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Best Kept Secrets Blog

Best’s Wines was established in 1866 by the pioneering Henry Best and sold to neighbour and second generation vigneron, Frederick P Thomson in 1920.

Under the guidance of the Thomson family, the Best’s name has continued to thrive. Fourth generation vigneron, Viv Thomson and son Ben continue to combine traditional methods with modern technology to create wines of renown and integrity.

Founded in 1866 in the Great Western wine region of Victoria, Best’s Great Western is one of Australia’s oldest continuously family owned and operated wineries. Best’s is known to have some of the oldest vines in Australia and produces extraordinary wines with great longevity. Best’s flagship wine, the Thomson Family Shiraz, has an Outstanding designation from Langton’s Auction house.

Until the 1950’s, Best’s red wines were labelled Claret and the white wines were labelled Hock and they were bottled for customers both in Australia and overseas on demand. In the 1960’s, Bests began to release varietally labelled vintage wines. Throughout the history of the winery, there have only been two owners, the Best family, who founded the winery, and the Thomson family, who bought it after Henry Best’s death in 1920.

Nicole Major
 
23 May 2017 | Nicole Major

Cellar Door Supervisor

                                                                               

Cellar Door Position Available

Best’s Wines Pty Ltd is a family owned brand and Winery with an experienced, progressive and energetic management team.

Situated in Great Western in the beautiful Grampian’s wine region, Best’s was established in 1866 and is one of the oldest wine producers in Victoria.

We are looking for a talented, wine passionate individual to play a key role in our Cellar Door.

You will need a flexible, friendly approach, lots of initiative and be able to work well both unsupervised and in a team environment.  The successful applicant will be customer driven and have great communication skills.

Reporting to the Cellar Door Supervisors, this position will be responsible for delivering the complete Cellar Door 'EXPERIENCE’ in terms of customer service and sales.

Some knowledge of the wine industry and customer service experience will be an advantage.  

The role will involve assisting in all facets of the cellar door, including such things like, events, sales and general administration.  A vibrant personality, attention to detail and smart presentation are all essential.

This is a casual position that will include weekend work.

If you have the experience, enthusiasm and qualification then the remuneration will be negotiated accordingly and be suitably attractive.

Email your application to nicole.major@bestswines.com by close Friday June 10th. 

Justin Purser
 
16 May 2017 | Justin Purser

2017 Vintage Wrap-Up

Best’s Vintage 2017 Wrap-Up

Justin Purser, Best’s Winemaker

What an amazing few months it has been for the team at Best’s Great Western. Harvest has seen us enjoy a record intake of fruit with more than 700 tonnes coming into the winery. Our focus has since moved to ensuring the grapes receive loving care in their transformation from grapes to wine.

So why so much fruit in 2017? The last few seasons in Great Western have been lean to say the least, with frost and dry conditions taking their toll. So early in the season, when we realised that conditions were good for the impending months ahead and the quality of the vines in spring 2016 was high, we took a gamble and secured extra fruit from our growers. Thankfully, the season progressed with near-perfect conditions – mild weather and intermittent rain, but warm enough in spring to ensure good fruitfulness, ripening and excellent fruit quality.

Other surrounding regions experienced detrimental rainfall in January but it was less heavy in Great Western and largely beneficial for our grapes that didn’t ripen until late March and throughout April, which was nearly five weeks later than the 2016 season and two weeks later than recent averages. Overall, our own vineyards did especially well, with good yields and great quality.

In the wine world, we live around the vagaries of the weather so to have such an optimistic season like this, when the rainfall comes at the right time (and doesn’t affect ripening by falling at the wrong time) and there are no heatwaves or frosts to contend with, it is truly a cause for celebration.

Already we have great batches of 2017 wine in the cellar, with Riesling and Shiraz looking particularly good. The only downside was that some vineyards had a little too much fruit and therefore the flavours were a little dilute, but with all the other good batches, I am sure the overall quality of 2017 wines will be memorable.

With all the hours we’ve been putting in, it’s rewarding to see the wines looking so good. We have one more batch to press, which is Pinot Noir from the old block that was picked two months ago. It smells and tastes great, so it will be pressed off after two months on skins.

So how did we celebrate? We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the end of the harvest at our favourite local restaurant Steel Cutters Cottage. We presented awards to Best’s hard-working team members – one notable award was given to Claudio from Italy, who managed to receive three speeding fines within a few weeks (his nickname became Fangio) but he also did a great job cleaning and sealing up our old vats for the new wines. He was awarded a handbrake and an old vat door to hang around his neck in the hope that it might slow him down a bit in the future. Our French team members have now departed for France and Claudio is leaving for Italy this weekend. It’s certainly sad to see them go.

      

Best’s cellar is now returning to some kind of normality, with that other great time of year we love looming – bottling!

Time Posted: 16/05/2017 at 6:05 PM
Hamish Thomson
 
9 March 2017 | Hamish Thomson

Cellar Door Project Shiraz

Best’s Cellar Door Project

Ever heard of a cellar door team making its own drop from the winery’s vineyard and winemaking facilities? Best’s Cellar Door Project could be a world first – read all about this eye-opening exercise in the blog post below.

March 2015

Imparting knowledge to their team does not trouble great leaders. And our winemaker Justin Purser embodies this attitude when he encourages Best’s cellar door team to make its own wine, under his winemaking counsel, of course. Branded The Cellar Door Project, the mission is to impart valuable winemaking knowledge to the team, who in turn share this knowledge with Best’s visitors – it’s one skill to be able to describe a wine’s characteristics; it’s an even greater skill to experience the craft of winemaking and share that with Best’s visitors.

Best’s winemaker Justin Purser takes the first step in a project that culminates in the production of a fantastic Shiraz, as well as the unification and education of our cellar door team. First up, Justin reserves a special area of Shiraz, called James Block in our Salvation Gully Vineyard at Rhymney. At vintage time, it’s all hands on deck to handpick the grapes. Luckily the sun was shining and the hard work resulted in a tonne of beautifully juicy and ripe Shiraz grapes.

Second step sees the cellar door team “foot stomp” the grapes – a fun and fruity task with a bit of mess thrown in. Then for the next week, the team members take turns plunging (to extract colour and tannin in the wine) while the grapes are fermenting. They even enlist the help from cellar door visitors (we’re nothing if not resourceful).

The next, even messier stage is pressing the grapes, using a basket press. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch the grape juice flow through the press and move one step closer to magically becoming wine. 

The juice is then “racked” into barrels where it sits peacefully, until instructions are given for the next steps.  

September 2015

The next phase of the project sees the wine racked off its malolactic lees into tank and analysed in the laboratory, where small adjustments and additions are made before returning to barrel for further maturation.

The cellar door team approaches the tasting component of this practical experiment with grand enthusiasm – and they are all happy to put on their science coats and watch the chemistry in action.

April 2016

Time to check the wine’s maturation process! Thankfully, it’s looking good with rounded, supple fruit characters, yet retaining wonderful freshness. The maturation journey is occurring in second-fill French oak, where monthly topping is undertaken to ensure the wine is kept off ullage (any amount by which a barrel is left unfilled).

December 2016

The wine has reached its optimum maturation point in barrel and put into bottle with a release date pegged for early 2017. The cellar door team have been dedicated participants in this project, taking in every morsel of fact and nuance in this caper that is called winemaking.  Their approach to learning about the winemaking process has been inspiring.

March 2017

It’s time to release the cellar door team’s labour of love. The 2015 Cellar Door Project Shiraz is made from fruit grown in a special plot of Shiraz called James Block in our Salvation Gully Vineyard at Rhymney. The cellar door staff handpicked the grapes, foot stomped, basket pressed, racked, matured in oak, blended and bottled the wine, to present it to you in their place of work – the cellar door. This corner of the world is the only location from which this drop is available. And a mere 30 dozen cases were produced so if you want to stock your cellar, come and visit, or call the cellar door and purchase over the phone – 03 5356 2250.

 

What’s does the 2015 Cellar Door Project Shiraz taste like?

Delicious! It’s dark red with a garnet hue, and lifted herbal peat-like characters. Its rich, mid-weight palate displays dark fruit flavours with a long savoury finish. It will soften and become more complex over the next 10 years.

Keen to try it but can’t make it to the cellar door? No problem, give the friendly cellar door team a call on 03 5356 2250. They’d be very happy to talk you through the entire project and help you purchase a few bottles over the phone. 

 

Time Posted: 09/03/2017 at 11:26 AM
Justin Purser
 
8 February 2017 | Justin Purser

Best's 2017 Vintage Update

Best’s winemaker Justin Purser gives us an update on how the Great Western vineyards are faring with harvest looming in the coming weeks.

21rd March 2017

It has been an ideal start to Vintage 2017 in Great Western. So far, we’ve picked nearly all the Riesling, all the Chardonnay and some Pinot Noir. It’s been a slow but steady maturation of the grapes. Compared to the fast pace of vintages in recent years, 2017 has been a bit of a waiting game for the fruit to ripen. The advantage of this is two fold.

The first benefit is that the flavours in the grapes have had plenty of time to mature before the sugar level becomes too excessive. Too much sugar means too much alcohol, which we do not want.

The second bonus is that the slow ripening allows us to plan and pinpoint the right time to pick, which is not easy in warmer years. Most of our blocks that we’ve picked so far are four or five weeks later than last year.

The frustrating thing about this waiting game is that the staff (myself included) in the winery and the vineyard are anxious to get their hands on the fruit, so we don’t have to process any more grape maturity samples or do any more cleaning.

We did see plenty of nervous energy in the winery this week, with an impending rainstorm threatening our Riesling crop. Never fear though, the team rallied and we spent a long night and day picking and pressing five different blocks of Riesling plus one of Orange Muscat and some Gewürztraminer for our Gentle Blend. The result of these picks is fantastic – I’m really excited about the potential for high-quality wines this year. The flavours coming through the juice and the early fermentation are very encouraging.

The rain seems to have fizzled out now and has resulted in giving the vines a freshen-up and allowed the dust to settle. We need to wait a couple more days for the grape’s flavours to return to their previous state – which leaves us with the perfect opportunity to clean and write a vintage blog. We’re also putting together our 2016 Bin 1 blend at the moment, a task normally reserved until after vintage, but it is ready to go now, so carpe diem.

This year, our winery vintage staff includes stalwarts Leanne, Jamie, Hadyn and Justin Burns (the other Justin), Glenn (in the vineyard), plus celebrity guests Viv and Hamish Thomson, and our new recruits of Claudio from Bologna in Italy and Manon and Jeremy from Champagne in France. We all went out to the Pigsty Vineyard last week and picked the small amount of old-vine Pinot Noir that’s mingled with the Pinot Meunier. We intend to recreate the wine we made from these vines (the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the world) in 2014 and released in 2016 to celebrate our 150th anniversary. The Pinot looks great, with fruitful and balanced crops and delicious flavours in the berries. We’ll pick all of this fruit as soon as it dries out. (As I am writing this, it seems we’ve been lucky as only a small amount of rain fell and we have some drying winds to follow.)

This week we should also start to pick our Shiraz, but next week will be the true onset of the “Shiraz-alanche”.

Yours, until the next update.

Justin Purser

Best’s Winemaker

8th February 2017

The good news is that overall the vineyards are looking great.  The above average spring rains have made a hugely positive impact on the vineyards – we’ve not seen above average rainfall for 20 years! The canopies are lush and healthy and they’re providing good shading to the vines and the bunches. What’s also exciting from a grape grower’s perspective is that the crop levels are up on average. So after three seasons of low yields or none at all, it’s very uplifting to see lots of green bunches on the vines.

However, the most exciting news about the vineyards is that they are on the whole in balance. After a few difficult seasons where the vines have been stressed, it’s been very difficult to achieve balance. This season, the ample soil moisture and favourable temperatures have allowed the vines to find their own balance. What that means is that the amount of leaf and shoot growth is in check with the fruit, and the bunches of grapes are evenly distributed throughout the vine canopy. This results in the fruit ripening up evenly and ultimately makes better wine, which is the goal!

The only downside is that there have been cases of hen and chicken (a term to describe grape bunches containing berries differing greatly in size and, most importantly, maturity) in the Cabernet Sauvignon and some isolated areas of Shiraz.

These shot berries (chickens) will not develop into full-size grapes. This is mainly due to the high winds and some cooler weather we had during the pollination of the flowers in these vines. Viticulturists can control a lot of things, but they’re yet to work out how to control the wind and temperature in the vineyard.

Apart from this issue, we’re shaping up for a good vintage. Then again, it could rain for the next two months and turn to pot (or bot), so cross your fingers, toast the weather gods with a nice wine and I’ll join you in looking forward to tasting the new vintage.

Time Posted: 08/02/2017 at 12:35 PM
Hamish Thomson
 
6 February 2017 | Hamish Thomson

India's Wine Region

India's Wine Region

Chris and Viv Thomson enjoyed an eye-opening trip to India’s wine region last year. Here, Viv recounts the discoveries they made.

On a trip to India last November, we had the opportunity to visit Nashik Valley Wine Region, which is situated about three hours north of Mumbai depending on the traffic. When you consider Mumbai has a population of about 20 million people and the relatively small town of Nashik has a population of two million, it’s not surprising the road conditions are a little congested.

Nashik runs on a similar latitude to Townsville, at an altitude of about 700m. The winters can be quite cool and pleasant, while the summers are very hot with the monsoons occurring in June and July. The problem for wine grape growing in the tropical climate is that if left alone, the vines will produce fruit all year round. It’s suggested the life span of vines under these circumstances may only be 50 years, unlike Australia, where most varieties continue to grow at 50 years plus, and can still be productive at 150 years, as in the case of Best’s Thomson Family Shiraz vines.

The problem is not so much the task of achieving dormancy naturally, it’s more about achieving a starting point from when the vine can start its growth to arrive at a suitable harvest. Because of the climate, the harvest date can almost be predicted from the date the vines are pruned.

Climactically, India is the reverse to Australia, however India’s growing period coincides almost exactly with the growing dates in Australia. Harvest (vintage) takes place in early spring (February/March), before the onset of hot weather in April/May. First pruning takes place after harvest and before the monsoon in June/July. During the monsoon period, the vines enjoy a period of rapid growth. After the monsoon during the months of August/September, the vines are pruned a second time. This sets the vines up for harvest in February/March.

Charosa Vineyard. Note the extra crops planted at the base of the vines. All land is optimised for production

There are now 29 wineries in the Nashik Valley Wine Region and although grapes have been grown in the area since the 1950s, the first renaissance was not until the late 1980s, with the production of sparkling wines. Then another flourish of growth and production occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which is referred to as the start of the modern wine production era.

York Winery and Vineyard

Grape varieties grown were not dissimilar to those in Australia, with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and a very respectable Viognier. Cabernet and Shiraz dominated the reds with Tempranillo and Zinfandel looking promising, probably due to their high natural acidity.

When you consider the growing conditions in the vineyards and the logistics of transporting the grapes to the wineries, I was amazed at the quality of the wines. The sparkling wines produced at Moët Hennessey were a revelation and certainly enhanced my opinion of the wines of India.

Charosa Winery

Grape varieties were not dissimilar to Australia, with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, and a very respectable Viognier. Cabernet and Shiraz dominated the red with Tempranillo and Zinfandel looking promising, probably due to their high natural acidity.

When you consider the growing conditions in the vineyards, the transport logistics of the grapes to the wineries, I was amazed at the quality of the wines produced. The sparkling wines produces at Moet Hennessey were a revelation and certainly enhanced my opinion of the wines of India.

Chandon

For those of you visiting India, and particularly Mumbai, a visit to the Nashik Valley Wine Region is well worth the trip. Most wineries welcome tourists and have excellent modern tasting facilities and in some case, restaurants.

In most restaurants, Indian wines are available at reasonable prices.

Of the wineries we visited, I cannot speak highly enough of the people, their hospitality, their enthusiasm and their ability to work together as a group.

Time Posted: 06/02/2017 at 7:57 AM
Hamish Thomson
 
3 November 2016 | Hamish Thomson

An Australian Tradition: Best’s Sparkling Shiraz

BThese days, many Australian festive tables are adorned with a bottle of sparkling Shiraz. This uniquely Australian style has been made since the mid-1900s, so when Best’s released the Great Western Sparkling Shiraz in the 1950s, it felt like a natural progression for our Shiraz production and a great opportunity to represent the sparkling style of the Great Western region. It has become a very popular wine in the range.

After a pause in production, there was an uprising of sorts that saw Best’s Sparkling Shiraz brought back to life. In 2009, when Viv and Chris Thomson were away on their annual winter holiday, the team was handed a too-good-to-knock-back opportunity to re-launch the sparkling red. Viv wasn’t convinced the Aussie drinking population was ready to embrace the red bubbles, nor was he overly excited about bringing this wine back from the dead after such a long hiatus. But returning this wine to the stables seemed like the right decision, so Best’s winemaker at the time Adam Wadewitz and the rest of the team made the call to bring it back and release a small amount.

By the time Viv and Chris returned from holiday, the bottles were already moving off the shelf and we crowned our cheeky mutiny a roaring success.

Subsequent research on the style of Sparkling Shiraz in the region has been undertaken, including consultation with legendary winemakers, such as Ian McKenzie, and over the last few years we’ve been able to identify specific vineyards that best lend themselves to the sparkling Shiraz style.

Best’s Shiraz grapes for sparkling wine are picked early in the season, fermented in vats and a small amount of oak barrels. The wine is savoury and of medium body, retaining freshness as well as intensity over time. Best’s Winemaker, Justin Purser, is also a sparkling Shiraz believer, and has instigated his own changes to the sparkling production process, including using aged liqueur muscat from old Best’s casks as dosage liqueur.

This wine is certainly an acquired taste, but despite its distinctiveness it often sells out in the lead-up to Christmas, as it’s not produced in huge volumes. Best’s sparkling red has rounded out the range to include some of the historically significant styles of Shiraz made in Great Western.

Discover more about this uniquely Australian wine.

BUY NOW

 

Time Posted: 03/11/2016 at 2:37 PM
Justin Purser
 
18 August 2016 | Justin Purser

James Halliday Wine of the Year Award

2014 Thomson Family Shiraz Wins James Halliday Wine Companion Wine of the Year
By Justin Purser

Winning the Halliday Wine Companion Qantas Epicure Wine of the Year with our 2014 Thomson Family Shiraz and attaining a score of 99/100 was a fulfilling moment for the entire team at Best’s. The rarity of this wine means that it is never entered into wine shows and is rarely reviewed by wine critics, so to have a critic of James’s calibre reward it with such high praise gives credence as to why this wine is so special.

Made from the 15 rows of old Shiraz vines planted in the 1860s, the Thomson family has nurtured and protected these dry-grown gnarly old ladies for four generations and the Best family for two generations before that. This award is a fine acknowledgement of the tireless efforts of the Thomsons, the Bests and the generations of workers in the vineyards and the winery – their acute focus has compelled the Halliday team to hail this Great Western expression as the greatest Australian wine out of the 9000-odd that are reviewed for the Halliday Wine Companion.

Not only is it a fitting tribute to the resilience of these vines and of a small family business, it is also a testament to the history and success of Shiraz in Victoria. If it was possible to capture the Victorian wine history in a glass, the Thomson Family Shiraz would be it. This wine, we believe, has a special character that goes beyond turning grapes into wine, an ‘x factor’, if you like. The team at Best’s works very hard to ensure all our wines, but this one especially, are given every chance to fully achieve the quality levels attainable in Great Western, to capture the essence of the vineyards and to develop that x factor. We applaud them for their efforts and congratulate them on achieving such levels of quality.

With the length of the 2014 harvest (it progressed right until the end of April) we already had an inkling of the quality of the 2014 Shiraz wines. This protracted season enabled the grapes to achieve lots of layers of flavour. We knew we were onto something post-blending in mid-2015 when the wines began to unveil their charms presenting succulent, rolling flavours in the mouth combined with great balance and persistence. We believe that all the 2014 red wines will continue to get better with cellaring and hopefully will be looking good in 30 years’ time – if you can wait that long.

Listen to Justin Purser, Viv Thomson and James Halliday speak about this wine in this short video.

WATCH NOW

 

 

Time Posted: 18/08/2016 at 1:00 PM
Best's Wines
 
15 June 2016 | Best's Wines

Seppelt Great Western Stands Again

Best’s Great Western neighbour Seppelt has been in the news lately. When its owner Treasury Wine Estates announced in October 2015 that Seppelt’s cellar door would be closing, sighs of disappointment were heard all over the country. Thankfully, this historic winery, with an intimate family connection to Best’s Wines, has received a stay of execution.

It comes in the form of local businessman Daniel Ahchow, who owns Great Western Garage not far from Seppelt and runs an online recruitment company. Mr Ahchow has signed a leasing agreement with Treasury Wine Estates to keep the tourism element of the estate alive and kicking.

The agreement will see Seppelt’s 3km heritage-listed ‘Drives’ tunnels remain open to the public, as well as its cellar door, function and accommodation facilities. This is the official home of Seppelt, and will remain so for the near future.

Despite the fact that there is no official winemaking facility on site, Seppelt’s cellar door will continue to offer the brand’s wines for tasting where you can experience the history of Best’s closest neighbour.

This new ownership is great news for Best’s – we believe Seppelt’s history sits side by side that of Best’s. Joseph Best, the brother of Best’s founder Henry Best, founded Seppelt more than 150 years ago. Our desire is to encourage more people to discover the wines, beauty and history of the Great Western region, so we truly hope this new agreement will arrest any potential visitation decline.

It’s great news that Seppelt’s current employees will be given the chance to remain employed at the cellar door, and we’re thrilled that under the new partnership agreement, there are plans for funds raised from tours of Seppelt’s Drives to contribute to the development of the Great Western township via the Great Western Future Plan.

Seppelt’s Drives tunnels are the longest underground cellars in the southern hemisphere and provide a fascinating glimpse into Victorian history alongside Best’s fascinating story. Best’s and Seppelt are both about two hours’ drive from Melbourne. Our region is set against a backdrop of the spectacular Grampians sandstone mountain ranges, so a visit is a must for wine and history lovers alike.

Time Posted: 15/06/2016 at 10:08 AM
Best's Wines
 
15 June 2016 | Best's Wines

Best’s 150th Anniversary Tasting

Picture this: five former Best’s winemakers, Best’s patriarch Viv Thomson OAM and current Best’s winemaker Justin Purser, all in a room accompanied by enough amazing aged and rare bottles to impress the best of the best wine media.

The occasion? One hundred and fifty years ago, on 18 May 1866, Henry Best  was granted a license to occupy four blocks of land on which the Concongella winery and vineyards stand today. What a remarkable achievement that the Thomson family continues to produce wines from the vines that Henry planted all those years ago, using the same cellars and barrels installed at the winery in the 1870s.

So it’s this 150-year anniversary of Best’s continual production of fine Great Western wines that Viv Thomson was celebrating. At the lunch, Viv led a wine tasting like no other. It was a celebration of the combined 150-year history of two families. Importantly, it was also acknowledgement of the distinctive wines that have been produced over this prolific period and how each of the respective winemakers have had a role in evolving the brand to make the style of wines that we are proud to put our name to today.   

From Viv’s perspective, the lunch was also a celebration of all that had gone before – from his father Eric and mother Mary, his Uncle Bill and his wife Jessie, together with Viv’s grandfather Frederick, who Viv believes worked through the toughest Best’s shift of all, between 1920 and 1960.

Their time at Best’s was difficult due to the boom and bust of the 1920s, then the Depression of the 1930s, followed by the war years, then the slow march forward as Australia resurrected itself on the back of the wool and agriculture industries of the 1950s.

Viv returned to the family fold at the winery in the 1960s to discover that Australians had begun to embrace table wines. And what a fantastic discovery that was. At that time, Victoria boasted 16 wineries. Current count goes beyond 800.

Viv is grateful for all the people who have helped stand Best’s winery in such confident stead among the industry and its loyal customers. Viv’s wife Christine is undoubtedly his greatest supporter – her efforts in accumulating so much of the Thomson family history in order to publish Best’s commemorative 150-year book are so appreciated.

Viv’s children all remain active at the winery in various roles. Ben is now at the helm as Managing Director. And Hamish, Yvette and Marcus have all contributed to the success of Best’s over the years.

So where did the celebration take place? Melbourne’s Jimmy Watsons’ Bar – it was such a fitting place in which to commemorate the day, given its history. It first opened as a wine merchant place of business in 1935, and has gradually evolved as a meeting place for lovers of wine to this day. Viv is honoured the Watson family agreed to host this special day.

Best’s history is coloured with so many acclaimed winemakers and on the day we were lucky that most of them could join us to discuss the wines of which they are most proud. Best’s current winemaker, Justin Purser (2011-present), was joined by Adam Wadewitz (2005-2011), Hamish Seabrook (2000-2005), Michael Unwin (97-2000), Simon Clayfield (88-97), and Sandy Mast (wife of the late Trevor 75-98).

So which wines were enjoyed?

Best’s Whites

  • 2015 Foudre Ferment Riesling
  • 2011 Great Western Chardonnay
  • 2003 Great Western Riesling
  • 1998 Great Western Chardonnay
  • 1995 Great Western Riesling
  • 1977 Great Western Riesling
  • 1974 Great Western Rhine Riesling

Best’s Reds

  • 2014 Pinot Meunier Pinot Noir
  • 2006 Thomson Family Shiraz
  • 2001 Bin No. 0 Shiraz
  • 1998 Great Western Pinot Noir
  • 1992 Thomson Centenary Shiraz
  • 1981 Hermitage Bin No. 0
  • 1967 Bin No. 0 Claret

Along with these rare and aged wines, we enjoyed the limited release wines that were crafted to commemorate Best’s 150th anniversary.

  • 2013 The Concongella - BUY NOW
  • 2014 PSV 141 Pinot Noir - BUY NOW
  • 2014 Sparky’s Block Shiraz - BUY NOW
  • 1999 FHT Shiraz Museum Release -  BUY NOW
Time Posted: 15/06/2016 at 9:50 AM
Best's Wines
 
18 December 2015 | Best's Wines

Open that Bottle Night

This Is Your Invitation to Open That Bottle Night.

Great wine is made to be shared. And one of the most fulfilling parts of belonging to the wine industry is hearing the stories of people opening those bottles with friends. It’s not always about cracking open the oldest vintage in your cellar (although that is a unique story in itself!). It could be a brand new wine release that’s made from small parcels of pristine fruit picked from lovingly nurtured vines. Just like we do in Best’s Great Western vineyards.

So in conjunction with Best’s 150th Anniversary celebrations, here’s your excuse to open those bottles you’ve been saving.

Best’s is hosting a series of Open That Bottle Nights throughout 2016. Put the following dates in your diary to join in the fun:

Saturday 27 February 2016 (Global Open That Bottle Night)

Saturday 21 May 2016

Saturday 3 September 2016

What’s Open that Bottle Night?

The concept of Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) was initiated by two reporters at The Wall Street Journal. Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher wanted to encourage their readers to open a significant bottle, then to share their stories. Since its inauguration in 2000, the event has become a global phenomenon, and is always held annually on the last Saturday in February.

The underlying premise of Open That Bottle Night is that wine is more than liquid in a bottle. With the opening of these wines comes memories of life milestones, births, deaths and marriages, long lost loved ones and treasured holidays. These memories are too precious and significant not to celebrate and share.

So, here’s how to hold your own Open That Bottle Night:

Dig out a special wine that you’ve been saving for a special occasion or purchase a new release to celebrate and join in the fun.

Invite friends and family to your place or an outdoor picnic while the weather is a warm? Tell your guests it’s a special occasion – you provide the wine, they bring a plate? Or try to match the food to the wine being opened?

Once the wine has been opened and tasted, post your thoughts using #OTBN, or if you’re opening an old bottle of Best’s Wine, use #Bestswines150.

Tell the stories about the wines – where did you buy it from, did you meet the winemaker, what food matches best. Is there a story from early days of discovering wine that you care to share?

Plan to do it all over again!

Don't waste the opportunity of opening a special bottle – take Best’s winemaker Justin’s advice about how to open old wines by reading his blog post: http://www.bestswines.com/blog/How-To-Open-Old-Wines

 

 

Time Posted: 18/12/2015 at 3:00 PM