By Fergal Gleeson
The times they are a changing in the world of wine. There are adventurous winemakers doing things in the vineyard and the winery that would raise the eyebrows of traditionalists.
There’s wine being made with stalks and leaves, infused with herbs, fermented in ceramic eggs shells or stored in clay ‘Roman style’ amphorae pots.
I recently spoke to Margaret River winemaker Jo Perry from Dormilona who won the 2016 Young Gun of Wine competition, held for up and coming wine makers.
Small batch winery Dormilona is run by Jo and husband Jimmy. The name Dormilona means ‘lazy bones’ in Spanish and reflects their laid back approach to winemaking and her nickname during her winemaking years in Spain.
“Young Gun of Wine has put small winemakers from Western Australia on the map. Before winning YGOW there was very little knowledge of us and what kick arse wines we are all making with no hip pockets.”
Jo was always interested in wine. “My grandfather was a brewer at Swan Brewery and he taught me how to ferment from a young age, blowing up lemonade under my parents floor boards. To be honest I have never really thought of anything else.”
Do you need to be a little mad to start making your wine given that there is so much wine in Australia and the world? “No, I am not mad, I am totally crazy! Yes there is a lot of wine in the world but every year Mother Nature gives us different conditions and then we can tell a different story from it.”
Jo’s philosophy on viticulture and making wine is simple and purist. “Make wine to express the vintage, the conditions, the site, the soils and with very little intervention. I like to nurture the fruit into wine then bottle. I let the fruit guide me not the trend.”
“All wine is natural. The natural fermentation process preserves. I choose not to add anything to wine as I feel it takes away from what ends up in the glass.”
What’s your view on organic and biodynamic? “Fruit free from fungicides and herbicides are in a happier place. There is a clarity in the wines.”
Jo doesn’t see natural winemakers and conventional winemakers as being in separate camps or having different customers. “No. I am very lucky to have had my wines written up with some of the best in the region, so they are marketed to the same customers.”
What are the must try wines from your range? “That depends on what floats your boat really. We make a real rainbow of colours and shades.”
“The Clayface wines are made purely in amphora terracotta which put a different spin on people’s perception of the Margaret River classics when you take away all the oak and make wine with no additions. There is a real purity in these wines.”
More at http://www.dormilona.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