With a sun-drenched hilltop as its backdrop you could momentarily forget that Dominique Portet Winery’s vintner’s feast hasn’t transported guests to the French countryside of Alsace. A vintner or vigneron, is “somebody who works the land, works on the property, makes the wine on their property; it’s very much what we stand for,” explains tenth generation winemaker Ben Portet. Along with his father Dominique continues a heritage that began near Bordeaux. Their family hails from Cognac (they still have cousins who reside there making eau de vie for Hennessey).
This feast is a celebration of a successful 2015 vintage harvest. And of course the existing wines from the rosé (“a fun wine made in a serious way”) for which the vineyard is famous, to the Andre, a blend of the best Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes named for Dominique’s father and Ben’s grandfather. The latter has only ever been made twice before. In the barrel room, tablecloths soon became sauce-splattered like an abstract artist’s canvas thanks to a hearty French sharing menu created by Dominique Portet’s good friend chef Philippe Mouchel (now at Deju Vue). Proper fuel for an afternoon game or two of petanque one should think.
Find your je nais se quoi at Dominique Portet, 870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream.