Cockburn Gazette - - LET’S EAT - Bron­wyn Dono­van

WA'S Great South­ern re­gion is a fruit­ful and flavour­some hid­den gem when it comes to pro­duc­ing qual­ity wine.

Tucked away on 6ha just west of Mount Barker, Matthew East­well and Danni Paviour-Smith set them­selves apart as vint­ners pro­duc­ing or­ganic, bio­dy­namic and preser­va­tive free wines.

Mr East­well and Ms PaviourSmi­th started their eco-agribusi­ness Free­hand Nat­u­ral Wine five years ago with a sin­gle aim – to of­fer peo­ple a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

As part of the Taste Great South­ern Re­gional Food and Wine Fes­ti­val, Free­hand will run a fer­men­ta­tion work­shop on March 18 from 2pm to 6pm.

It will give par­tic­i­pants a crash course in nat­u­ral wine­mak­ing, stomp­ing grapes and tast­ing the juice at var­i­ous stages of fer­men­ta­tion be­fore tak­ing home a sin­gle mini fer­ment.

Mr East­well said the work­shop was de­signed to de­mys­tify the nat­u­ral process of fer­men­ta­tion, from both a the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal stand­point.

“Peo­ple are find­ing they can't han­dle as many ad­di­tives and preser­va­tives so gen­er­ally stop Free­hand Fer­men­ta­tion Work­shop Shop 1, 69 Strick­land Street, Den­mark March 18, 2-6pm $60 www.taste­great­south­ern.

drink­ing wine af­ter hav­ing a bad ex­pe­ri­ence both with cheap con­ven­tional wine, pos­si­bly heavy in ad­di­tives, or a bad tast­ing ‘or­ganic’ wine,” he said.

“But Free­hand wines are made from sin­gle vine­yard, es­tate-grown bio­dy­namic grapes.

“While our fer­men­ta­tion process is pos­si­bly dif­fer­ent to most con­ven­tional pro­cesses, it is not nec­es­sar­ily based around not adding preser­va­tives.

“Rather, we make wine in small batches with low tech equip­ment, look­ing to pro­duce a qual­ity au­then­tic tast­ing prod­uct from the grapes we grow.”

Free­hand grows shi­raz, caber­net sau­vi­gnon, mer­lot, semil­lon and sau­vi­gnon blanc grapes, from which a range of sparkling wine, skin con­tact white wines, full bod­ied dry reds and for­ti­fied wines are pro­duced.

Vint­ners Matthew East­well and Danni Paviour-Smith.

Matthew East­well bot­tling a fin­ished Free­hand nat­u­ral white wine.

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