We’re currently enjoying sponsorship from the fabulous folk at Punt Road Wines in the Yarra Valley. During Spring Scarf ’17 Dinners at Auction Rooms, we’re serving Punt Road’s 2012 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, 2017 Pinot Gris, 2016 Chardonnay, 2016 Pinot Noir, and the Airlie Bank 2016 Cabernet Franc.
Head winemaker Tim Shand took some time to answer a few questions for us. Cheers Tim!
Q. Why do you and Punt Road Wines believe in supporting Scarf?
A. I was fortunate to work with Sudanese refugees in Melbourne when I moved over from WA, doing English lessons with them once a week. It was clear that despite all their best intentions, these guys just needed a leg up to make a go of it in Australia. I believe a catalyst like Scarf can make that difference for newly arrived refugees, who have an enormous amount to contribute to this country of immigrants.
What is your favourite Punt Road wine and why?
Our site in Coldstream has been growing cabernet on and off for 160 years. We have Yeringberg and St Huberts next door, and Mount Mary round the corner – so this is true cabernet country. The Punt Road Cabernet is always floral and plush in its youth, then has the structure and complexity to age for a long time.
What do you love about being a winemaker?
At its heart, winemaking is an agricultural endeavour, but because of the precise nature of wine it is so much more. Elements of science and metier take what could be a plain product and make it into something profound. Climate, soil, season and people make the raw materials change dramatically each year, keeping us all fresh.
Can you tell us something about Punt Road Wines that we might not know?
The original St Hubert’s vineyard of Hubert De Castella was largely located on our property. Evidence of the foundations of the farm and cellar buildings from the mid-19th century are scattered about. Some buildings have been re-invigorated to become popular local restaurants, as well as our Napoleone brewery.
What is the most memorable bottle of wine you’ve ever drunk and why?
1978 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche, which I drank on my birthday (I’m a ‘78er) whilst working harvest at Dujac in 2007. The wine was served with dinner, masked, by the incredibly generous Seysses family. No-one could believe it was that old, the bottle had never been out of the cellar it was made in so it was in tip top condition. A great Burgundy vintage, and a great wine, but it was the connection with family and site that made the experience very special.
Photography: Roger Ungers