My wine of the month: Jean-Pauls Vineyard 2007 de Castella Shiraz Cabernet

August 29, 2011

I have written about the wines produced by Jean-Pauls Vineyard near Yea, Victoria earlier.

August is a special month anyway since it carries my birthday, and I needed to be spoilt somehow. That is why I opened one of “my treasure wines” the other day. Wine bottles are heavy and one cannot carry many on the plane. Moreover there are customs regulations which somehow limits further the number of bottles on can carry. Believe me it is not easy to decide which bottle to take on the plane.

But we brought this bottle of ‘2007 de Castella Shiraz Cabernet’ by Jean-Pauls Vineyard.

William de Castella is one of our neighbours so to say. His Jean-Pauls Vineyard is situated near the pcituresque country town of Yea, about a 30 minutes drive from our farm in Glenburn. Will is also a member of our association, the Upper Goulburn Winegrowers Association.

Will de Castella started his operation in 1994. From about 6 acres under vines he produces only 200 cases a year, a tiny amount in comparison to much larger family and industrial operations. His vineyard is organically certified and produces exquisite fruit. I just love boutique vineyards and wineries since the passion of the people behind the operation directly transpires into their wines.

The de Castella family carries a famous name, Will’s ancestors where the pioneers of the Yarra Valley and the Victorian wine industry in the 19th century. I love his fruity and delicate wines which are well balanced and just a delight. This blend of Shiraz and Cabernet combines the strength of both varietals.

So this wine made my day after a busy and stressful day in the office. We had it with food, of course, one of our customary family meals which are so enjoyable.

If you should visit Victoria, please take a day and drive up to Yea and check out some of the wineries along the way. You will not regret it.

Address:
Jean-Pauls Vineyard
RMB 6173, Yea, Vic 3717 (postal)
Upper Goulburn VIC
Tel.: +61-03-5797 2235
www.jeanpaulsvineyard.com.au


Max Allen, Australian wine writer, and the Upper Goulburn Wine Region

January 26, 2011

Max Allen’s book and three wines from the Upper Goulburn

One of my Christmas presents was a book on wine. I am now the proud owner of Max Allen’s latest book, titled “The Future makers – Australian Wines for the 21st Century”.

So far, I had not had the time to read it, but I glanced at the chapter dealing with our wine region, the Upper Goulburn Wine Region.

Wines from Rees Miller Estate and Jean Paul’s Vineyard

Only three of our vineyards in the region are described in the book. They are: Delatite Winery, Jean Paul’s Vineyard and Rees Miller Estate.

The latter two of these three are practicing biodynamic-organic viticulture which is, in the perception of many conventional vintners, a very complex, complicated and generally difficult way of producing wine. If you talk to biodynamic vintners that’s not at all the case; it’s different of course.

Many conventional vinters have great respect for their biodynamic colleagues. At our recent “welcome of the year 2011 party” at Two Hills Vineyard, the wine-makers and vintners present discussed the challenges of producing healthy grapes at length.

How can they (the bioynamic/organic producers) control the many fungal and other diseases, was one of the pertinent questions? How do they deal with mildew? How about the work in the winery?

Undoubtedly, many of their wines are of outstanding quality. This is also what Max Allen shows in his book. It is certainly worth to explore the production methods of the biodynamic and organic growers. In recent years also many of the larger wineries and vineyards have started to convert to more environmentally friendly methods of production.

Max Allen interviewed Will de Castella, owner and wine-maker of Jean Paul’s Vineyard, how he does it. I highly recommend the study of his answers.

Happy Australia Day veryone.