Friday, November 23, 2018 in News
Oakridge winemaker David Bicknell just wants to make each wine he makes a little better each year. So far, so good. Adrian Read reports.
The Oakridge Estate
As well as winning Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine’s Winemaker of the Year award in 2017, the Oakridge winemaker also found himself among James Halliday’s ‘Ten Best Value Wineries’.
Halliday noted: ‘If any or all of these wines by these wineries were blind-tasted against similarly priced wines from France, elsewhere in Europe and the US, the Australian wines would win hands down’.
Both Oakridge and Bicknell each enjoys a steady stream of hard-earned accolades and well-deserved praise. Indeed, in 2018, Oakridge crowned a twenty-year plan to revitalise the winery with entry into the seventh edition of Langton's Classification. The 864 Funder & Diamond Chardonnay is always in that shortlist of Yarra Valley Chardonnays that are pitched again their contemporaries in Burgundy and frequently come out on top.
However, Bicknell is not tempted to suddenly increase the prices of Oakridge wines in response to this sort of comparison. He’s not greedy.
Until or unless he changes his mind, there is absolutely no doubt that Oakridge wines – Pinot Noirs, Shirazes, Cabernet Sauvignons and sparklers as well as Chardonnays – offer excellent value at each of three levels – the 864 range at $70 to $80, the Local Vineyard Series at $30-$40 and the entry-level Over the Shoulder wines, often to be found at around the $20 mark.
Oakridge winemaker David Bicknell
Visitors to the spectacular Oakridge cellar door and restaurant – including the winners of our 30th-anniversary competition – have a great experience in store. The Oakridge restaurant – with Matt Stone and Jo Barrett in the kitchen – is turning out some of the most exciting food to be had in the Yarra Valley.
Andrew Quin promises our four winners a comprehensive tasting including as yet unblended wine components tasted during a vineyard walk.
‘You get a better feel for how something like a microclimate works when you’re on the spot’, he says.
And then there’s dinner - at least seven courses, with additional snacks and treats, all accompanied by matching Hentley Farm wines. The menu itself is a surprise, although all dietary requirements can be catered for.