By Fergal Gleeson
Husband and wife team Yoko and Andries Mostert are the driving force behind Brave New Wine, based out of Denmark in Great Southern. They describe their wines as “idiosyncratic, honest and lo-fi.”
Following a recent award at Young Guns of Wine I spoke to Yoko about what they are doing.
“We don’t have a philosophy but our approach to winemaking is low intervention because we believe that if you use good quality fruit you shouldn’t have to do much to it. Almost all our wine is made from Great Southern fruit.”
“We are passionate about the region, the fruit and the growers. Great Southern is the biggest wine region by area, so there are lots of different varieties that can grow well and consistently here because of the huge variation in climate and sites.”
“You can get powerful Shiraz from Frankland River and Denmark and genuine cool climate Riesling from Porongurup. “
Brave New Wine won a Young Guns Award for “Most Adventurous Wine” for their Wonderland Botanical Riesling, which is made from Great Southern Riesling infused with native bush herbs and spices for four months.
“The flavour is quite gentle,” Yoko says “It’s not at all ‘in your face’ and works well for a Riesling coming into spring. In many respect Andries is doing the opposite to what he was taught when studying winemaking.”
“They don’t run lessons on how to make skin contact whites! So with the botanical Riesling we made just one barrel which we were willing to sacrifice if it didn’t work but we really enjoyed it. Due to it’s success, this vintage we’re making four barrels.”
To put it in perspective Brave New Wine produce in tiny quantities. After their success at Young Guns they had sold out of almost everything, except for Frankland River Shiraz which was released later. “A nice problem to have but not ideal,” as Yoko explains.
She reckons that “you have to be mad or passionate or both to open a winery. Winemaking is certainly not a get rich quickly business.”
“We are living in interesting times,” says Yoko “where a leading winemaker like Vanya Cullen of Cullen Wines uses biodynamic practices in the vineyard and the winery and makes an orange wine. So there’s a lot of crossover now.”
Brave New Wine are making wines with colours, flavours and textures that are very different styles of wine to the classics. They are expressive and fun wines that all contribute to the choice now available to Australian wine drinkers.
“These alternative wines aren’t just for hipster, Somms from Melbourne. It’s just wine. It’s there for a good time and to be enjoyed by everybody!”
More at http://www.bravenewwine.com.au
This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the spring edition of Your Margaret River Region Magazine. Drink and be merry. More at http://www.greatwineblog.com