20 Years of Cabernet Sauvignon

2022 will be the 20th vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon harvested here at Vineyard 28.  (In reality there were only 19 wines produced, but in 2003 we created two versions, our usual Cab Sauv and a second known as the Tuart Red, so I’m sticking with 20 Cab Sauv in 2022).

Back in 1998 when Vineyard 28 first commenced we planted an initial row of Cabernet Sauvignon as a trial. That row still exists today, and in 2022 the vines will be 24 years old. The Cabernet block expanded quite quickly growing to an area of approximately 0.5 hectare here on the coastal property.

The first ever vintage was the 2002, although we did experiment in 2001 to make a Cab Sauv just for ourselves and family.

Harvest 2002

20 Years of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2022

  • Planted at Vineyard 28 in 1998
  • First official vintage = 2002
  • Produced approx. 18,000 bottles over the last 19 years.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most recognised grape varieties, grown in nearly every major grape growing country. It came to prominence in France in the Bordeaux region where is usually blended with Merlot or Cabernet Franc. Despite this prominence, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in south western France.

Cab Sauv Wine LabelsWine Labels

The Cabernet Sauvignon shows an amazing evolution of our wine label designs. From the very basic green in 2002 to the red version in 2003, to various forms of connecting to the 28 parrot to the current. I think we tried just about everything, but the wine inside has always been consistently delicious to drink.

Vintage Notes of Note

2002 was incredibly young, a much lighter style than more recent vintages. It spent 8 months in a combination of French and American oak prior to its bottling.2002 Cab Sauv

2003 was the year we received 70mm rain all in a 24 hour period. Miraculously the Cabernet survived this.  This was the year we produced two versions, the Tuart Red which had been matured in Hungarian oak, and our traditional Vineyard 28 Cabernet Sauvignon.

2004 to 2009 were all produced offsite at various contract facilities. It wasn’t until 2010 that Mark took over control of the Cabernet destiny, and we begun producing it here at Vineyard 28.

2011 to 2018 – Consistently good wines, always with an emphasis on expression of fruit, with a light hand on the use of French oak.

In the early days winemaker, Mark, experimented with some American and even Hungarian oaks, but ultimately feels the fruit we produce is best suited to French Oak.

Harvest dates for Cabernet have varied somewhat over the 20 years. Some years it’s been the first week in March, but generally it is harvested mid March.

Cabernet Sauvignon today

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is our current release, drinking superbly, and will continue to do so for another 3-5 years depending upon how you have stored it.

2020 is spending some time in bottle, before its release later this year.

2021 is still enjoying its time developing in barrel.

2022 was harvested on Thursday 10th March 2022.

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Mark & Pip’s Fabulous Holiday

June 2021 – Mark & Pip’s Holiday Adventure

Mark & Pip HelicopterSouth Australia was awesome folks. We loved it. So much history, great little towns dotted all over the place with original stone buildings and interesting architecture.

Getting there wasn’t without adventure though. It seems 2021 wasn’t done with us quite yet. This holiday was meant to be a road trip, but an encounter with a large kangaroo just outside Salmon Gums ended that very quickly. The big buck jumped on the car and made confetti of the front drivers side of our Kluger.There wasn’t even a recognizable headlight left. The roo basically going at full speed and just ran into us!

Anyway, after some re-organising and much assistance from family we still got away to SA. This time via the flying kangaroo, Qantas into Adelaide where we picked up a hire car and carried on.

Highlights and Recommendations

Visit the National Wine Centre in Adelaide – an opportunity to taste and experience 52 different wine styles from across Australia. Head sommelier James Boden has created a great experience, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot a Vineyard 28 wine in the line up from time to time.

Robe – a gorgeous seaside village that we arrived in via travelling along the Coorong from Meningie, made famous by Heather Ewart in her ABC series ‘Backroads’. Robe had fabulous cliffside walks or cycle tracks if you like two wheels, and like many towns some fab old buildings. If you’re traveling with a caravan then head for the Beachport Caravan Park, all grass overlooking the beach. It would be superb in summer.

Flinders Ranges – definitely put this on the list. You can 4-wheel drive, haul a caravan in or just travel in a car. The most spectacular scenery. We stayed at Rawnsley Park Station and did some walks there and day trips. Absolute best thing was a helicopter flight over Wilpena Pound, gifted to us by our kids (they thought we needed cheering up after the car and kangaroo incident). Flinders is an amazing, ever changing landscape with just so much to see.

Wine and Food

In terms of wine regions, McLaren Vale was cool, we found lots of interesting alternative producers like ourselves there, Oliver’s Tarranga, Lino Ramble and Coriole were our faves. Of course we had to visit D’Arrenbergs – ‘The Cube’. Great views from up there, and if you like quirky weird art and creations then you’ll enjoy this place. We had one of our best lunches there with a great view out over the region.

The Cube
The Cube
Mark at Deviation Road
Mark tasting Sparkling at Deviation Road

In Adelaide Hills we also found a quirky cellar door with some interesting art and wines called ArtWine. We drove the Coonawarra strip, where there were grapevines for miles. Pip was happy that they weren’t hers to prune!

Bellwether was our favourite along here, housed in the 1868 Glen Roy shearing shed. So much atmosphere, and some delicious wines enjoyed beside the open fire.

Our last stop for a few days was in Tanunda, Barossa before flying home. Great little town to stay in with fabulous wine bars and food. You could almost wine taste and eat your way down the main street in the evening. We would recommend the 1918 restaurant, housed in a house dating back to 1918. Great wine list and delicious food. A great base to explore the Barossa in all directions.

ArtWine Sculpture
ArtWine Sculpture
Bellwether Winery
Inside the Glen Roy Shed at Bellwether

Best Wine of the trip

Mark’ pick was the WangolinaGruner Veltliner

Anita Goode is the winemaker a Wangolina. Her winery is in Mt Benson, about 15 to 20 mins from Robe. Like many of us Anita has a keen interest in the lesser known varieties. A bottle of her Lagrein found its way home with us.

Pip’s pick was the Lino RambleArinto.

Lino Ramble is in the Mclaren Vale. It is Two friends and a common thread: childhood adventures on the faithful treadlie,  lino floors, vinyl records, and board games. Their grape varieties are chosen with a focus on sustainability, intrigue and above all else, drinkability.

Best Wine Experience – That’s a tough one, as we had some great wine tasting experiences.

One has to be Yalumba which surprised us. Sitting by an open fire, being led thru a tasting by a very knowledgeable guide in a building steeped in history. Having the opportunity to taste their flagship Cab Shiraz, “The Caley” and for Mark seeing the cooperage where they make their own barrels of course.

The other would have to Oliver’s Tarranga, a small stone cellar door. Getting to taste wines, again with a very knowledgeable guide, but accompanied by warm oven roasted almonds, lavosh bread and a soft sheep’s cheese.

We would highly recommend exploring South Australia, so diverse a countryside with so much history tucked away in it’s little towns. There was always something to see. Of course the wine and food was also pretty good too. In the spirit of business research of course,  we tasted lots of Italians – Fiano, Dolcetto, Barbera, Montepulciano and Vermentino.  There were some great examples of these, and occasionally some not so great. Different growing conditions, climate and wine making make for interesting tasting experiences. Quite a few have made their way home, so we’ll have to let you know how they go.

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New Wine Releases at Cellar Door

White Wine 2021New Wine Releases

2021 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

2021 Arneis

2021 Moscato Rosa

It might be wintry and cold at the moment, but we know there are many of you who are partial to your white wines. Prior to our June holiday we sold out of our 2020 vintages of the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Arneis and Moscato Rosa. Fortunately for all, our 2021 vintages are all safely in bottle and are ready for you to enjoy.

 

2021 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

This has loads of passion fruit on the palate. Crisp and crunchy is how winemaker, Mark describes it. This years blend is 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon.

2021 Arneis

Deliciously textured on the palate, think – stone fruits and better enjoyed at almost room temperature rather than too cold. 2021 was not a big vintage for Arneis this year, so will be in limited supply.

2021 Moscato Rosa

Our regular sweet spritzy style full of luscious stone fruit flavours on the palate, and a touch of pink in colour. We highly recommend it’s enjoyed with some soft cheese, and fresh pear, or traditional Turkish delight.

You can order them online or pop into the cellar door to taste and buy or give us a call on 08 9733-5605 to order over the phone.

 

 

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Open That Bottle Night

Vineyard 28 WinesSaturday 26th February 2022 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 here2004 Vineyard 28 Wines

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)
  • There’s even a FaceBook page you can connect to – https://www.facebook.com/Openthatbottlenight

Start planning now for ‘Open That Bottle Night’.

 

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Wildwater Sparkling Pignoletto

 Sparkling Pignoletto2019 Wildwater Sparkling PignolettoWildwater Pignoletto

On Saturday 14th November we proudly launched our first Sparkling wine, the 2019 Wildwater Sparkling Pignoletto, in the company of our lovely customers and family.

Winemaker Mark regaled our visitors with the tale of how he was first introduced to the world of Sparkling Wine or ‘Bubbly’ as he calls it. Way back in the 1970’s Mark worked his way through University as a kitchen hand at the old Parmelia. At the end of one evening’s work there was a bottle of Champagne not finished, and he was offered it to take home. It would have been either a Veuve Clicquot or possibly a Pol Roger he thinks, but whatever it was, he loved it, and from then on made sure he got the unfinished bottles after his shifts each weekend. And so, the love affair with ‘bubbles’ began.

It was a couple of years ago during a visit to the research block of vines at Wokalup that Mark discovered this grape called Pignoletto. After a bit more research, he found out that it originates from the Emilio Romagna area in Italy. It takes its name from ‘pigna’, the Italian for pine cone, on account of its small, tight grape clusters. When he learned the Italians used it to make a sparkling style wine, we were in. Another block at the Wildwater vineyard was prepared and grafted over to Pignoletto in 2018.

The 2019 Wildwater Sparkling Pignoletto takes its name from the vineyard where the grapes are grown. Our lovely friend and local artist Yvonne Chapman was commissioned to create the artwork for our label. It showcases the terroir of the Wildwater vineyard – its landmark towering gum tree which is in the middle of our Pignoletto block and the guinea fowl who live amongst the vines.

 Yvonne & Mark launching Pignoletto

How is the wine made?

Winemaker, Mark, used ‘methode traditionelle‘ for this wine. The grapes were harvested on the 16th February 2019, whole bunch pressed and fermented to dryness in stainless steel. The resultant base wine was bottled and underwent secondary ferment on lees for 14 months, before being disgorged and corked in July 2020.

The resultant wine is a crisp, bright sparkling – think granny smith apples and crunchy green pear slices – this is our Pignoletto.

How do you purchase the Wildwater Sparkling Pignoletto?

Head on over to our Buy Wine page or just click here and it will take you to the right page. But don’t wait too long. This vintage was our very first and there is only a limited supply with our Cellar Club members receiving preference.

 

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Sparkling Pignoletto Release

2019Wildwater Pignoletto Sparkling Pignoletto Release

Saturday 14th November 2020

at the Cellar Door

3.00pm to 5.00pm

Bookings essential – Click here to Book

 

The afternoon will commence with a glass of the 2019 Sparkling Pignoletto.

This is our first production of a sparkling wine using our Pignoletto grapes which are grown in the Harvey Hills at our Wildwater Vineyard.

The label has been created specially for us from a commissioned painting by local artist Yvonne Chapman and friend of Vineyard 28. It showcases the Wildwater vineyard, its landmark towering gum tree and the guinea fowl who live amongst the vines.

Pignoletto originates from the Emilio Romagna area in Italy. It takes its name from Pigna’, the Italian for pine cone, on account of its small, tight grape clusters.

Think crisp green apples and crunchy green pear slices – this is our Pignoletto.

Winemaker Mark, will chat to you about the wine, tell you the story of the label and encourage you to sample it alongside some canapes.

You will also be able to sample the 2020 releases of our Sauvignon Blanc, Arneis, Dolcetto and Dolcetto Freddo.

A grazing table laden with canapes, cheeses, olives, and our awesome locally made artisan crackers will be on hand to enjoy with your wine.

On Saturday 14 November 2020 at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Bookings essential. BOOK HERE

 

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Top 10 Wednesday Wine Facts

Jasper Wednesday Wine Fact

Top 10 Wine Facts as ranked by Jasper

For more than a year our trusty cellar door concierge Jasper has been sharing his knowledge of all things wine with his “Jasper’s Wednesday Wine Fact” on Facebook. Sometimes they are quirky pieces of information, and other times quite factual. We’ve reviewed the rankings and as determined by engagement from our Facebook followers,  here are the Top 10 Wednesday Wine Facts that you all enjoyed.

 

Here we go…

  1. The colour of wine is determined by how much contact the grape juice has with the grape skins.  This also impacts the amount of tannins in a finished wine. Rose for instance is mostly crafted by controlled and limited contact with the skins of red grape varieties.
  2.  Wine grapes are of the vitis vinifera family, and there are apparently over 10,000 different types.
  3. A  750ml bottle of wine contains the juice of approximately 600 to 800 grapes.
  4. There are 11 different bottle sizes. Wow! From the 187ml ‘Piccolo’ up to the ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ which holds the equivalent of 20 standard bottles. (A standard bottle being 750ml) Check out Wine Folly for all the detail.
  5. Not everyone likes wine. Some are even afraid of it. The condition is known as “Oenophobia“.
  6. There is a right way and wrong way to hold a wine glass. Wine glasses should be held by the stem, so that way the hand does not raise the temperature of the wine. The stem exists for a reason!
  7. The dark green wine bottle was an English invention. Sir Kenelm Digby (1603 to 1665) was responsible. Prior to this wine was kept in goat skin bags.
  8. The oldest wine cellar is located on the Titanic. When divers went down to the wreckage they surprisingly found most of the bottles intact.
  9. Grape varieties do not determine how sweet a wine is. Winemakers do. It all depends on whether they ferment all the sugar and convert it to alcohol. In the case of Moscato, they don’t, leaving what is known as residual sugar, giving it sweetness.
  10. How does a traditional sparkling wine get its bubbles? The wine is still when it’s bottled, but then yeast and sugar are added to the mix which create the carbon dioxide (the sparkle) as they interact over the next 12-15 months.

Jasper resting on the sandJasper - Vineyard 28 own 'concierge'Jasper during vintageOld Dog - Jasper sleeping

 

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Month of May

Celebrating all Mothers in May.

During the month of May if you purchase 6 or more bottles of wine from us here at Vineyard 28 then you’ll be in with a chance to win this gorgeous handcrafted Lap Quilt made by owner, Pippa Nielsen.

The quilt is approx 1200mm square and made from 100% cotton fabrics.

So don’t miss out, pop across to the website and place your order. Last orders will be until 31st May 2020 to be eligible.

(Available only for wine purchases and deliveries within Australia)

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Vintage 2020

The 2020 Vintage here at Vineyard 28 in Geographe kicked off a little earlier than usual. On the 29th January we commenced with harvesting the Muscat Petit a Grain fruit destined for the 2020 Moscato Rosa. Sampling and testing in the weeks prior had suggested we’d be underway around first week of February, but a few warms days pushed the fruit along and Vintage 2020 began.

What followed next was 13 harvests of fruit spread across a short window of 5 weeks, at both Vineyard 28 and up at the Wildwater Vineyard. This made for quite a compressed vintage compared to previous years. It meant a busy time in the winery for Mark and the new wine tanks purchased this year have been put to good use. The Cabernet Sauvignon was picked on the 24th February, and then we saw a weather change. Some rain, cooler days and nights slowed down the ripening of the Nebbiolo. We were a little concerned it might be damaged by the rain, but it robustly came through to be harvested as normal on 25th March.

Overall 2020 has been a great vintage, the quality and yields of the fruit have been exactly where winemaker, Mark wanted them to be. There are some great flavours to be sampled once these grapes make bottle. This year Mark is increasing his use of wild yeasts from the vineyard. They increase the texture and character of the wines that are produced. So there will be some very interesting drops from Vintage 2020.

Throughout Vintage Jasper was everywhere. He loved being up early and out with the crew harvesting. But age has caught up with him, as generally by the afternoons he’d be found sound asleep somewhere.

Vintage came to a quiet finish this year amidst the Corona virus crisis. Normally we would have celebrated with our crew. Many of them have picked for us over 10 years now, Bruce Jones in particular has been with us for 15 years. For now we’ve postponed the celebrations and look forward to gathering the crew together once it is permitted and celebrate Vintage 2020 with a few wines and some great food.

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Wine Show Season

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 Cumbers with the 2019 Dolcetto

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:

Bronze Medal at the 2019 Australian Alternative Wine Show and 2019 Geographe & WA Alternative Wine Show for:

  • 2018 Nebbiolo (not released yet)

Bronze Medals at the 2019 Geographe & WA Alternative Wine Show for :

Bronze Medal at the 2019 Wine Show of Western Australia, held in Mt Barker WA each year for:

  • 2019 Moscato Rosa (not released yet)
Medal Certificates
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