By Fergal Gleeson
Vermentino is an Italian white variety which is showing great promise in Australia because it works better in our warmer climate than some traditional French varieties, retaining acid freshness when other whites become flabby.
Simon Holthouse, owner and winemaker at Moojelup Farm has been making Vermentino for the past 4 years. Simon wanted to add another white varietal to his range and trialled it.
“It holds its acid up really well. It picks later than Semillon.” Along with Vermentino he is now trialling Barbera and Nero d’Avolo.
Is Geographe still undiscovered as a wine region?
“The hero regions such as Margaret River, the Barossa and the Hunter develop their reputations over long periods of time. There is a great diversity in Geographe within what is a large region. But overseas wine writers, judges and wine shop owners are all surprised by the quality when they come to Geographe.”
Simon had an accidental entry to winemaking when he inherited part of the family farm. He converted a grazing and dairy farm to grape growing.
His training in architecture and subsequent career in town planning were left behind. Like a lot of wine makers in Geographe, Simon is not dreaming of world domination!
“I want to make the best wine I can. I’m not looking to be a volume producer. The business has grown through word of mouth and by repeat sales.”
Two to Try:
Moojelup Farm Vermentino 2017
A crisp and persistent Vermentino that tastes of white peaches and melon. It has a bright acid line through the middle palate. The wine was barrel fermented for texture which adds something extra to a highly drinkable, dry white wine.
Rating 3.5 stars RRP $18
Moojelup Farm Thompson Block Semillon 2017
One of a small band of oaked Semillons in Australia (most remain in stainless steel tanks) and it’s a success. The varietal’s crisp and lemon flavours are there but there’s also a little extra richness and texture. The old French oak adds a hint of honey. Has a similar sort of feel to the modern, paired back Chardonnay now in vogue. Great quality and value for money.
Rating 4 stars RRP $18
More at www.moojelupfarm.com.au
This is a modified excerpt from an article in the autumn/winter edition of Found magazine.