Introducing Doug Govan, Scott Heidrich, and Brett Worrall
Things you might know about Doug:
He’s the producer of high-end, meticulously-crafted Rudderless wines; he’s the proprietor of the Victory Hotel and has hosted our annual events for the past eight years.
Also, Doug is Vale Cru’s co-founder who - along with Rose Kentish (Ulithorne Wines) - spawned the concept of a collective of small batch winemakers who would come together each year to showcase their artisan wines on the lawns of the Victory Hotel.
The tradition continues.
Scott is a winemaker with passion and precision.
Every element of Rusty Mutt has his signature on it: quality. So it’s great to see his efforts recognised by consistent medals in the McLaren Vale Wine Show and the Royal Adelaide Wine Show.
Other accolades come from further afield with the UK Decanter Magazine (March 2016) ranking Scott’s 2014 Rocky Ox in the top three GSMs in Australia.
Judges said it was "outstanding" and awarded it 95 points!
Also deserving of recognition is Brett and his brother Glenn, who have taken up the challenge to create a menu that matches their food to our wines, rather than the other way around.
These head chefs are reputed for their fresh locally sourced ingredients and having the aptitude to create high-end dishes. It’s therefore a privilege to know that the Victory team is customising each dish to suit our GSM wines, which span the spectrum of styles from delicate to full throttle.
It’s going to be an amazing food and wine experience.
Hope you can join us.
We covered what you might know about Doug, but what you might not know is that he’s an avid surfer, loving the maritime lifestyle the Fleurieu has to offer. Our own surfing winemaker!
Q&A with Doug Govan, Rudderless
What is one of the wines you’ll present at Vale Cru’s long lunch?
The 2012 Rudderless Mataro.
What can we expect to find in the bottle?
It’s a wine produced from only 274 vines, which is part of the Rudderless vineyard.
It's the variety we have the least amount of so we only make 50-60 cases a year, and it is a delightfully savoury and spicy wine and has a lovely richness to it as well.
The cutting of this vineyard came from Wendouree in Clare and Seppeltsfield in the Barossa. They’re beautiful old vines and this wine shows lovely black cherry with a long aftertaste.
It will last for another least 15 to 20 years – at least.
As host, what are you looking forward to?
For all the wines to come together with good food and good company, which is what the wines are all about. They’re not really wines to drink on their own.
Why do Vale Cru wines taste different from vintage to vintage?
The main reason is the weather.
The season determines the length of time the grapes ripen, so if summer has a lot of hot days in a row it will bring on the ripening of the fruit a lot quicker and vintage will be earlier.
Ideally you want temperatures to be in mid-to-high 20s over a longer period of time to allow the grapes to hang on the vines longer and develop more complexity. You’ll taste that in the wine.
Vintage variation reveals different seasons. In a way it's history in a bottle.
Q&A with Scott Heidrich
What is one of the wines you will present at the lunch?
Our 2015 Rocky Ox GSM.
What can we expect in the bottle?
It has fresh primary fruit flavours of raspberry and cherry, with spice, earth and good acidity adding to its depth and structure. It’s matured for a short time in large, used French oak barrels which provides the complexity of maturation but retains the youthful fruit characters this wine is all about.
What are you looking forward to most at the lunch?
Our styles are made to enjoy over the course of a meal. Time in the glass allows the wine to really open up and display its full range of flavours and aromas. Our wines are made with good acidity and soft tannins which match well with food so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to sit down with the wines and with people who enjoy them.
Why does a Vale Cru wine taste more complex the day after it’s opened?
We put nothing less than maximum effort into every wine we make. Our batches are very small so every barrel is looked after really well. We can’t afford to make a mistake so we have a greater emphasis on quality at every step than you would probably find at a much larger winery.
Because of this close, nurturing approach the wines go into bottle with loads of fresh fruit characters, youthful acidity and great tannin, which is a natural antioxidant.
If a wine looks better the day after its been opened, in my opinion this is a good indication of quality. If its brash, in your face demeanour becomes a bit more grown up and the tannins, doing their antioxidant job to soften and relax, then this will give you a hint at the wine all grown up. You should definitely buy some more to put in the cellar!
Q&A with Brett Worrall
What is one of the dishes you’ll present at the lunch on November 20?
The dish before cheese will be a beef ragout short crust pie that’s served with a smoked potato mash, local greens and a jus.
What are you most looking forward to on the day?
Be nice if some of the wines make their way into the kitchen!
And I’m looking forward to doing something a bit different. Creating a menu around Vale Cru wines has been really enjoyable; the matching of food and wine for a select dinner gives us an opportunity to showcase what we can do here at the Victory.
How important is “region and season” to the menu?
Everything we do is local.
We get our fruit and veg straight from the farms around the Fleurieu, the meat is from local butchers, and our seafood is caught off Kangaroo Island and out of South Australian waters.
It’s the philosophy of business here; to source everything we can from the region itself.
The produce is superior and Doug [Govan] wants to have really nice produce, and really nice food to match his wines.