Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Naked Wines Australia winery tour (by invitation)

On the weekend, Ms G and I had a most lovely day trip out to Avenel (two hours north of Melbourne) with Naked Wines Australia. Naked Wines Australia a cooperative of small, independent winemakers who make wines through crowd funding (see my post here for more info).

Naked Wines Australia
After a few hours of drinking wine tasting, things got a bit hazy...

Along with a hundred or so Naked 'Angels' (the name given to customers who commit $40 a month into their Naked Wines account to purchase, you guessed it, wine), Ms G and I sipped our way through countless glasses of gorgeous red and whites.  And while this may sound like we were drunk (just happy, we were!), we also sampled some rather scientific wines... red wines that looked as clear as water (if this was a Simpsons episode, I'd be thinking "Mmmm... invisible cola").

This tour was unlike the other winery tours I've been on.  Instead of traipsing through the methodically-planted verdant vines, we got to see what happens once the grapes are harvested. Under the guidance of four winemakers who produce wine for Naked Wines Australia, we gained an insight into how wines are made.

Naked Wines Australia, winery, oak barrels
These small oak barrels can cost up to $1,500 each and can only be used once.

Naked Wines Australia, winery, oak barrels
I'd hate to think how much one of these barrels would cost!

Naked Wines Australia, wine tasting, Jen Pfeiffer
Winemaker Jen Pfeiffer is based in Rutherglen and her brand for Naked Wines Australia is Rock it Like a Redhead, which comes in three tiers.  David Bowie fans would recognise where these names have come from.  Rebel is the entry level brand, Hero is mid-level and Diamond is top shelf.  A gregarious redhead herself, Jen took us through the basics of wine tasting.

Naked Wines Australia, wine tasting, Leighton Joy
Winemaker Adrian Santolin took us through the differences between the various types of oak and how they can make a wine taste amazing.  Adrian and his wife are based in the Yarra Valley, and also have three brands of wines with Naked Wines Australia.  The cutely named Boy Meets Girl is the entry level wine, A&R is middle of the range, and the Santolin Family Reserve is the top shelf offering.

It was like a flashback to my high school chemistry lessons for the masterclass with winemaker Leighton Joy.  We learnt why additives (such as, egg white, gelatin, sulphur, cassein and carbon) are added into wine and how it can affect the quality and taste of the final product.  Leighton is based in the Pyrenees and his brand is called Sunday Vin Co.

Naked Wines Australia, wine tasting, Sam Plunkett
Winemaker Sam Plunkett is based in Avenel and it was at his winery that we had the tour.  We got to see the different equipment that are used to process the grapes into wine.  We also learnt how Sam balances his use of technology to improve the efficiency of some of the wine-making process while maintaining traditional methods.  Sam's range for Naked Wines Australia include Wine x Sam, The Butterfly Effect and The Victorian.

Naked Wines Australia, winery
Them big tanks of wine!

Naked Wines Australia, winery
Thank you to Naked Wines Australia for a delightful day out and for showing us how it supports local, independent winemakers.

Naked Wines Australia, winery

Find it at

Anyone can purchase these wines through Naked Wines Australia.  You don't have to be a Naked Angel to do so (although, if you sign up to become an Angel, you get even better prices and lots of freebies and perks.  Having said that, there is a waiting list to become an Angel because it's so popular).


Laura said...

Great wrap up! Mine will be written on the weekend. What a lovely day :)

EatAndBeMerryCrew said...

Thanks Laura :) so glad you enjoyed the day!

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