This winery-ciderey-farm is set in on 66 acres at the base of Mt Alexander in Harcourt. Winemaker Adam Marks grows four varieties – cabernet sauvignon, riesling, cabernet franc and shiraz – across 18 acres.
Marks took over the property in 2004, but the grapes were originally planted in the 1980s. Being among the “apple isle” of Central Victoria, the farm was also already home to established cider-apple trees, and so wine- and cider-making both became staples of the Bress repertoire.
Biodynamic philosophies inform Bress’ growing practices. Grapes are picked at opportune ripeness (and in accordance with moon phases), and the team uses natural yeasts and gentle handling in the winery.
The on-site market garden is lush with garlic, olives, figs, artichokes, beetroot, carrots, snowpeas, broad beans, salad greens, kale, rhubarb, herbs and onions. These ingredients then shape weekend lunches, when the cellar door is open for tastings, and visitors can dine among the fermentation tanks in the winery or the barrel room.
Menus change daily depending on what’s ready in the garden, and usually include a whole wood-fire roasted chicken or 12-hour lamb shoulder as the centrepiece. The small team forages for mushrooms and turns the garden’s bounty into preserved lemons, olive oil, cider vinegar, pickled onions and bush honey to stock the cellar door shelves.
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