Off the Beaten Track- Fishbone Wines

Fishbone cella door

By Fergal Gleeson

Fishbone Wines

Kevin Sorgiovanni, Owner of Fishbone Wines wrote an interesting piece in the winery newsletter about what happens in the Vineyard after vintage:

As the weather gets cooler, the schedule in the vineyard also changes….. Before they go to sleep, we need to make sure the vines are well fed and nurtured.

Over the next couple of months, we will disc between the rows in the vineyard. This aerates the earth, stimulates the soil, encourages new earthworm activity and assists in the control of weeds.

So, while vintage 2018 draws to a close, the cycle in the vineyard moves to ensuring the vines are in optimum health as they prepare to hibernate for the winter!

Fishbone winemaker
Stuart Pierce, Winemaker at Fishbone Wines

To confirm that the Winemaker’s work is never done, when I spoke to Fishbone’s Winemaker Stuart Pierce, he had just come in from the vineyard where he had been marking out the locations for the planting of new varieties such Grenache, Pinot Noir, Malbec and possibly Montepulciano.

Stuart describes himself as a South Australian lad, who cut his winemaking teeth with Grosset, Australia’s most famous Riesling maker. Stuart then found his way to Margaret River via Queensland and some overseas vintages. He has worked with Fishbone Wines for 15 years.

Stuart won Australia’s most prestigious wine award in 2010, The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for a Margaret River Cabernet. It was a great experience which he’d love to emulate.

He talked me through Fishbone’s two labels. “The Premium Black Label is exclusively Margaret River and single vineyard. The wines get the artisan approach and my philosophy is to be as genuine as possible to the vineyard itself.”

“The wines get the red carpet treatment with quality oak. I also like to push the boundaries with wild fermentation and minimal filtration. I’ve explored picking early and later to get a better perspective on optimum ripeness.” Prices are from $25-35.

Fishbone bottle and food shot

The Blue Label wines are priced at $24 and are made under the Western Australia appellation through most of the fruit is typically Margaret River.

The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is a stunner and has picked up gold medals and trophies at the West Australian and Margaret River Wine shows. Stuart says “I knew I nailed the timing of the picking with that wine. It’s one of our biggest sellers.”

Stuart also calls out the Black Label Chardonnay, for its natural acidity and apple and pear flavours and Black Label Tempranillo, “a really interesting wine” which is whole bunch pressed and made in small quantities.

Fishbone foodshot

Fishbone also operate a Japanese Restaurant beside the Cellar Door offering wine, beer and sake. “Japanese food is subtle and holds up better with the whites. Though we also offer Wagyu beef ribs with plum sauce which go well with our reds.”

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This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the winter edition of Your Margaret River Region Magazine

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