Yeates Wines have just launched wines from three vintages in Sydney and Mudgee. I was honoured to be invited to the Sydney soiree held on Thursday 19th March. The location for this elegant gathering took place at 'The Local Taphouse'.
The Local Taphouse is a 1920s style venue, once the Old Palace Hotel and the ideal setting for wine lovers, family and friends to enjoy the launch. Warm timber finishes and bohemian bookish features created an old world atmosphere, fitting for serious Wine lovers and critics to savour Wine.
The Local Taphouse - image courtesy of The Local Taphouse FB
On arrival I was instantly welcomed by members of the Yeates family. I sensed their excitement and I was pleased to see the rooms fill quickly with wine lovers anxious to experience their treasured wine.
The first wine I sampled was The Gatekeeper 2012 Cabernet. I couldn't profess to an overly experienced palate, but to me it appeared a big wine in bouquet, flavour and balance - the fruit characteristics of blueberry and spices pronounced with a velvet smoothness of dark chocolate oak overtones, delicious.
I could hear lots of appreciative feedback and several wine lovers postulating over the ingredients they were inhaling and tasting. No doubt there were several Oenophiles with sensitive discerning palates, that possessed superior abilities to recognise aromas and flavours - also with sufficient vocabulary to describe them.
The founders of Yeates Wines moved to Mudgee over 30 years ago. Sandy managed a successful Angus Cattle stud, Patawalla -raising prize winning bulls. His wife Victoria, a local solicitor managed a busy legal practice and still does. Together they raised four children: James, Sarah, Anna and Edwina, now adults also involved in the family business.
The Vineyard has a well known history as being one of the original and oldest vineyards in the area comprising of 20ha of fertile soil at 500m altitude on the outskirts of Mudgee, where Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown.
Yeates Vineyard - image courtesy of Yeates
Formerly owned by Rosemount Wines, who produced the famous Mountain Blue Wine that won an accolade of awards throughout Australia and the Wine world.
Later the Vineyard was taken over by Fosters and then offered to tenders in 2010, this was when the Yeates saw their chance to embrace their dreams and bought the Mountain Blue Vineyard.
image courtesy of Yeates Wines
It was a big gamble, but Sandy and Vicki became passionate about restoring this prized vineyard back to flourishing health, thus becoming willing slaves to wine making, growing and grape production. Having already gained extensive knowledge of agriculture due to his years in Angus cattle farming, Sandy made it his mission to absorb all he could about being a private Vigneron. With the help and guidance from esteemed winemaker Jacob Stein, they became determined to create wines of distinction and high quality.
Sandy and Winemaker Jacob Stein - image Yeates Wines
The painstaking task of restoring the vines and soil began in 2010. With 25,000 vines to restore, it was no easy feat, so far meticulous trimming back has been done to 14,000 vines improving the standard of vines considerably. In 2013 Sandy became committed to using organic and environmentally considerate methods - no under vine spraying, careful clearing under the vines keeping them free of weeds and grass to allow the restorative breeze clear entry - keeping vines dry, free of bacteria and mold.
The families great love and appreciation for wine has spurred them on to produce three outstanding vintages, though young, can still be thoroughly enjoyed now but are also considered to be a excellent addition for the cellar.
After the speeches more wine flowed, I unfortunately had to leave before the third wine was brought out, but I'm sure it was equally delicious. I had also been told the 2014 Shiraz was an exciting wine and an unofficial gold medal winner at the last wine show. It will be bottled and judged later this year.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Yeates Wine Launch and the opportunity to taste such special wines and I look forward to visiting the Mudgee Vineyard myself one day.