A personal and exclusive connection makes everything in life better… but what does that mean in the cellar door? To show you, here’s a glimpse of our favourite cellar door experiences (in no particular order!).
There are many things to love about Yelland & Papps, not the least their love of Roussanne; a French grape that they single-handedly set about trying to generate new interest for via their cute cellar door just off the main highway in the Barossa.
But it wasn’t there that I had my first – and favourite – Yelland & Papps tasting. It was years before that cellar door existed, with Susan, in the front dinning room of their house. The guys at Cloudwine Cellars in South Melbourne (shout out to Chris & Geoffrey!) hooked us up.
Why we loved this experience was that it was here, not long after the first few vintages, that Susan explained what She and Michael were trying to achieve. She did it in reference to the wines and vintages she was showing us, and (this experience happened over 10 years ago), when we went back a few years ago, they are doing what they set out to do! (Well done guys!).
This experience was more recent, when I was visiting Morgan Vineyards to talk about Twenty Five Doors. As the owner, Michele, was explaining their rustic cellar door set up and new partnership with Mill Grove Diary, she saw the winemaker sampling the current vintage in the barrels. Without so much as a word, she grabbed a glass and headed outside, gesturing for me to follow.
Once outside, we tried the current vintage (everyone sharing the same glass), and before I knew it, the winemaker led us to the barrel room and was climbing over barrels to get samples of multiple different vintages and styles of a very yummy Pinot Noir! (Want to try them – check out the Pinot File experience).
What I loved about this experience was how quickly Michele embraced what we were doing with Twenty Five Doors and made me feel part of the family. I can’t remember her exact words, but I when she handed me the glass she and the wine maker were tasting from, she basically said “If you’re going to be one of us, then you share the glass with us!”. It was also great to see a winery still doing everything using traditional ways, including cork and wax seals!
Another introduction from a local wine shop – this one we befriended the moment we landed in Mendoza – saw us visit La Azul. Following the most stunning sunrise over the Andes, we arrived a little early to be greeted by an amazing aroma coming from the kitchen (it was only 9:30am) and the most incredible backdrop I’ve ever had for a tasting. (Check out the video!)
Following the standard tasting of their six wines, we were shown to their wine shop to taste some back vintages. As fine wine is still relatively new in Argentina (less than 20 years), it was really exciting to see what sort of potential they might have. We weren’t disappointed!
What we loved about this experience was the sheer beauty of the place and the lack of pretentiousness. There is some incredible excess in wine making and cellar doors in Argentina – the result of significant new money in the past 20 years – and it does, unfortunately, take away from the point of everything: the wine. Not the case at La Azul. It was about friends sharing wine at home; trying the back vintages was just a bonus!
Check out the video to get a real feel for the place.