Vignerons ready to sparkle

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE: Vale Creek wines' Tony Hatch, Grass Parrott's Andrew Macarthur, German winemaker in training Benjamin Beth and Renzaglia Wines� Mark Renzaglia are busy preparing the city's first sparkling wine. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030310cvalecrkw1
SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE: Vale Creek wines' Tony Hatch, Grass Parrott's Andrew Macarthur, German winemaker in training Benjamin Beth and Renzaglia Wines� Mark Renzaglia are busy preparing the city's first sparkling wine. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030310cvalecrkw1

THREE of Bathurst's most enthusiastic vignerons are joining forces to make the city's first sparkling wine. Vale Creek wines, Renzaglia Wines, and Grass Parrott Vineyard have bought chardonnay grapes from Three Views, a vineyard based at Caloola on the outskirts of Bathurst, to create a sparkling chardonnay.

The wine-making trio has been picking grapes, which have since been crushed at Vale Creek and are now ready for fermentation. "We started picking at 6.30am, and managed to get it all back to Vale Creek wines," Vale Creek's Tony Hatch said.

"We are looking to create another wine under the Three Cobbers label."

Three Cobbers is a collaboration between Andrew and Sarah Mcarthur of Grass Parrott Vineyard, Mark and Sandy Renzaglia of Renzaglia Wines, and Tony Hatch and Liz McFarland of Vale Creek wines.

A Three Cobbers cabernet is already available for purchase locally, but the sparkling wine is a new venture.

“It was Mark Renzaglia’s wife Sandy who first suggested making a sparkling,” Mr Hatch said.

“While we don’t have the facilities to turn it into sparkling wine here, we will complete everything we can locally.”

The base chardonnay wine will be created at Vale Creek wines and will be evaluated after the initial fermentation to ensure it is of a high enough standard for sparkling wine, before being sent away to be prepared in the methode traditionelle.

Methode traditionelle means the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, and produces a sparkling wine in the champagne style.

The trio believe the cool climate at Caloola should lend itself to making a sparkling wine and, if everything goes to plan, 1000 cases should be available in 18 months time.

“It will be nice to a have a local sparkling wine available,” Mr Hatch said.

“It will be perfect for toasting the wonderful things we do in Bathurst.”

To read more about local food and wine visit our Local Fare blog by clicking here . Local Fare articles also appear in the Panorama section of the Western Advocate on Saturday.