Letters from The Wine Farm

Home

Hailing a cab

August 5, 2019

Dear friends

Those who know of South Gippsland as a wine region probably lean towards Pinot noir as the variety of note. And with very good reason. The soils and climates of this region are perfectly geared to ripening this beautiful berry to produce a silky, earthy and enigmatic wine. Our local hills should be heaving in the stuff.

But what about Cabernet?

Cabernet Sauvignon is generally grown in warm, dry climates where the inky tannic grapes can ripen fully to produce big bold wines. Oops. Our climate is cool and wet. But then big bold wines leave us cold, too.

Turns out, if our first four vintages are anything to go by, Cabernet Sauvignon planted in good red soil in a cool wet region can actually produce a bloody good drink… about half of the time. 2015 was a superb vintage for our mainstays of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, but no good for cab sav. So we didn’t release it. Then a warmer, drier 2016 ripened the cab beautifully, with a level of complexity that showcased its soils and the season and justified its place under The Wine Farm label. So we bottled it, released it, tucked into it ourselves with gusto and then sold out.

2017 was somewhere in between. Enough sunshine to ripen our Cabernet and deliver enough fruit and tannin to secure its place in the bottle, but without the complexity of the previous year. That’s where our Farm Wine range comes in – the wines we love to drink but that don’t necessarily give the very best representation of where they’re from.

So should you bother buying this wine? Well, you’re not going to impress your wine geek father-in-law with it (though you may raise a few brows and even open a few minds) but your friends will happily sink a bottle or two with you at your next barby. Like all our wines, we farmed these grapes ourselves with care and no chemicals, and showed them the utmost respect in the cellar – no stems, whole berries, no carbonic, no oak and the usual negligible amount (20ppm) of sulphur at bottling.

If your typical cab sav is dark and broody, this one’s bright and light on its feet at just 11.7% alcohol. It has gentle tannins and a lovely texture, with no sharp edges. It’s mellow, tasty and ready to drink, and with a wide range of food, unlike your typical cab. Think raspberries not blackcurrants; herbs not tobacco.

Think uber not black cab.

Being such a small property and not being able to guarantee that this variety will ripen in our climate year in year out, we’ve made the difficult decision to graft our parcel of cab over to the far more reliable and always expressive Chardonnay. So 2018 was our last crop of Cabernet on The Wine Farm, and it went out with a bang. We’ll be releasing that in a year or so. But for now, this lip-smacking bright juice is our penultimate release of cab sav so whistle, holler or wave your arm in the air if you want to grab one. Or just send us an email and we can give you the lowdown. Taxi!

Cheers
Anna

PS As usual our mailing list heard about this wine first so sign up to ‘Letters from The Wine Farm’ to receive future offers like this directly to your inbox so you don’t miss out on the next limited release.

THERE IS NO MINIMUM ORDER. We are happy to store your wines in ideal conditions until you accumulate a case of 6 or 12. Shipping is a flat rate of $10 for 6 bottles and FREE for 12 bottles Australia wide. Whenever possible we will deliver your wines outside of any hot spells.

More
  • Vintage 2019

    May 10, 2019

    Vintage 2019 was tracking along nicely. Probably the best yet for our short tenure on The Wine Farm. But just as we were sharpening our snips in preparation for picking, three days of 35–40°C stopped us in our tracks and got us all hot under the collar.

    More
  • Let’s talk about the weather

    April 20, 2019

    ‘Cool climate’ is a term that gets used a lot in the wine world but not always appropriately. It’s the weather during ripening that really counts, and the closer to picking the more of an impact it has on the ultimate style of your wine.

    More
  • One door closes

    February 12, 2019

    This morning the last of the nets went over the vines marking the end of the back-breaking vineyard work till harvest starts in about three weeks; the cellar door is now closed until Easter; and the kids’ activities have started up again for the year (including our oldest starting school!). It truly does feel like new beginnings.

    More
  • In the thick of it

    November 18, 2018

    Until now we’ve tackled weeds in the vineyard by slashing under the vines. But when your back hurts just looking at the vineyard at the beginning of the growing season, and then your tractor starts making the same groaning noises as you, it’s time to re-assess the situation.

    More
  • A kiss on both cheeks

    October 18, 2018

    The Wine Farm Pinot gris 2017 – dry, textured and full of flavour it’s a nod to the Italians, a kiss on both cheeks with the French but 100% The Wine Farm.

    More
  • The Wine Farmer’s Wife

    September 22, 2018

    When we first bought this property and all its beautifully manicured flowerbeds we knew we wouldn’t have time to stop and smell the roses… so we pulled them all out. Then politely dismissed the gardener.

    More
  • Our pet project

    September 12, 2018

    There’s nowhere to hide with our pét-nat. With no added sugar, zero sulphur, no additions whatsoever, you are literally left with grapes in a bottle. So those grapes had better be good!

    More
  • Contains sulphites

    August 31, 2018

    Turning fruit into wine is fraught with problems. There are hordes of bad bugs and yeasts out there waiting to infiltrate your cellar, get their claws into your juice and turn it into vinegar.

    So how do you stop them? And without creating a host of new problems like headaches, breathing difficulties and worst of all, ho-hum wine…

    More
  • Stop and smell the rosé

    August 19, 2018

    A well made rosé should command as much respect as a decent white wine. Well, nearly. It should be dry, light in colour, smell of light bright berries with maybe a touch of dried herbs and a slight tannin tingle to finish. Delicious.

    More
  • A tale of three farms

    August 11, 2018

    Good wine has great flavour. Great flavour comes from beautiful fruit. And beautiful fruit comes from a healthy farm. Conventional, organic, biodynamic… what is the best way to farm grapes?

    More
  • Judgement day

    August 8, 2018

    With the first of our 2017 vintage ready to release, it’s time to offer up the fruits of our labour so you can decide for yourselves if you think our approach works.

    Introducing The Wine Farm Chardonnay 2017.

    More
  • No place like home

    July 14, 2018

    We’re always talking about the importance of wines being allowed to show ‘place’ – keeping the fruit pure to let it express the soil in which it grew. So given we’re very nearly ready to share the first of our 2017 wines with you, we thought we should tell you a bit about our place first. What’s so special about The Wine Farm?

    More
  • Daddy, you smell like soil

    June 30, 2018

    In Neil’s native South Africa, where he studied and started his career in wine, vineyards are commonly referred to as ‘wine farms’. The focus is on growing grapes and the people who grow them are farmers.

    More
  • Pure ain’t simple

    June 8, 2018

    Here at The Wine Farm we work hard to make pure wine that shows place not process.

    It’s taken us a long time to come up with those few words, and while they might not sound like much to you they mean the world to us.

    More
  • Welcome to The Wine Farm

    May 24, 2018

    We’ve just started a conversation with people who value the same sort of wine as us – wine that is pure; wine that shows place not process – and are interested in how it’s achieved. If you’d like to hear more about the wine we make and how we make it, as well as getting … Continued

    More