We are proud to present the 2011 Vintage Sparkling, grown and made here in Nicholson, East Gippsland, using the traditional ‘hands-on’, ‘Méthode Champenoise’. This time we have raised our output to 60 dozen bottles.
There are many ways to make ‘Sparkling Wine’, from soda injection methods & upward. But the Ultimate Sparkling Wine is without doubt, ‘Vintage Champagne’. This style has been made famous by those in the eponymous region of France, and known partly for the presence of bubbles, but mostly for the rich, creamy and toasty flavours held within the bottle. Bubbles are still important, though not for appearance, as many assume. The best quality bubbles are small, and stem from the secondary fermentation in the bottle, which gives a soft mousse texture of soft mousse on the tongue. The ageing on yeast for many years gives the characteristic, delicious flavours. Incidentally, in Champagne they prefer to drink out of white wine glasses and not flutes! (ie. They appreciate flavour over bubbles.)
The rules for making authentic Vintage Champagne wine are quite strict. The wine must be at least 85% from grapes grown in the same year. Importantly, the wine must then be left on lees (with the yeast, in the bottle) for a minimum of 5 years, before disgorging (the process of removing the dead yeast cells.) Then, the wine is left to rest for at least another 9 months.
Ken has been making sparkling wine for over 10 years, honing and perfecting the craft with each passing vintage. As with our other wines, Ken wondered whether it was possible to make Classic Wines here in the Gippsland Lakes region. The answer has been a resounding ‘Yes’, but with a cool-climate Australian twist – Flavour Intensity.
On Pricing – given the age, the low volumes we make, the amount of work involved and the quality, one would expect to pay upwards of $70 a bottle for this Vintage Sparkling. Contrary to marketers suggestions (Did you know that the more expensive a Sparkling is, the more demand increases?) we prefer to keep our wine prices at a level that is accessible to everyday Australians. This is a new style for most Australians, different from what people are used to. We’d love to see this style become more widely known and appreciated.
To purchase this special wine, go to our online shop.