Experience vintage up close and personal as winemaker John Harris takes a group of Curious Winemakers (that’s you) along for every step of the winemaking process, from crushing and pressing to bottling (and a bit of sampling, of course).
Dates of each stage in 2019: Wed, 7 February – Meet the Curious Winemakers Sun, 24 February – Visit the Vineyard Sun, mid- to late March (season varies-TBC) – Crush and Press Sun, 19 May – Taste the Barrel Thurs, 15 August – The Benchmark Shiraz Tasting October – A Cool Wine Needs a Cool Label Sun, 24 November – Bottling Day
Where: Mitchell Harris Wines, Ballarat
The expert With vintages in France, Oregon and the Yarra Valley under his belt, John Harris brought his expertise as Domaine Chandon winemaker back to his hometown of Ballarat, teaming up with brother-in-law Craig Mitchell and their partners to create Mitchell Harris Wines in 2008. Since then, select Mitchell Harris wines have received a James Halliday 5-star rating; the estate's Wine Bar has also been included on the Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year.
The plan Become intimately involved with the winemaking process by attending a series of four experiences set across the 2019 calendar year, taking a parcel of Mitchell Harris shiraz grapes all the way from vine to bottle. The first experience will introduce you to wine and winemaking in a no-nonsense way. The second will familiarise you with the vineyard and equipment. The third covers crushing and pressing. The fourth and final experience is all about bottling. Throughout, winemaker John Harris will lend his expertise to help provide the class of Curious Winemakers with an authentic winemaking experience, so you will learn exactly how it feels to create your own wine.
The fruits of your labour As well as plenty of tasting samples at every experience, at the final experience Curious Winemakers will receive their very own shiraz dozen from the 2019 vintage.
The kit required For the vineyard visit, wear sturdy shoes and sun-smart clothes. When visiting the winery, make sure you’re wearing old clothes that can cope with a few red wine splashes!