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Stephen Wallace
23 October 2020 | Stephen Wallace

Virtual Wine Classes






Time Posted: 23/10/2020 at 2:00 PM
Stephen Wallace
26 April 2020 | Stephen Wallace

Best Recipes & Wine Pairings

Welcome to Upper Reach Winery's Recipe Sharing Blog!

We want to hear what you've been cooking while in Isolation.

Let's share ideas, match the perfect wine & find inspiration for our next cullinary creations.


We all have a little more time at the moment to focus on what we create in our kitchens. Whether it be the best Sourdough recipe, method of making a gooey meringue or simply your favourite comfort food.


To start us off, Derek the winemaker here at Upper Reach, has been having great fun making his own sourdough starter that he can re-use over & over again by feeding it. It is absolutely delicious and perfect for pizza dough as well!

Sourdough Starter (Special thanks to



  • Whole wheat flour
  • Unsweetened pineapple juice
  • Purified water


Step 1. Mix 3 ½ tbs. whole wheat flour with ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for 48 hours at room temperature. Stir vigorously 2-3 times a day. (“Unsweetened” in this case simply means no extra sugar added).

Step 2. Add to the above 2 tbs. whole wheat flour and 2 tbs. pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for a day or two. Stir vigorously 2-3 times a day. You should see some activity of fermentation within 48 hours. If you don’t, you may want to toss this and start over (or go buy some!)

Step 3. Add to the above 5 ¼ tbs. whole wheat flour and 3 tbs. purified water. Cover and set aside for 24 hours.

Step 4. Add ½ cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 to 1/3 cup purified water. You should have a very healthy sourdough starter by now.


We have been hearing great recipes from our wonderful Cellar Club Members.

One of which came from Jeremy & Tilly for Slow Roasted Duck.

This had us salivating as soon as we strated reading the email.. Thank you so much guys!

Slow Roasted Duck (Special thanks to Jeremy & Tilly)



  • 3 whole frozen duck from Coles freezer section, (get them when they’re on special for $16)
  • 2-3 tsp Chinese Five Spice 
  • 1 Jar of Hoisin
  • 1/2 Bottle of Upper Reach Gig Grenache
  • 1/2 bottle sweet soy sauce
  • 2 Star anise
  • Large table spoon marmalade
  • Juice of one orange and shave a little rind
  • Large table spoon of butter


Step 1. Defrost the ducks and cut them in half. Trim off neck,spine, parsons nose etc. & Pre-heat oven to 140‎°C.

Step 2. Sprinkle the skin side generously with Chinese 5 Spice.

Step 3. Foil a large oven tray, place ducks on tray & pop in the oven for 4.5 Hours.

Step 4. Let's make the sauce! Combine & reduce the following in a large saucepan until thickened: 1 Jar of Hoisin, 1/2 Bottle of Upper Reach Gig Grenache, 1/2 bottle sweet soy sauce, 2 Star anise, Large table spoon marmalade, Juice of one orange and shave a little rind, Large table spoon of butter.

Step 5. Serve with rice and Bok Choy plus the rest of the Gig Grenache (assuming you didn’t drink it already). You’ll probably need another couple of bottles though ;-)

Absolutely delicious guys! Thank you so much again!


This recipe is one of Laura's FAVOURITES when we head into Autumn. 

Lemon & Thyme Pork Belly

(Image Credit


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1kg boneless pork belly, skin scored


Step 1. Place salt, fennel and garlic in a mortar and pulverise with the pestle until garlic has broken up.

Step 2. Add lemon zest and juice, and thyme leaves and lightly pulverise. Stir in oil. Rub marinade all over both sides of pork and set aside to marinate for at least 1hr, preferably overnight.

Step 3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan).

Step 4. Rub pork skin with paper towels until dry. Place pork in a shallow roasting tray, skin-side up, and cook for 1½ hrs.

Step 5. Increase temperature to 200°C (180°C fan) and cook a further 30mins or until skin is crisp. If crackling is not crisp enough, place pork under a grill until crackling is done to your liking (watch very closely).

Step 6. Place pork on a board, tent loosely with foil and stand 15mins. Cut into bite-size pieces and serve.

Super yummy! Plus, that Crackling is to die for :)



Please share your recipes with us by sending them to We would love pictures of your creations as well!

Thank you very much.

Stay Safe, Stay Happy!


Time Posted: 26/04/2020 at 1:00 PM
Stephen Wallace
7 February 2019 | Stephen Wallace

My First Vintage

My First Vintage ~ Stephen Wallace at Upper Reach Winery


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Hello and welcome to my way of giving you a glimpse into the vineyard and the wonderful process of winemaking.

I have worked for Laura & Derek at Upper Reach for just over a year now, and this is my first time getting hands-on with the grapes during a vintage. I'm so grateful that Laura & Derek are letting me have this experience.

I am truly passionate about wine, and the process of turning that cordial-like grape juice into wine fascinates me!

After vintage, I will be starting my WSET Level 3 course which focuses on oenology and viticulture. I'm hoping that doing this vintage will give me a significant head start. I've been half excited and half terrified about working in the vineyard, I didn't know if I would have enough stamina or be able to stand the heat of an Aussie summer. The main thing that had me quaking in my boots, were the snakes... I seriously hope that I don't have to write about an encounter... 

Now, the process for White Wine Making is as such.

1. Pick Grape Bunches - We pick by the bunch to avoid oxidation of the fruit

2. Chill Grapes - We have to chill the fruit from the hot outdoor temperatures to 4 Degrees. We do this to minimise the rate of oxidation and to preserve flavour.

3. De-Stem Bunches - Our clever machine separates the fruit from the stems depositing the stems into a tub.

4. Crush Bunches - The same machine lowers the separated fruit onto rollers which squish the fruit gently without breaking the pips.

5. Press Crushed Grapes - We pump the 'Must' (skins, pips & flesh of the grapes) to the press. This machine has a bag inside, which we inflate, to press the grapes against the sides of the wall to get more juice out.

6. Remove the 'Must' & Ferment Grape Juice - We pump all of the juice over to a steel tank, leaving behind the skins & pips of the grapes. We then have to test the acidity, sugar content & sulphur levels of the juice to judge how much yeast is needed to convert the sugar to alcohol.


The process for Red Wine Making is slightly different:

1. Pick Grape Bunches - We pick by the bunch to avoid oxidation of the fruit

2. Chill Grapes - We have to chill the fruit from the hot outdoor temperatures to 4 Degrees. We do this to minimise the rate of oxidation and to preserve flavour.

3. De-Stem Bunches - Our clever machine separates the fruit from the stems depositing the stems into a tub.

4. Crush Bunches - The same machine lowers the separated fruit onto rollers which squish the fruit gently without breaking the pips.

5. Plunging the 'Must'  - We pump all of the juice to an open fermentor. In this tank, we plunge the grape skins into the juice to maximise skin contact with the juice. The skin contact adds flavour, texture, tannin & colour. We will do this process every 3 hours of every day for the next three weeks. We then have to test the acidity, sugar content & sulphur levels of the juice to judge how much yeast is needed to convert the sugar to alcohol.

6. Ferment Grape Juice - During plunging, the fermentation process would have started. We pump all of the juice over to a steel tank, leaving behind the skins & pips of the grapes. We then have to test the acidity, sugar content & sulphur levels of the juice to judge how much yeast is needed to convert the sugar to alcohol.

7. Press Crushed Grapes - We pump the 'Must' (skins, pips & flesh of the grapes) to the press. This machine has a bag inside, which we inflate, to press the grapes against the sides of the wall to get more juice out.

8. Barrel Ageing - Now we have just the fermented juice with no skins, pips or other material, it can be aged in French Oak Barrels. We put our reds in oak barrels to soften the acidity & tannins. Oak also incorporates flavours such as vanilla, spice and will enhance the body of a wine. Wines are kept in oak for up to a year & a half. 


If you would like to find out more about how we make our wines, we have a fantastic hour-long Winery Tour where we follow the steps from Grape to Glass, tasting fermenting grape juice along the way.

Book Now


Day 1  |  Thursday 24th January 2019  |  Picking Up Verdelho

We were so lucky with the weather! Instead of it being a scorcher, it was a beautiful crisp morning with a little rain. An absolute blessing as Derek & James normally with work outside in 30-40 degree heat.

We had to go out and pick up the crates full of freshly picked grapes and stack them onto pallets. I would pick the crates up from beside the vines and pass them up to James who would be stacking. It really helped having Isobel, Laura & Derek's daughter driving the tractor. 

It made the day a lot more fun by cheekily throwing Verdelho grapes at Isobel... Plus, when you are picking crates up, you eat a couple of grapes here & there and end up eating your body weight in grapes hahaa!

After the trailer is loaded up, we use a forklift to lift the pallets off the trailer, they are weighed and cooled before the next day's crush. 

Day 2  |  Friday 25th January 2019  |  Crushing the Verdelho


Excitement over... this was HARD!

We lifted the crates of grapes up high to load them into the crusher/de-stemmer... this is an intense workout on your shoulders.

The crusher's job is basically to remove the grapes from the stems, those are put back as mulch into the vineyard. Whereas the precious, juice, flesh, skins, pulp & pips are pumped across to the press. The free run juice, literally runs out of the press, helped by gently rotating the wine press (it looks like a big horizontal drum with slits in, allowing the liquid to run out). The beautiful sweet juice tastes like passionfruit & lime. I think this will make a stunning wine! 

Once we had crushed the whole load, we got down to cleaning.... every single bloody crate...Three hundred and eighty-four yellow tubs...

Very achy arms... 

The final job was setting the crates out in the vineyard for Sunday's pick. I don't take any chances... I had the snake gaiters on..

Day 3  |  Sunday 27th January 2019  |  Picking Up The Rest Of The Verdelho

We started a little later than usual this morning, so we enjoyed a nice lie in :) Arrived at the vineyard at 9 am and my lord... It was SO HOT! 

We had to go out again and pick up the crates full of freshly picked grapes and stack them onto pallets. Same as the first pick we had Isobel driving the tractor, but were slowed down when we discovered the pickers had missed a row of grapes :(
This added an extra hour onto our day, but can't waste those grapes!

I reckon we could just about have started a meadery with the number of bees that were in the grapes. Scarily, James is allergic, so I was super concerned and ready to run to the car to drive him to hospital. Turns out I was the only one concerned, he's worked over 10 vintages at Upper Reach and not yet been stung!

When moving the pallets into the cool room, I managed to squish my finger- that's my first vintage injury!

Day 4  |  Monday 28th January 2019  |  Final Verdelho Crush

An absolute scorcher! It reached 42 degrees today, I did feel very lucky not to be picking though- that's a seriously hot job!

We started the destemming and crushing process at 7:30 this morning, for some reason this time, the crusher ended up covered in ladybirds! I performed my good deed for the year by saving every last one.

Karma wasn't working out so well for me, as while rinsing out the crates the grapes are picked into, I saw a HUGE Hunstman Spider underneath one of the crates!

Finished work with Burgers & Chips for all the crew!


Day 5  |  Tuesday 29th January 2019  |  Picking up Chardonnay

The pickers managed to finish super quickly this morning! Once again, we travelled through the rows collecting the crates of grape bunches. There were swarms of bees out today! I very nearly got stung.. Luckily the stinger got caught in my shirt... phew...Ashley was driving the tractor hell for leather today! We were chasing after him with the crates! James & I had a work out and a half! BRING ISOBEL BACK! The boys told me about the time they were going up the hill outside Riverbrook Restaurant, and a whole pallet of Shiraz fell off the back of the tractor hahaa!

Safe to say they were quite red-faced about it! 

Day 6  |  Wednesday 30th January 2019  |  Crushing the Chardonnay

Today we loaded 10 pallets of Chardonnay into the crusher! Chardonnay is a lot more labour intensive that the Verdelho. They are less juicy and their stems collect and can jam the crusher. Luckily, we had a smooth run! 

We finally have a speaker! Who'd have known that everyone is a Gaga fan! After the crushes, more and more washing of crates. Great day! The weather forecasts 40 degrees tomorrow.. not looking forward to that...


Day 7  |  Thursday 31th January 2019  |  Picking up Semillon & Chardonnay

Our day started off nice and cool, but quickly heated up to the promised 40 degrees.. 

The Semillon grapes are much larger than the Verdelho & Chardonnay. Packed full of delicious juice!

After we had brought the load in, Derek showed me how they test for ripeness. They do an experiment that detects Baume. It is a measurement of sugar that will be converted into alcohol by yeast. So when the grapes have a Baume of 13.5, they will make a 13.5% alcohol wine by the end of fermentation. The Semillon looks like it will be delicious!

 Now time to spend the rest of the day in the Cellar Door :) No rest for the wicked...

Day 8  |  Friday 1st February 2019  |  Crushing the Semillon & Chardonnay

Semillon is so different when you crush it! So much juice and barely any skins to clog up the machine! When you taste them, they are so limey. 

The same fabulous process, load them in, let the machine de-stem the grapes, then drop them into the crusher, between two rollers.

But it wasn't that uneventful...

Whilst I was spraying the crates clean... I flip over one of them only to find a Redback Spider, two inches from my ha..... I hate this country sometimes... Wherever I go in this vineyard, I seem to be rather close to something dangerous hahaa! 


Day 9  |  Sunday 3rd February 2019  |  Picking Up More Chardonnay

Last night was our Twilight Concert with Nueva Salsa! It was such a fun evening, however.. made me quite rough for the vineyard... hahaa. Luckily, it was a lovely cool morning, not a problem in sight, very very lucky for my poor head.

This block of Chardonnay was up towards the Cottage and the grapes were huge and really juicy! Cross fingers this means the crush will be nice and easy tomorrow.

Safe to say, my favourite room was the cool room today... 

Day 10  |  Monday 4th February 2019  |  Crushing More Chardonnay

We found a mutant grape! 

Nice & easy day today with only eight pallets of Chardy needing to be loading into the crusher.

The block that we picked from today had been Cane Pruned instead of keeping to the traditional Double Cordon style. This made a huge difference in the flavour and yield of the vines. Higher yield and much juicier.

Day 11  |  Tuesday 5th February 2019  |  Picking The Last of the Chardonnay

A perfect day for the last white pick! A nice 32-degree day and a cool breeze running through the vines today.

Before we started we had to prepare the French oak barrels. The way we test them, to see if they are secure & water-tight, is by pouring water onto the heads of the barrels.

Back in the vineyard, there were loads more bees than usual.. to James' dismay.

Ashley was driving again with James helping me pick up the fruit. We loaded them on, weighed them and popped them in the cool room :D 



Day 12  |  Wednesday 6th February 2019  |  Final White Crush of Chardonnay


The final white crush of 2019 & I got to turn the machine on AND load in the last crate of grapes :P Exciting to me... but.. you're probably thinking.. gotta get a life buddy.

I've really enjoyed picking up & crushing the white varietals that Upper Reach has grown over the years :D 

The main differences between crushing White & Red is that: rather than Splitting the load into two manageable crush & washes.. we go through the entire load in one go as we don't have to press the reds at this point.

Apparently, the reds are a lot quicker to get through.. so cross fingers, it'll be as much fun as the whites!

Day 13  |  Thursday 7th February 2019  |  Picking up Shiraz & Grenache Delivery

The first day of Red Grape picking! We didn't think it would be this soon, but we tested the Baume of the Shiraz block in the corner of the vineyard and it was ready at 14.5! When we pick grapes down at the bottom of the vineyard, we have to be very careful driving the tractor... There are a lot of hills and bumps. If you go over one to quickly, the pallets of grapes could fall off (as mentioned above).

Today we also received a delivery of Grenache from one of Derek's good friend in the Valley. He owns a vineyard of Grenache which is 60 years old and we use it to make our Shiraz Grenache.

Day 14  |  Friday 8th February 2019  |  First Red Crush, the Shiraz Grenache

I was so excited for this as Derek & James had said it was a lot easier than the white wine crush... I thought they were wrong... this was the toughest morning yet! 

When we process reds, we only crush the grapes and pump them into open fermentors.. this means there is no limit to how much we can do it one continuous crush. We loaded in 488 crates of grapes... BACK BREAKING!

The first thing we did was load full bunches (including the stems) into the first fermentor. Derek has been experimenting with a reaction called Carbonic Maceration. It is where the yeast converts the juice inside the grapes into alcohol while still on the stems. It adds complexity and beautiful floral & herbaceous notes. We crush & pump both Grenache & Shiraz one after the other in a 70-30 ratio to co-ferment. 

The washing was daunting... Each of the 488 containers needed washing out... 

As I was going along... I had another encounter with a Red Back Spider...


The Days In-between  |  Pump-over

While the Shiraz Grenache is bubbling away in the Open Fermenters, we have to do a process called pump-over.

This is where we pump the juice from the bottom of the tank over the top of the tank. This action helps extract colour, flavour & tannin from the grape skins.

We have to do pump-over EVERY 3 HOURS, DAY & NIGHT


Day 15  |  Friday 14th February 2019  |  Picking up Shiraz

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!  Today we had a huge load to pick up.. a total of 13 pallets of Shiraz.

We started off at the block by the river. This was very challenging as it is quite uneven & there are a lot of inclines between the vines. We had to hold onto the crates as best we could to avoid sheepishly picking up the load from the floor.

It was really hot down in that block.. we didn't realise how important having a nice cool breeze is...

Not looking forward to the washing tomorrow...

Day 16  |  Friday 15th February 2019  |  Crushing Shiraz

What a day! It was the biggest crush we have done so far. Loading thirteen pallets into the crusher was super tiring! 

Luckily it went very smoothly. We managed to load in eight of the pallets in under an hour. This fruit was delicious! The ripe grapes were like blueberries and the slightly shrivelled ones tasted like chocolate! :D

The cleaning took AGES! I did the maths and worked out that I managed to clean 1040 crates... This endeavour came with its fair share of creepy crawlies as well...Four Redbacks, Six Huntsmans and I lost count of the number of cockroaches...

At the end of the day, we all popped out for burgers! 

We're all looking forward to our Twilight Concert with Libby Hammer tomorrow :D

Day 17  |  Tuesday 19th February 2019  |  Picking Tempranillo, Merlot & Shiraz

Hillarious start to the morning when James gave me a little toy sword & shield.. he said it would complete my Gaitor look hahaha!

We started off by picking the final block of Shiraz. These grapes were so juicy and we had Indi following us the whole morning. 

Next up was the Tempranillo. I was shocked at how big these grapes were and how sweet they were! I'm looking forward to crushing these tomorrow as they'll flow through nice and quickly.

Last but not least, our Merlot. This is when the temperature really soared.. Where the Merlot is planted in the vineyard, there is no breeze at all.. this was a tough final pick of the day.

Day 18  |  Wednesday 20th February 2019  |  Crushing Tempranillo, Merlot & Shiraz

Second last red crush of Vintage! We set out the three open fermentors to pump in to. We started with the Merlot, then the Shiraz and finished with the Tempranillo. 

As we expected, the Tempranillo was the easiest to crush with it being so juicy. 

I think the thing that makes the cleaning go by so quickly is our Playlist!

You can listen to what motives us here: Spotify | Upper Reach Vintage 2019


Day 19  |  Tuesday 5th March 2019  |  Picking & Crushing the Muscat

James & I got hands-on with the grapes today. We picked, collected & crushed our three rows of Muscat.

It was a beautiful cool morning. It was actually quite tranquil & relaxing. Towards the end of picking the three rows, I had even greater respect for our amazing pickers :D

We brought in just under a pallet of Muscat to be used to make our Liqueur Muscat. Once fortified with brandy, we will add this to our Solera System. This is an ageing method that has been used in winemaking for centuries to build complexity & consistency in their fortified wines. 

Our solera system has been on the go for 15 years which gives a rich syrup-like texture.

Day 20  |  Tuesday 12th March 2019  |  Picking the Cabernet Sauvignon

Today was the last pick here at Upper Reach! The vines are now bare :D

We worked our way through the vines at lightning speed! I guess we were full of energy knowing that this was the last time we would pick for a whole year :) We had quite a lot of fun as you'll see in the pictures.

It took us three runs out to the vineyard to pick the crates up, totalling at around 3.5 tonnes.

The grapes were really tasty so we are really looking forward to this Cabernet Sauvignon.



Those 'End of Picking' Feels... ;D

Day 21  |  End of Vintage | Wednesday 13th March 2019  |  Crushing the Cabernet Sauvignon

A nice leisurely crush today! We had to be nice & slow loading the Cabernet into the de-stemmer. This is because Cabernet grapes are smaller & generally less juicy than other red varietals. They tend to pump more slowly across into the open fermenters. 

Plus, for some glorious reason, there weren't as many bugs in the crates! 



What an absolutely amazing experience. I would 10/10 recommend that you get involved with vintages in the future.

Thank you so much to Laura & Derek for giving me the chance to get hands-on, best bosses EVER :D

Finally a huge thank you to you, the readers. I hope you have had a few chuckles about me and my insect fear. If you would like me to guide you around the winery and see what we do, book a winery tour.


Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog

Thank you to everybody who helped us during Vintage

Keep up with everything we get up to in the vineyard.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us at

Time Posted: 07/02/2019 at 1:00 PM
Stephen Wallace
9 October 2018 | Stephen Wallace

What Wines Should I Be Ageing?

In the Cellar Door, we are often asked about cellaring and storing wine, and what types of wine to age, so I wanted to answer some of your most asked questions about aging wines...

Wine is constantly changing and evolving in the bottle. Its life goal is to turn into vinegar. If you are able to catch a wine at the perfect place on this journey, you will experience flavours that you didn't think were possible in wine. 

However, not all wines improve with age, if it is not good when young, it isn’t going to miraculously transform into a great wine with age. Investing in a bottle that has a proven cellaring life is the best way to start. I like to buy 6 or 12 bottles, then open a bottle every year or two and keep track of how it's evolving. 

If you’ve stashed some wine away and years later you discover a treasure, don’t be afraid to call the winery for guidance, they’ll be delighted to hear from you. We often get calls asking about one of our wines that have been discovered in the wine rack at home. We can give advice on whether it is going to be great now, or even if it has a few more years in it, should you want to keep it longer.

To get some great knowledge on starting your own cellar, or learning more about aged wines, join one of our Wine Education Classes. The Wine 103- how wine ages, we take a look at older wines together with their younger counterparts to discover how wines age, what wines have good cellaring potential and discover the difference a little and a lot of aging makes.

Cellaring wines will change (and generally) improve a well-chosen wine, and this is where buying at the Cellar Door is perfect, as the person will be able to give you the very best advice about the ageing potential of that specific wine. 

What Wines Should I Age?

White Wines

The majority of white wines are made to be drunk young, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. 

I’d suggest only ageing Oaked Chardonnays and white wines with higher acidity, such as a dry Verdelho, Riesling and Semillon.

If you have never thought to cellar a dry Verdelho- think again! These crisp white wines develop into the most wonderfully rich, unctuous wine with some bottle age. They can develop beautify honey, dried herb and spice characteristics.

The colour transformation in white wines over time is astonishing, they transform from a light water-like colour to deep gold. 

Red Wines

When Cellaring a red wine, it ought to have a solid structure, bold tannins, good acid and oak, plus great fruit! Generally, the less expensive or mass-manufactured wines don’t cellar for as long, the fruit may be less intensely flavoured, and hence the wine will have less oak, so the structure, essential for ageing will not be as complex.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the best ageing option for beginners. We have picked two here that will age beautifully. These will suit a longer cellaring of up to 10 -12 years.

Over time, the tannins will clump together and fall to the bottom of the bottle as sediment. This smoothens out the wine and will alter the colour of it. Over time, red wines will lose their colour and become more translucent.


                                                                                                                                    Red Wines for Cellaring


How to Store the Wines?

Believe it or not, you do not need a purpose-built wing of the house or basement to age your wines! I personally keep my age-worthy wines inside an esky in the cupboard. The two most important factors for cellaring wine at home, are the stability of temperature (don’t worry too much about the actual temperature, as long as it's not hot, it is more important that there aren’t wild fluctuations) and the physical stability of the wine, so try not to move it around too much.

The level of humidity was more important when wine was sealed with corks, as you didn’t want them to dry out, and no longer be air-tight. Wines with cork will need to lay flat (on its side) to keep the cork moist and prevent air from entering and oxidising the wine. Stelvin sealed wines (screw caps) can be stored upright. 

Ensure that the wines are kept in the dark, as the light will lead to more variation in the temperature and can trigger chemical reactions which lead to the tainting of the wine.


When Can I Open Them?

As a general rule of thumb, if you find a wine that you like (budget permitting) buy a dozen, put 6 bottles within easy reach, and then squirrel away the other six to be enjoyed over 6 or 12 years.

The best wine producers will give you an ageing estimate on the back label, this would be under good cellaring conditions, so use it as an estimate. Make sure you ask at the time of purchasing your wines for the cellaring potential of each wine and write it on either the bottle or using one of the many handy apps to keep track of your personal cellar. 

When buying wine, you probably have a plan as to how long you’d like to keep it for, I’d suggest that you put a sticker with the year that you plan to drink the wine in, on the top of the bottle. 



The Benefits Of Buying Older Wine From A Winery

The main benefit of buying aged wine at a winery is that you can be confident that it has been stored perfectly. The way it is kept will be done in accordance with the winemaker.

Derek, our winemaker, has a vision for what his wines will be like in 5, 10 and 15 years. The best way the wines can achieve this is by being meticulously observed and tasted over time for quality assurance.

Our Museum Wines are available to our wonderful Cellar Club Members only, so join up!

Click the link below if you want to access the Museum Range:
I Want To Join the Cellar Club

Buy aged wines

"The most important thing to remember is, ageing wine is a hobby, so don’t get too caught up in the technicalities, just enjoy the journey!" ~ Laura Pearse


Time Posted: 09/10/2018 at 2:30 PM
Stephen Wallace
24 August 2018 | Stephen Wallace

Why Aerate Wine?

Why Aerate Wine?                                                            

Simple answer.. because it makes all red wines and some white wines taste heaps better!

I often get customers to taste the huge difference that aeration makes.

I pour them some wine straight from the bottle and then in another glass pour some wine using our Vinoair Aerator.


Every customer so far has prefered the aerated wine 'the aerated wines seems smoother, with a bit more to it.' The aerated wine is more lifted, bigger and brighter. The more full-bodied reds open up and show more complexity after the extra air contact.


How does Aeration work?

Aeration works by allowing the wine to oxidise. The increased oxidation softens the tannins and seems to smooth out the wine. Aerating plays a huge part in enhancing your drinking experience; first off, it releases a wine's beautiful aroma. The aeration creates bubbles this increases the surface area allowing the wine to show off its beautiful scents.

While in the bottle, wine is reacting with oxygen and constantly changing, just at a slower rate than when it's out of the bottle. 

In a sense, aerating wine is mimics or speeds up the wine's ageing, so effectively giving you a snapshot of the wine's cellaring potential. 

And of course, this means you are going to get the very best out of the wine you are drinking today! 


So, if you're tucking into a beautiful full-bodied red like our Reserve Shiraz or Petit Verdot or have a certain penchant for our Museum Wines, make sure you aerate them before you drink them.


A marvellous way of not having to decant a whole bottle is by using one of these amazing pourers. It aerates your wine as you pour! And the best bit...if you haven't finished the bottle, you've only aerated the wine your drinking.

If you aerate wine by decanting the bottle and don't finish the bottle, as you've speeded up the ageing process the wine is unlikely to be any good the next day.



What wines should I aerate?

  • Young tanic wines, with a lot of attitude
    • aeration will help the tannins to mellow a bit, softening any harsh edges in the wine and making it a more pleasant drinking experience that isn’t overpowered by a tannic punch.
    • Effectively wine aeration is trying to replicate the wine’s natural aging process, and tries to make up for lost years bottled in the cellar within an hour of open oxygen exposure. Both ways help break down harsh tannins.
  • Aged Red wine with visible sediment

    • Red wines are often aged, after a while various elements in the wine, such as tannins and other chemicals, begin to bind together, solidify, and sit as a sediment on the bottle of your wine bottle.
    • This usually occurs between eight and ten years of aging, although this depends on the type of red wine being stored, the conditions of its storage, etc. 
    • The sediment of aged wine can taste bitter - which makes sense, it is mostly tannins
      • So it’s always a good idea to segregate the sediment while you’re decanting aged wine.
      • To do this - remove the bottle from its aging rack (it has probably been laid sideways). Stand it upright for a day to allow the sediment to slowly float down and settle at the bottom of the bottle.
      • When you’re ready to decant the wine, pour very slowly so as not to mix the wine and sediment on the bottom, and keep an eye out for when to stop pouring. Make sure the murky wine and sediment on the bottom stays in the bottle, and doesn’t pour out into the decanter with the rest of the wine.
  • Some white wines
    • Some whites can also highly benefit from aeration. These whites are usually dry, full-bodied, and with heavier mouth feels than other whites.
    • Reserve Chardonnay & aged Verdelhos



Decanting Wine

Decanting wine is another way of aerating your wine. 

Decanting is usually best for full-bodied red wines or wines that have aged. It does 3 essential things:

  • Aerates
  • Catches Sediment
  • Increases surface area in which the wine can release the aroma.

Over time, as a red wine ages, the Tannins clump together and fall to the bottom of the bottle forming sediment. This sediment is not very tasty and should be avoided at all costs. If you allow wine to sit in a decanted for an hour or more, the sediment will fall to the bottom of the decanter and be caught in the dimple at the bottom, making the wine you drink from it free from sediment, while also aerating. 

Learn more about How Wine Ages

If you are having guests over for dinner who enjoy red wine, make sure you crack the bottle and pour it in a decanter at least 30 minutes before they arrive. Don't be scared to give it a swirl to slosh it around, this will open up the wine perfectly.

You're now ready to enjoy wine at it's fullest potential.

Warning: you will need to drink it all that night! After all that aeration the wine will taste 'past it' the next day.
Mind you I like an achievable goal!


*Important Note* - Not all wines need to be aerated. Aerating certain wines can actually ruin their complexity and destroy their flavour characteristics hugely.

Avoid aerating lighter-bodied reds such as Pinot Noir, and fresh white wines, such as Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc or Unwooded Chardonnay.

Time Posted: 24/08/2018 at 2:00 PM