Autumn Drinking with Winemaker Sarah Fagan

By De Bortoli Wines |


The days are a little shorter and there’s a chill to the evening air. You’re no longer craving a refreshing, well-chilled glass of white at the end of the day, but not quite ready for a full-bodied, warming glass of red… so what is there to drink?

Let us introduce you to our lighter style aromatic reds - the perfect in-betweener. We recently caught up with Yarra Valley Estate Winemaker Sarah Fagan to talk all things light-reds… and it might surprise you… it’s not all about Pinot!

“Varieties such as Pinot Noir and Gamay are considered lighter reds, and even Grenache when made in a more fragrant way, when compared to the bigger, richer more tannin driven wines on the shelves can be considered ‘lighter’” Sarah tells us.

“In general, all these wines show alluring, lifted fragrance. They have a refined palate and bright acidity. The Riorret Lusatia Park Pinot is a very elegant expression of the vineyard, a bright red cherry… whereas the Vinoque Grenache shows more exotic spice.”

Sarah suggests that any time of year is good to enjoy lighter style reds, but particularly Autumn “when the vines start to turn and nights are cool”. Don’t forget to enjoy from a large glass to fully appreciate the aromatics.

“I am loving Vinoque Grenache at the moment. It’s the first straight varietal Grenache we have produced from the Heathcote region and it’s drinking so well! It’s a Cellar Door exclusive wine, so you’ll have to plan a trip to our Yarra Valley Estate to give this beauty a try… trust me, you won’t regret it!” says Sarah.

In terms of pairing with food, Sarah tells us that “Pinot goes well with confit duck, try Gamay with woodfired quail and pair Grenache with grilled beef or pork.”

Winemaking Process

Whole berry fermentation together with various amounts of whole bunch fermentation. Foot plunging is a must!

For Gamay & Grenache we use older, large format wood. 


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