Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Australia Trip 2012 Part IV - Long Gully Estate, Yarra Valley




By the time we left YarraWarra Estate, it was already close to 4pm and we had only time for one last winery visit for the day - Long Gully Estate.

Winemaker Han Tao Lau was busy with his task at the winery when we parked the car. However, he happily stopped what he was doing and opened the cellar door for us and walked us through the full range of Long Gully Estate wine.

Han is a Chinese and we found out from the conversation with him that he was born in Hong Kong and came to Australia to study wine business at the University of Adelaide, intending to open a boutique wine store in his home city of Hong Kong. Instead, he fell in love with winemaking, and completed the graduate diploma in oenology. He has worked for wineries including the icon Chteau Valandraud in St Emilion and Weingut Okonomierat Rebholz in Pfalz, Germany. Over the past six years he has been in the Yarra Valley, with vintages at Coldstream Hills, then Domaine Chandon, followed by two years as assistant winemaker at Yarra Yering.

He took over the winemaking responsibility at Long Gully Estate in November 2010 and the first vintage in charge was 2011. I like this guy and his passion for wine.

Long Gully Estate is one of the larget boutique winery in Yarra Valley. The vineyard has grown from 2.2ha to over 20ha in just 30 years from the time it was established.

We tasted quite a full range of the Long Gully Estate wines, from their premium range to the cheaper mass-market Cheery Giant series. 

I like the estate Pinot Noir.  The Pinot Noir was matured in French oak barrels for 12 months and the end result is a soft and supple Pinot showing true cool climate varietal characters and earthy notes. A wine of elegance.

Totally agree with their motto - Life is too short to drink bad wine.








10 comments:

  1. Hi Alvin
    I believe you would love to be like Han too....to be a winemaker and staying in around the vineyard one day...away from the stressful and pressure work life you are now. Life in country side is so much peaceful. Oh...I love that too.

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    1. Hi Mel! You are right but there are so many factors to consider and I envy you for having a second home in NZ.

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  2. Hi Alvin,

    It must be a beautiful day that you visited yarra valley. All I see is beautiful sunshine, blue sky, lots of greenery from the vineyards. Love the scenery. One of our professors that had recently retired to be a wine-maker... I'm guessing he is enjoying his life now :D

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe. Ya... We were indeed lucky during the few days when we were in Yarra Valley as fas as weather was concerned but it started to rain when we flew to Tasmania.

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  3. Hi Alvin, that Mr Han is one lucky guy, huh? Living his dream. But as a very wise chicken rice seller told me, every profession has it's own set of "suffering". I guess that's true, we all have our challenges and if we love what we do, we can rise above it. I live my dream during the weekends playing with my chicken and marinades and the occasional sprinkling of flour. Hah! Hah! Did you buy any wine from Long Gully Estate?

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    1. Well said, PH! One has to be contented... In a way, I'm already living my dream... to be able to cook for my loved ones and enjoy wine with my pals.

      We bought the Estate Pinot Noir and one of the whites which I have forgotten the varietal.

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  4. Although i hardly ever drink wine, i love touring the wine estates and taking in the views of the vast vineyards. Somehow it gives me a sense of serenity and contentment, cant quite describe. My favourite is still the barossa valley, visited there many times during my years in Adelaide,

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    1. Hi Esther! I love the BIG heavy Shiraz from Barossa Valley and we had a great time there in 2010. Check out my old posts on my trip to Southern Australia.

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  5. I think I'll need to visit Australia someday and do a tour of the wine estates too, sounds very interesting.

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  6. Hi Alvin, thanks for the wine estate tour. Very impressive and interesting.
    Live is too short, enjoy a glass of good wine when got nothing better to do. And play play in the kitchen to experiment recipes to full fill our dream as a chef in our own kitchen. :)

    Best regards.

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