Stay in touch with the latest news and happenings at Vasse Felix, in Margaret River and on tour around the world.
It's always exciting to enjoy a wine that's been in your cellar for years. You've been patiently waiting to drink this special bottle and you want to be sure it's in best possible condition when you serve it. Estate Sommelier, Evan Gill, takes us through the process of decanting and its importance for both young and old wine wines.
Young, structured and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon, even the most poised, balanced and elegant Margaret River wines, can benefit from decanting in their young age. Through the introduction of oxygen, decanting can help bring to life complex components that have been 'trapped' in the bottle. Allowing oxygen into a young Margaret River Cabernet is like sunlight to a young vine in spring, it helps to open up the beautiful flavour compounds and structural elements of the wine.
Aged wines, 10 years and older, tend to accumulate sediment over time when cellared. Whilst it's an important piece of a good aged Cabernet, it's best to decant these wines before serving to remove the sediment.
Evan's Decanting Tips
1. Stand the bottle upright before decanting so the sediment may fall to the bottom.
2. Pour the wine steadily into your decanter, fast enough to allow a steady stream without causing excessive bubbling of the wine. Stop pouring when the sediment reaches the neck of the bottle.
3. Allow the wine to breathe in the decanter, this can mean anything from a couple of minutes to perhaps one hour. Discretion is advised with older wines (20 years or so) so as to not aerate the wine too much.
4. Taste the wine and watch it come to life!
The City of Perth comes alive in Summer for February's Perth Festival. As the oldest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, it has become one of the greatest multi-arts festivals in the world.
We were pleased to be the exclusive wine partner at the Chevron Lighthouse music hub, featuring Vasse Felix wines, delicious street food and a line-up of local music legends and acclaimed international artists. Participating in the festival for the third year in a row, we are a proud supporter of the outstanding muscial and artistic talent that the Perth Festival brings to the region every year.
We couldn't think of a better way enjoy the end of summer in Perth. Find out more information on the 2020 festival and the performances here.
We are thrilled with the recent recognition of Vasse Felix Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock, who is featured in The Drinks Business inaugural 'Master Winemaker 100'. This Top 100 list takes a 'behind the scenes' look at the most talented winemakers responsible for the world's most award winning wines; exploring the "the creatives, scientists, mavericks and dreamers at the pinnacles of winemaking, who craft class-leading products."
For Virginia, it simply comes down to "creating something new and beautiful every year that represents a moment in time and a specific place that fruit came from." This focus on exploring the complexity and potential of the Margaret River region has inevitably led to Virginia making an indisputable mark on the industry in the process.
Find the full interview with Virginia here.
Vasse Felix was pleased to sponsor the 2020 International Woolmark Prize as the events official wine partner for the second year in a row. The International Woolmark Prize is one of fashion's most prestigious prizes, with previous winners including Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, giving recognition to the emerging designers of the industry. The Woolmark group is the global authority on wool and runs an ongoing program to showcase Australian wool as the world's premier natural fibre for luxury apparel.
The 2020 event took place at London Fashion Week, showcasing the work of 10 finalists. These designers compete for the International Woolmark Prize and the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation. The winner of the overall Woolmark award was Richard Malone and the inaugural winner of the Karl Lagerfeld award was Bode (both designers pictured below).
It was a pleasure to be a part of this exciting event in fashion, supporting a like-minded Australian producer whose ethos of the 'importance of place' reflects our own.
Find out more about the prizes, winners and event here.
Alongside the world's most iconic wine regions, Margaret River has found a well earned spot among Wine Enthusiast's '7 Best Wine Travel Experiences of 2020'!
"What do world-class Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon have in common with legendary surf breaks? Margaret River."
The featured destinations include Kruger National Park in South Africa and Douro Valley in Portugal, as well as, the internationally renowned wine regions of Piedmont, Italy and Champagne, France. Among these sits the 'Wine Paradise' that we call home.
"After you tackle the waves, relax on a coastal stroll that skirts the sapphire-hued ocean. Sold as the Cape to Vine Tour by Vasse Felix winery, you’ll explore the flora of the protected sand dunes, then get a behind-the-scenes look in the wine cellar and taste alongside the winemaker."
We are delighted to see our incredible Region recognised by Wine Enthusiast. Read the full article here.
In early December we were delighted to host the Australian Chamber Orchestra's critically acclaimed 17-piece string ensemble, ACO Collective, for another three day festival of music, wine and culinary art at the Vasse Felix Estate.
Led by Director Pekka Kuusisto, guests enjoyed the incredible performance, amplified with the acoustics of the Red Barrel Hall, followed by a delicious dining experience in the Vasse Felix Art Gallery amongst the Janet Holmes à Court Collection.
Dr. Laetitia Wilson, Curator of the current exhibition 'Enigmas of the Outback', joined guests in the Art Gallery for a deeper look into the exhibition which explores the mysterious and enigmatic Australian outback.
The weekend's menus, designed by Head Chef Brendan Pratt, were created to both complement and highlight the unique characteristics of the Vasse Felix Wine Collection.
Highlights of the performances included:
Andrea Tarrodi Birds of Paradise | Performed on Friday at "The Beat."
Bryce Dessner Aheym for string orchestra | Performed on Saturday at "Enigma."
We are eagerly anticipating the 2020 edition of the Sound and Sense Festival, celebrating the pinnacle of Australian food, wine and music.
Great wine begins in the vineyard.
As such, we are pleased to announce that in early August, Vasse Felix was accepted into the Organic Certification program through NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia). We are now well on our way to receiving the full certification for all four of our Margaret River vineyards, with full certification expected by 2021.
The decision to adopt organic viticulture supports our vision for the ongoing sustainability of our land. The key to this is the health of our soils, which we are constantly improving through natural processes. We’ve found that we achieve better plant health and balance with an organic approach, which ultimately leads to higher quality fruit.
Margaret River is an extraordinary place, and our vineyards are our ‘sacred sites’. Adopting organics for these sites doesn’t guarantee great wines, but it’s part of the package for us, and we believe you can taste it.
Over three-quarters of the Vasse Felix vineyards are now officially 'In Conversion.'
Cane Cut Parfait & Blackberry "Pavlova"
Head Chef Brendan Pratt reinteprets a classic Australian dessert with a Margaret River twist in this creative dish to enjoy the flavours of Vasse Felix Cane Cut this Summer.
“This dessert is designed to look messy, but is a great way to finish a dinner party, and best accompanied with a glass of Vasse Felix Cane Cut,” Chef Brendan Pratt.
Tasting notes and more on the 2017 Cane Cut Semillon can be found here.
Cane Cut Parfait
1 bottle Vasse Felix Cane Cut
220g egg whites
250g caster sugar
380g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 tsp chardonnay vinegar
300g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
8 tbsp quality blackberry jam 2 punnets fresh blackberries
Place one bottle of Vasse Felix Cane Cut into a heavy based saucepan onto the stove on a medium heat and reduce until 100ml of liquid is left, set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place a large pot of water onto the stove and bring to a simmer.
In a large metal or heatproof bowl, whip the egg whites and sugar together.
Place the bowl on top of the pot. You don’t want the bottom of the bowl to touch the water, so the bowl needs to be big enough to sit comfortably on top of the pot without too much overhang.
Whip the egg white and sugar mix over heat with a balloon whisk or electric whisker until it reaches 65°C.
Once it reaches 65°C, remove the bowl from the heat and transfer the meringue to a mixing bowl and whisk on a high speed until cooled.
Once cooled, add the vinegar and Cane Cut to the meringue and whisk to combine.
Remove the meringue from the mixing bowl, and using a spatula, gently fold in the 380g semi whipped cream, being careful not to knock the air out.
Transfer your smooth mix into an airtight container and place into the freezer overnight or for at least 5 hours to let it freeze.
Place spoonfuls of the fluffy marshmallow-textured parfait onto the plate, alternating with spoons of blackberry jam, soft cream and fresh blackberries.
Alternatively you could layer large wine glasses or glass jars with the parfait, then the jam, then cream and finish with fresh blackberries similar to a trifle or an Eton mess style.
The inaugural Brunch de Récupération - a Sunday recovery feast - was held at Vasse Felix in November.
This share-style brunch featured classic European dishes with a Vasse Felix twist. Upon arrival, guests were served a glass of our grower style, traditional method Blanc de Blancs which, attentively replenished, accompanied them throughout the six course menu. The menu was curated by Vasse Felix Head Chef Brendan Pratt.
Vasse Felix Owner Paul Holmes à Court introduced the event as, "the answer to the dilemma of choosing between breakfast and lunch."
This special event was set in the midst of Margaret River's busy Gourmet Escape weekend and encouraged guests to pause and enjoy the splendour of 'the long brunch', Blanc de Blancs and the tranquil surrounds of the Vasse Felix Restaurant.
Highlights of the brunch included:
Smoked eel hash brown, lemon thyme, fried egg sauce | 2017 Blanc de Blancs
Osso Irati brioche croque madamme, egg yolk, pecorino béchamel | 2017 Blanc de Blancs
This year's Margaret River Gourmet Escape saw us host Chef Ivan Brehm from Michelin Star Singapore Restaurant - Nouri, who collaborated with our very own Brendan Pratt for the Eating at the Crossroads dinner at the Estate. With a playful excitement and undeniable talent, both chefs performed culinary magic in the kitchen of Vasse Felix, whilst demonstrating the concept of crossroads cooking.
Ivan, the Singapore based and former Fat Duck test kitchen chef has studied ingredients, techniques and flavours to develop a cooking style that includes Asian, European and South American influences. As the chef-owner of Nouri, Ivan has explored the crossroads of cooking using his experiences from around the globe. Similarly, Chef Brendan Pratt and the Vasse Felix team studies ingredients, techniques, texture and flavour to best complement the estate’s wines.
The night started with our host and Chief Winemaker, Virginia Willcock, exploring her experience of 'crossroads' - how she and her team study the land and their own practices to make the best wine possible in Margaret River's Wine Paradise. Dinner included six courses, paired with Vasse Felix wines and included dishes curated and designed by both chefs.
Highlights of the night included:
Lamb, kibbeh, roti, eggplant, mint | 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon
Kingfish, honeydew, bone marrow | 2018 Heytesbury Chardonnay
The unparalleled evening set forth the celebration of the crossroads between food and wine in the heart of Margaret River.