Saturday 27th February 2021 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 about 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.
Get involved in ‘Open That Bottle Night’
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. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share in keeping with the theme.
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.
Share on social media 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. (Use the hashtag #OTBN to engage with this)
Whenever Mark is asked why we grow Italians? His answer is often literally ‘ABC, anything but Chardonnay’ and not because he dislikes Chardonnay, far from it. There are some great Chardonnays out there to enjoy. Instead Mark enjoys the challenge of growing something different, producing unique wines and sharing them with those amongst you curious about wine.
There is something like 10,000 grape varieties in the world, 3,000 or so in Italy alone, and most people would only be able to name 5-6 at best.
30 years ago, you would find Mark & myself roaming the Victorian countryside looking for elusive, unique wines. This was a time when Brown Brothers and a few other smaller wineries were starting to experiment and beginning to plant lesser known varieties. It was these ventures that encouraged our curiosity about wine, beyond the world of Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet.
How did we stumble upon the Italians?
We were on holiday back visiting family in Western Australia 25 years ago, when we stumbled upon the Three Hills label produced by Erl Happ, and in particular a grape variety we’d never heard of – Nebbiolo. It was so different, sort of like Pinot to look at, but a different shade of red, and tannic and dry, with a rich palate. This led us on a journey to find out more about this grape and where it came from.
Move on a few years and we had decided to move back to the West from Melbourne, leaving behind the corporate world, and look to raise our then 18 month old Bailey with family around him. We had discussing the dream of having our own vineyard and making wine, and the move to the West made this a reality when we purchased our 10 acres on Bagieau Road, establishing Vineyard 28.
In all honesty, we didn’t know much about growing grapes. We knew lots about drinking wine and all the styles, and what it was like to be on the other side of the cellar door counter. In 1997 we started planning; we’d plant a vineyard first, sell fruit to make some money and then build a cellar door and make wine. The grape glut of the latter 90’s – early 2000’s squashed that idea fairly quickly. Selling grapes wasn’t going to be viable, so we revised our plans and dived in to winemaking and building a cellar door.
A few conversations with Erl on how Nebbiolo grew resulted in us planting our first block in 1999. From there on, as they say, it’s history. The love affair with Piedmontese varieties began and we started investigating what other grapes we could grow from that region.
It was a lot of fun trying different wines, researching what could grow here and it still is today. Our vineyards doesn’t stand still. There are always new things to be learnt whether it is about the clone of a particular grape we are growing, the way we are making wine, or a shift to another variety that appeals more to the wine consumer. A great site we can recommend to learn more about lesser known grapes is Vinodiversity.
2021 is our 24th year in the wine industry, from a very small beginning in 1997 – 11 years of making wine onsite, and 16 years for our Cellar Door operation. Each year is an adventure as we’re never quite sure what the climate and elements have in store for us. We are now preparing to embark on our 2021 vintage journey – from picking the grapes to crafting the wine- and look forward to seeing our wines enjoyed by our loyal customers.
With all the happenings in the world we are focusing on the little things to celebrate. After a great 2020 vintage that was completed just as the Covid-19 crisis became fully understood, and a reality, we are pleased to release the first of our 2020 vintage wines – the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and the 2020 Arneis.
Available now at the cellar door and online.
December saw some of our hottest days ever, our warmest nights and driest times since 2008. The season started considerably earlier than usual with our harvest starting in the last week of January, up to 3 weeks earlier than normal. Many of our white varieties were harvested in quick succession throughout February, without any drop in quality, making for a busy time for us. A slight cooling off in March and some sporadic rain events slowed down reds to ripen on a more usual schedule.
We encourage you to celebrate with us and enjoy our new wine releases. Pop over to the website to buy wine.
2020 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
This follows on from previous vintages. It is passionfruit on the nose, with dry citrus and lime on the palate.
The Semillon adds length and texture. Drinking beautifully.
$20.00 per bottle
A soft and aromatic vintage, with a rich textured palate of nashi pears to hints of citrus, with a crisp finish.
Drinking young and fresh or will cellar for 2-3 years.
This is going to be a great opportunity to celebrate the 2020 Leap year, with our Vintage Leap Experience.
Saturday 29th February 2020
Come for a walk in the Vineyard with our winemaker, Mark. Sample the grapes and gain an understanding of how we decide when to pick and why. Learn what the words “baume” and “brix” mean. Taste the flavours of the grape before they become wine.
Mark will then take you into the winery where it should all be happening. A peek into the world of a winemaker amidst the season we refer to as “vintage” or in Italian – “la vendemmia“
By this time we will have some wines in tank and at different stages of the wine-making process. Get to have a sneak peek and early taste of 2020 vintage wines. Mark might even tempt you with some barrel tastings of the 2019 reds.
This will be a small group experience. (Limited to 8 persons per session)
When: Saturday 29 February 2020 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM
Cost – $25.00 per person (for Non Cellar Club Members)
Bookings are essential.
After your Vintage Leap Experience you are then welcome to taste wines at the Cellar Door and restock on some favourites. You are also invited to order a grazing plate or bring your own picnic to enjoy with a bottle of your favourite wine.
Note: Cellar Club Members please check your emails as there will be a promotional code provided for you to book with to obtain a discount.
September through to November each year is often known in our industry as the Wine Show season. The time when we send our wines off to be benchmarked against others. We hope to receive back a few awards, some medals and lots of constructive feedback on the wines we have entered.
Here at Vineyard 28 we are quite selective of which wine shows we enter. Not all wine shows are equal and suitable for our lesser known Italian Varieties. One show we always support though is our own local show, the Geographe and WA Alternative Wine Show held in September each year. This year we came home with a swag of Bronze medals for our wines, so although not an award or trophy, we got some great feedback.
Another great show we send our wines away to is the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. This show has been going for 20 years now and is not only a forum for wines that fall outside the mainstream. It encourages cutting-edge judging procedures and provides a host of social and educational events that promote knowledge sharing and the ferment of ideas around lesser known grape varietals.
Mark is very pleased to have received a Gold Medal, for the 2019 Dolcetto (dry) at this years Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. It makes it two years in a row for this wine. (The 2018 Dolcetto winning Gold last year and then going onto to win the Best Italian Red Varietal Trophy) The 2019 Dolcetto would have been in the running for the trophy again, but this year a Sangiovese from De Bortoli came up tops.
Wine shows are a fickle thing, and sometimes you don’t get the results you hoped for, but it doesn’t mean the wine isn’t good enough. Consistently achieving medals indicates excellent quality wine with no faults. It provides us with an opportunity to see how we are going with our peers. But at the end of the day it really comes down to the individual, which wines you like to drink, and the characteristics and flavours you like in your wine.
As well known Spanish American Chef, Jose Andres states, “Every time I open a bottle of wine it is an amazing trip somewhere.“
At Vineyard 28 we want our wines to take you on an amazing trip as well, hopefully on a little journey to experience something of Italy here in the Geographe Wine Region.
Wine Show Results 2019
Gold Medal at the 2019 Australian Alternative Wine Show for:
Spend an afternoon with our winemaker Mark, on a journey to discover Italian Vino. Be the first to try some of the new releases. Tempt your taste buds with samples of the new grape varieties we will be introducing in the future.
Begin your afternoon with an introduction to an Italian Sparkling wine from the Emilio Romagna region of Italy. Take a short trip to southern Italy to Campania as you are introduced to the Fiano grape. Vineyard 28 is looking forward to producing their first vintage of this in 2020.
You will be amongst the first to try new vintages of Arneis, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo. Compare with their predecessors. Which will be your favourite? Finish up your afternoon on a sweet note with our new release 2019 Moscato Rosa and 2019 Dolcetto Freddo.
All of this Italian Vino will be accompanied by grazing table of local fresh produce – fruits, cheeses, olives, charcuterie and Lou’s awesome artisan crackers.
Vintage 2019 has finally come to an end. It has seemed a long season this year, commencing back in early February, a few weeks later than usual, with the last harvest being the Nebbiolo undertaken on the 6th April. In fact the Nebbiolo was only pressed off a little over a week ago. Recent tastings across the range by winemaker Mark are indicating we are going to have some awesome drops of wine this year. It could well be a year to remember. The first of our Pignoletto grapes were picked on Saturday 16th February, and the resultant juice will soon continue its journey onto becoming our first Sparkling style. But don’t all rush out to come try, it won’t be available until later in 2020. Good things take time to create.
During the winter months we had good rain filling our soil profiles and a cool but quite dry spring. This and the continued cooler summer temperatures through December and January delayed ripening, but resulted in our grape canopies maintaining excellent conditions through to harvest. Of note this year has been the bird pressure. It is the highest we’ve seen in many years with almost no blossom on the local Marri trees until virtually the end of the season.
The season commenced on the 12th February with our Muscat fruit here at the Vineyard 28 site. For the first few weeks it was a little hectic in the winery with the white varieties and our first Dolcetto fruit all coming in before the end of February. Then the cooler March temperatures slowed things a little and spread the harvests out with the Cabernet Sauvignon being harvested on 20th March, with then another few weeks before we finished with the Nebbiolo. Mark has had a very full winery, and at times it’s been an interesting juggle, but it’s all in safely with the 2019 white styles almost ready for bottling later in June.
Our regular crew of retired farming folk were back this year to help bring the fruit in, ably assisted by a few local students commencing gap years, supplemented along the way by a few international backpackers. It made for some great morning tea conversations after each pick.
Check out the gallery of images below from across the season.
Come along and catch up with Pippa at one of Western Australia’s finest festivals in October. Vineyard 28 will be there with all our new releases, including the Gold Medal winning 2018 Dolcetto.
It’s a great day out providing an opportunity to not only catch up with us, but to also sample other WA wine, craft beer, cider and spirits. With 70+ companies from regions across our extraordinary state joining us, you have the chance to talk to winemakers and producers and taste our beautiful states produce you may not normally have access to.
Why not pack a picnic, or buy some food from one of the local Perth foodies that will be there. Find a patch of grass or make use of the many picnic blankets available and grab a glass of your favourite Vineyard 28 wine to enjoy.
Throughout the day you can listen to live music, sit in on a wine pairing session or wine appreciation seminar and buy some local produce and delicious tapas from Perth’s best foodies. No matter what you do, it all adds up to a delightful day where you can discover new and unusual wines, taste great food and enjoy indi tunes in a relaxing park setting in the heart of Subiaco.
Wine Theatre at Unwined Subiaco
Would you like to learn more about wine, then the daily activities at the Wine Theatre are for you.
At 12.00pm and 2.45pm wine and food pairings will be presented with the support of a local chef and sommelier at a cost of $20. The sessions will match the states fresh local produce with amazing WA wine.
At 1.30pm and 4.00pm hosted wine appreciation seminars are held with tastings and education of four wines at a cost of $10.
NOTE: Tickets for these classes are pre-purchase only.
More information about the event is available – HERE
The Geographe and Alternative Varieties Wine Show was held over 4 days in Bunbury at the Regional Entertainment Centre, in the last week of September 2018. The team of judges was led by this years’ James Halliday Winemaker of the Year – Julian Langworthy. He was ably accompanied by well known WA wine industry identity, Erin Larkin and Brendan Carr, winemaker from Xanadu.
Over 180 wines were entered from across the Geographe Region for the regional awards, and included some great alternative varieties from across Western Australia for the alternative variety awards. Vineyard 28 was in good company.
The standards were high and Vineyard 28 were pleased to achieve the results we did with our wines.
Thanks must go to all the hardworking volunteers and the judges that make shows like this possible.
Join Pippa and Mark from Vineyard 28 at the 2018 Perth Good Food and Wine Show, presented by Citi. Enjoy a fun day out with friends discovering new food, wine and the latest products. Sample from hundreds of local and international exhibitors and find new recipe ideas from some of Australia’s best chefs.
In 2018 there will be double trouble in the Good Food Theatre – all the chefs will be buddying up with someone they love to cook with.
Chefs appearing in Perth are – Matt Moran , Anthony Puharich, Colin Fassnidge & Miguel Maestre to name a few.
We are looking forward to sharing our new wine releases from the Vineyard. We’ll have the 2018 Arneis ready to sample along with our very first dry Dolcetto – a red table wine chock full of scrumptious cherry flavours. Other favourites such as the Moscato Rosa and Dolcetto Freddo will be also available
The Perth Good Food and Wine Show returns to the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
24 – 26 August 2018
Here is your chance to become immersed in all things food and wine. The show returns with favourites and also new, never before seen experiences and masterclasses. So start planning now, mark your calendars, purchase your tickets, and grab your family, friends and fellow foodies – your next culinary adventure awaits.
More Information is available at the website – http://goodfoodshow.com.au/perth/about-the-show/
Early Bird Tickets are on sale now until 21st August.
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.
Other days by appointment.
Or Order wine online, via phone or email.