This week we have David Messum from Born and Raised chatting to us about all things vino. David makes amazing wines from Heathcote, Victoria and is pushing the boundaries in small batch alternative wine styles from that region, with some funky packaging to boot.
About the wine
So tell me a little about Born and Raised Wines
Born & Raised was born from the idea that all wines are grown from natural and then nurtured by winemaking to produce characterful and delicious wines reflective of place. It started with 2 tonnes of Nebbiolo back in 2012 and has now grown to about 24 tonne a vintage.
How did you get into winemaking?
I had been marketing it for ages and was studying and decided to take some time out from the proper job and do a few vintages in New Zealand. I loved the creative aspect as well as the physical and things just snowballed from there.
What do you think has been the highlight or your greatest achievement in winemaking?
Personally my 2014 Nebbiolo, it’s pretty damn good and whilst not yet achieving a gold at show (its had 2 silvers and a bronze), it’s the perfect result of what I wanted to achieve, a structured, varietal Nebb that’s approachable and shows of the beautiful perfume that good Nebb is known for. Getting 4 star Halliday review and 95 for my 14 Grenache was pretty cool too.
Favourite grape to make wine with?
Well, Nebbiolo obviously (see above) but I also enjoy Sauvignon Blanc. I know so untrendy! I’ve been making it for almost 10 years, and the style I now play with is pretty interesting. Its fermented on skins and left for 150 days with no intervention, its more like Sancerre than a natural wine as I don’t let it oxidise. Well I say that, I make an oxidised one too, it’s a pretty fun grape to play with and has a number of characters that can be made to shine.
Are you experimenting with anything outside the box?
When I started B&R they were all pretty out of the box, but the wine scene has changed so much in the last 6 years. Wild ferment, non filtered or fined wines etc are pretty much the norm now. It’s great to see such innovation. We’re drinking some great wines these days. My rose was the first Carmenere rose made in Australia, it’s got this cool blackcurrant leaf notes with cranberry like acidity. Fun summer drop. I also took a little of that juice and barrel fermented it with no additions on full solids. Its like some lovechild between chardy, pinot, Cab sav… neither rose or red, only 300 bottles and yet to be labelled. Plan on releasing it in Feb. Watch this space.
Who else within the wine industry do you admire or like?
Heaps of people, Jo Perry’s wines are always a pleasure to try, inspiring and pure. Hugh who grows some of my fruit on the Humus Vineyard is a cool guy, swapping cattle for grapes, his Grenache will very soon be some of the best in the area.
What is your biggest challenge in the current Australian wine market?
Ha, now this is a question. I consult across the industry in various capacities so see a number of sides to this great industry, I could wax lyrical or lament a number of things. But let’s just say it’s a tricky and super competitive domestic market.
Are you targeting any International markets?
Yeah I am, I’m still pretty small for export but I have my eye on some smaller Asian markets. China isn’t of interest to me, too hard at my scale but I’ve been to Korea and Japan recently and have some interesting things developing there. I’d like to export back to the UK at some point, just so my old man can buy my wine there.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Sitting on a yacht in the Med called La Morra…No idea. Hopefully making wines that people love and they want to share with friends and family. If I can keep my cycling addiction bank rolled from this then I’ll consider that a win.
What’s your favourite cellar door to visit?
I’ve been a bit poor on Cellar Door visits lately, I’ll go my mate Alex Byrns’ Noise Ritual in Melbourne. Oh, and Sandrone in Barolo for the wine name drop.
Outside of winemaking what do you love doing?
Cycling, diving, free diving and eating.
Favourite Game of Thrones character?
What tunes are you currently listening to?
I’ve recently set up my decks again after 15 years so going through my old record collection. I dj’d in the 90’s and have a load of Drum n Bass which is fun, but I’ve been listening to my classics more. The Beatles White Album is amazing, as is the Beach Boys greatest hits. Otherwise its NME on tunein radio when working.
Finally, for those uninitiated to your awesome wines, what do you currently recommend them trying and why?
Give the Nebbiolo a go, its a ripper. The Super T blend is looking great too, there’s only a bit of the 2015 left and its drinking perfectly right now. But they all have they’re place.
Many thanks to David from Born and Raised Wines for taking the time to share some insights into his wines and life. You can find Born & Raised Wines here: