Winter Warmers: Fortifieds with Julie Mortlock

By De Bortoli Wines |

Julie Mortlock has been working for De Bortoli Wines for more than 25 years and as a Senior Winemaker she oversees the company’s extensive fortified wine portfolio. With decades of experience, who better to get the ‘low-down’ on all things fortified?

Julie’s interest in fortifieds started well before she joined the wine industry, and that interest has turned into a passion that Julie has built her career around.

“My interest has really increased since having the pleasure of tending the vast stocks of fortifieds here are De Bortoli Wines. Watching them change and develop with age, as well as having the chance to put the blends together from the many different ages parcels are the joys of the job.”

Have you ever wondered what defines a fortified wine? “Wines are classed as fortified if they have grape spirit added to them, because of this they generally have a higher alcohol content than table wine,” Julie explains. “Fortifieds can be made from any variety of grape, depending on what style of fortified you are making.”

When asked to pick a favourite, Julie is happy to say Black Noble. “It is a unique wine, made from Botrytis Semillon, which is the same fruit that is used for the iconic Noble One. It’s so decadent!”

While there is a tendency for fortifieds to be enjoyed during the cooler months, Julie tells us they can be enjoyed year-round. When the weather is warmer, she suggests placing your fortified in the fridge for an hour or two before serving so it can be enjoyed slightly chilled.

“Many people consume fortifieds on their own at the end of a meal,” Julie says, “however the sweeter fortifieds, such as the De Bortoli Premium Fortifieds range, pair very well with a cheese and fruit platter, some dark chocolate, or a decadent dessert at the end of a meal.”

Julie has been nominated for the International Wine Challenge ‘Sweet Winemaker of the Year’ for the last two years - an impressive achievement, which Julie puts down to a ‘team effort’.

“It is a lovely recognition as a Winemaker, however, I have had enormous guidance over the years from Darren De Bortoli and shared in the knowledge and assistance of many staff throughout my time here at De Bortoli Wines.”

Whether you already love Fortified wines, or are thinking of giving them a try, click here to view our range of Premium Fortifieds.


Sign up for offers, wine insights, food and more