Everything in its Right Place
Long weekends are the perfect excuse for a little bit of indulgence, or so we think in our booze hag world. Luckily for us, society seems to agree. So it was that Terri and I found ourselves spending a delightful couple of days in Daylesford over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
I am lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Daylesford with my job, and it is a fantastic place to indulge in, especially as the weather cools down. While there are plenty of cellar doors, cafes, restaurants, bars and day spas to visit, our main drawcard for the weekend was the lo-fi wine showcase Everything in its Right Place.
This event is hosted by my favourite wine bar and shop in the area, Wine and the Country, in the completely charming Daylesford Town Hall. For $35 a ticket you get access to tastings from over 30 different producers – all made if not naturally, then mindfully. 2018 marked the team’s second event, and as I was working during their inaugural event, I didn’t want to miss it again this year.
After surviving our Malbec Day adventures, Terri and I felt like old hands at these big wine tasting events, but what we failed to grasp was how different and difficult it would be tasting such a large range of varieties that included red, white and sparkling wines. Let’s just say that one grape equals no worries, but a whole spectrum is another story.
A lesson for our future selves and all other booze hags is: instead of tasting the full range from each producer, pick either a variety or colour (at least!) and taste all wines at the event in that category before moving on to something different. It will be better for your health and endurance, but will also give you more structure to taste and compare all the wines.
An event like this is all about discovering new wines to fall in love with and while we weren’t able to taste every single wine from every single producer, we did try our hardest (a key part of our downfall, in hindsight!). Of all the wines we tasted, here’s our selection of labels we’ll be keeping an eye out for at wine stores and on wine lists.
Jordy Kay & Jarad Curwood
We had the pleasure of tasting with Jarad Curwood – the winemaker and owner of Chapter Wine and the cofounder of Boomtown winemakers co-op – first up and while he didn’t have a huge number of his own wines to try, he poured his stall neighbour’s wines for us as well. Jarad was fun, delightful and knowledgeable and it was a welcoming start to the event.
We particularly enjoyed tasting Jarad & Jordy’s Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula. This wine is a collaboration between Jarad and his mate Jordy Kay – from Chevre Wines. They always make a Pinot Noir together, but decide where they will get the grapes from each year. The 2016 Mornington drop is an absolute banger.
These guys were probably the biggest surprise of the whole event. Manned by a father-son team, I think we could have easily dismissed this biodynamic winery on looks alone. Most lo-fi wines have cool, graphic labels that are obviously appealing to the millennial crowd that is so taken by these wines. Hochkirch, on the other hand, look like a very traditional winery and have been around a lot longer than most of the other producers at the event.
They had a huge range of wines to taste and all of them were good! They are not the funky, adventurous natural wines that some winemakers are working towards, so they are perfect for more conservative wine drinkers who are looking to explore lo-fi wines. I particularly loved their Chardonnay (no surprises there right, but this one had those delicious honey, buttery elements that I just can’t resist) and their Riesling.
These guys seem pretty off-the-radar, so if you see one of their wines in a bottle shop, definitely give it a go, otherwise there are a few retailers online who also stock their range.
Dirty Black Denim
I have to admit by the time we got to tasting Dirty Black Denim’s range my recall abilities were drastically reduced, but I can remember that all of their wines were delicious, fun and cool. They use a lot of varieties that aren’t as widely produced, especially in the lo-fi wine world, so it was great to try something different. Definitely a label I will keep an eye out for.
Special mentions also go to Latta Vino for ALL their delicious wines, Dilworth and Allain’s Sauvignon Blanc – I never thought there would come a day when I could say I liked a Savvy B – and Joshua Cooper’s Pinot Noirs, which he was pouring by the magnum – yum!
At the end of the day, I don’t think we could say that Everything was in its Right Place – our party of four scattered so quickly that I was literally the last one standing, waiting for everyone to return from what I thought was a toilet break, only to discover that they were all back at our accommodation, tucked up in bed for a nap! – but we had a satisfyingly indulgent time nonetheless.