Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : April 11, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2017 - PAGE 21
Free Car Boot Sale!
11.00am to 2.00pm
Saturday 22 April
Leongatha Railway Yards
Bring your car along to the Leongatha Railway Site Ideas Fair with any items
you want to sell.
Please RVSP by emailing LeongathaRailwaySite@southgippsland.vic.gov.au.
A complete tank adventure
experience you will never forget!
Great for Father’s Day, Bucks weekends,
Corporate outings and families.
SOUTH GIPPSLAND TANK ADVENTURES
2349 Woorarra Rd, Wonyip
Cameron Stone: 0407 611 203
Shari: 0425 622 936
A COLLECTION OF ARMOURED
FIGHTING VEHICLES (AFV) FOR YOU
TO VIEW AND RIDE, RANGING FROM
WWII ERA TO MODERN DAY VEHICLES
AND SOME UNDER RESTORATION
THERE was a celebratory air out at Leongatha’s
world renowned vineyard, Bass Phillip Wines, at
Leongatha South last Thursday.
And not just because they’d knocked the top off
a few choice bottles of wine over a beef casserole
lunch, including a cool 2003 Bass Phillip Char-
donnay and a nice old bottle of cabernet-merlot.
Although, certainly, that helped.
No, it’s all about the quality of this year’s grapes.
They’re absolutely superb, according to master
wine maker Phillip Jones, as he supervises the
bins coming in from the rows of pickers, back
at work after the communal lunch out on the ve-
“It’s a very good year. We’ve gone back to the
weather pattern we had in 1999. The fruit is in
outstanding condition and if we look after it from
here, it should be pretty damn good.”
That’s as good a recommendation as you’re go-
ing to get from Phillip Jones, so mark 2017 down
as a very good year for his wines!
“The longer ripening season we’ve had has al-
lowed us to get the grapes off at their peak at each
“God, it was an absolute nightmare in 2013. We
got hit with that heat wave and everything ripened
in a week.
“And don’t talk about 2009. One day it was so
hot and windy, some of our vines just shrivelled
up in the day.
“Not this year, it’s been great.
“We’ve gone back to picking in the first few weeks
of April which is ideal.”
It’s hardly surprising that he can reel off the
weather conditions, between September and April
each year for the past 30 or so years... he’s got the
bottles to prove it.
“We’ve only got a certain number of vats here and
we really rely on different areas ripening at differ-
ent times so we can handle it,” said Phillip.
“Our four areas; the one in at Mary Mackillop
in Leongatha, the one out at Outtrim and the two
areas here, the main vineyard and the experimen-
tal one (where the vines are set closer together);
they’re supposed to come on one after the other,
“This year has been good.
“They’ve ripened steadily and we’ve been able to
keep up with the work.”
Of course it hasn’t been perfect. It rarely is.
Heavy rain when the fruit was setting back in
spring has contributed to there being some uneven
growth and the berries are smaller than they were
But according to top Melbourne sommelier, Da-
vid Hamlyn, who has joined Phillip’s happy team
for this year’s vintage, the smaller fruit will lead to
more intense flavours, and potentially higher qual-
These are very much hand-made wines, though,
and each bunch of grapes is turned over in expert
hands during a selection process that retains only
Sweet tasting grapes in rich purple bunches,
where there is even a slight variation in growth
rates, are discarded.
The bunches of grapes that make the cut, and
go into the bin for pressing are healthy, plump
and consistent although by choice, some under-
developed grapes are allowed in to enhance the
And with Phillip Jones’ processes being reli-
giously organic and biodynamic, there’s nothing to
separate the rural aromas and earthy goodness of
autumn in the South Gippsland from the sticky
feel of the bunches and the fragrance and luscious
taste of the fruit.
This year, Phillip Jones has the league of nations
on his vintage team, boasting two highly quali-
fied vintners from China, some members of two
of France’s most famous wine-making families,
several sommeliers, and a few wine-making, viti-
culture and oenology graduates, together with the
locals who are involved year after year.
“We’re a pretty highly qualified team this year
with five degrees in wine science but it’s just great
having some enthusiastic young people around
who are keen to learn.”
The grapes are being pressed and poured into
the vats for the fermentation process at the mo-
ment before being stored in high-quality French
oak barrels for the next 18 months before being
bottled and finally released to the market.
During the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
and also at events associated with the selection
of the world’s top 50 restaurants last week, Bass
Phillip wines were featured and they continue to be
named among the best internationally.
And it all comes from a few small acres around
Leongatha in South Gippsland.
A very good year at Bass Phillip Wines
Melbourne sommelier David Hamlyn was delighted with
the chance to join the vintage team at Bass Phillip Wines as
a way to immerse himself in the providence of one of Austra-
lia’s very best wines. m041517
French winemaker, Benoit Reynaud, gets the opportunity
to compare wine-making methods in South Gippsland with
his own family’s operations in Bordeaux. m051517
This is where the world r Going for the bucket-carrying
record at Bass Phillip Wines last week, Mick Kelly couldn’t
think of a better place to be on a delightful mid-Autumn
afternoon last week. m081517
Notwithstanding the cold snap of the past
few days, Phillip Jones is delighted with the
quality of the grapes being picked for his
award-winning wines. m021517
Locals Teagan Stewart and Jill Mulligan of Leongatha, together with top Melbourne som-
melier, David Hamlyn, carefully choose the bunches of grapes that will go on to make Bass
Phillip Pinot Noirs.
SOUTH Gippsland residents
are invited to the Leongatha
Railway Site Ideas Fair to learn
more about the site, consider
ideas and share any ideas they
may have come up with.
The council has the opportu-
nity to take over the lease of the
railway site and intends to de-
velop the area for the benefit of
A number of activities will be
held as part of the day includ-
• A free barbecue
• Car boot sale
• Live music
• The Magic Theatre; and
The Ideas Fair will be held on
Saturday, April 22 from 11am
to 2pm at the Leongatha Rail-
South Gippsland Shire Coun-
cil’s Senior Strategic Planning
Officer Chantal Lenthall encour-
aged everyone to come along
and be part of the festivities.
“We are hoping to get as many
people as possible down to the
Leongatha Railyards on the day
so they can take a look at the site
and consider what it could be.
“A number of great activities
are going to be held throughout
the day that will not only provide
an opportunity for people to
have their say but have a little bit
of fun as well,” Ms Lenthall said.
Community members will be
advised of further opportunities
to be involved in the project as it
For more information on
the project, visit www.southgi-
What to do with
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