guests took a bus up into the Harvey Hills to our Wildwater Vineyard. Our winemaker, Mark took everyone on a tour of the vineyard and they got to see the tree featured on our Wildwater Sparkling Pignoletto and meet owners Cath & Kim to learn more about the history of the land.
We had a long table picnic lunch set up on the top of the hill overlooking the vineyard. The picnic was set up by our friends at Picnic Cheer with individual picnic boxes for each guest supplied by Thyme and Place.
Our guests also got to taste our new release wines like our 2021 Sparkling Pignoletto, 2022 Fiano and our special release, the Jasper Rose and talk all things wine with Mark and Pippa. It was a beautiful day and thank you to everyone who came on this little adventure with us! We can’t wait to do it again next year!
Make your Wine & Grazing experience with us at the Cellar Door more magical!
We partner with our friends at Picnic Cheer to offer an indulgent picnic experience at our Cellar Door, looking out at our vineyard.
You’ll get to experience the full range of Vineyard 28 wines paired with a delicious grazing board at a gorgeous picnic, set up and styled by Picnic Cheer. Mark or Pippa will be on hand to provide tasting notes, guide you through your tasting and share their story with you.
This experience is bookable for groups of 2 and 4. If you have a larger group, please contact Mel & Pippa to discuss.
Looking to gift this experience to a loved one? We also have gift vouchers available for purchase.
Wine & Grazing in Style for 2 – $150.00
Wine & Grazing in Style for 4 – $260.00
‘28’ Wine & Grazing Experience – wine tasting with a gourmet grazing board
Luxury picnic set up, styled and packed down by Picnic Cheer
Remembered as the Chief Concierge at our Cellar Door, our beloved family wine dog Jasper passed away in May 2021, at the age of 15. Heading into the 2022 vintage, Mark and Pippa wanted to do something to commemorate Jasper and decided to make the 2022 Jasper Rose.
Jasper joined the family in April 2006 and grew up alongside our kids. He loved to go on walks in the bush and to visit the beach. Then at home, if he wasn’t following one of the family around, Jasper could be found on his beloved couch.
Many of you would have been able to meet Jasper over the years when visiting the Cellar Door and knew how much he loved meeting and greeting you all. Although, he would get a bit slack on his duties in summer, as it was much too hot some days and he would stay indoors with the airconditioning.
One of his favourite times of year was vintage when he could round up the harvest crew and snack on some grapes (when he really shouldn’t have). When it came to morning tea time, he would stare longingly at whoever he decided might give in and sneak him some of their muffin or biscuit.
This label, with Jasper wearing his usual kerchief, has been designed by local artist and friend of Vineyard 28, Yvonne Chapman.
Made from our Nebbiolo grapes, this rose is gorgeous salmon pink in colour with hints of strawberries on the palate. Luscious and refreshing, with a hint of spritz.
Licensee : Cumbers WA Pty Ltd Premises Name : Vineyard 28 License Number : 6180088658 Class of License: Producer’s License
Warning: Under the Liquor Control Act 1988, it is an offence to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years on a licensed or regulated premises; or for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or attempt to purchase liquor on a licensed or regulated premise. Cellar Door is open 10am to 5pm – Thursday to Monday. Bookings are required.Or Order wine online, via phone or email.