Spring is all about shaking off the shackles of winter and getting into celebration mode. With Spring Racing season in full swing and the festive season coming up there is plenty to look forward to, and what better way to start the fun than to pop a bottle of bubbles?
Our picturesque Yarra Valley Estate is well known for our premium cool climate wines, including some of our sparkling standouts Rococo Premium Cuvée and Este Vintage Cuvée from our Lusatia Park vineyard. Joining the team in 2009, Winemaker Andrew Bretherton thoroughly enjoys being part of the winemaking in the Yarra Valley.
“There is a fantastic open and supportive community of young producers out here in the Yarra Valley which I love being a part of.”
Patience is a virtue when it comes to making sparkling wine, according to Yarra Valley Winemaker Andrew Bretherton.
“It’s a slow process to make fine, nuanced sparkling wine,” says Andrew of the sparkling method. While this process cannot be rushed or forced, “it’s all the more satisfying when enjoying a beautiful glass with a fine bead and complex character."
When it comes to pairing your bubbles with food, Andrew says “you can’t go past the classic combination of freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters with a squeeze of lemon and a chilled glass of sparkling.”
A tip from Andrew
I like drinking my bubbles out of a nice big wine glass to fully experience all those beautiful aromas.
Region and vineyard site are very important for sparkling, picked early for natural acidity and fine flavour. Chardonnay or Pinot Noir pressed gently, combination of small and large older oak and stainless steel for maturing, time on lees also very important for sparkling.
Andrew’s tips on wines to enjoy this sparkling season
Rococo Premium Cuvée: I love Rococo because it is such great value. It’s complex and elegant... a great aperitif. It also has a touch of old reserve wine in the blend going back to 2008.
Este Vintage Cuvée: A very interesting and delicious style. A single vineyard blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Lusatia Park site in the Upper Yarra. It is all fermented in old barrels and undergoes Malolactic fermentation. It shows a lovely balance of tension and citrus from the Chardonnay and texture and brioche from the Pinot Noir.
French artisan Champagne
Veuve Fourny & Fils Blanc De Blancs Brut Vertus Premier Cru: I really love the smaller grower Champagnes such as Veuve Fourny, which we import (mostly so the winemakers can drink it ourselves!) for their attention to detail and their ability to capture the character of their village in the bottle. And it's just such a great match for fresh oysters, which I love!