Amazing view isn’t it? Just you wait till you see how amazing it looks inside!
As promised, the first of many posts from my trip to Peninsula. This was the first stop on my trip, and the first food that entered my belly in a 12 hour non-stop eating tour of the Mornington Peninsula.
Like many wineries in the area, Foxeys has it’s sign out the front so you can spot it whilst driving past. I’m pretty sure I’ve driven past quite a few times and didn’t think to stop. You can’t really see anything whilst driving past. So we parked the car and headed towards the cellar door. My first reaction was that it looked like something from Grand Designs; and I hadn’t even set foot inside the place.
We are greated by Michael, one of the brothers who owns and makes the wines at Foxeys. Michael is in charge of making the sparkling wines, whilst his brother Tony is responsible for the still wines.
Mum and I are here to see how the sparkling wines are made at Foxeys, and to make a bottle to take home. Every Saturday and Sunday personal bottlings are available by appointment, so we take a seat to enjoy the view whilst the other people who are booked in arrive. We enjoy a lovely cup of tea, in yet another interesting way to serve tea. I love when tea is served in a quirky way, like at Lux Bite. Being a tea drinker, it makes drinking tea rather exciting. I love how the infuser is easily removed from the cup, and the tea is easily ready to drink (note to self, get one of these from Chapel St next time I’m there).
The wines are also available for tasting. There is a tasting fee of $8, but redeemable on your take home purchases. Don’t worry, you’ll want to take some home, we walked out with some of the lovely Shiraz.
The menu sounds amazing, and the fresh produce is far too hard to resist. I’m so coming back here for lunch one day, hopefully I can find some willing people to drag along with me!
We get to sample the figs wrapped in jamon, and the zucchini fritters. Both utterly delicious. I’m still not zucchini’s biggest fan, but the fritters were the perfect accompaniment to wine.
The process of making a sparkling wine is quite interesting. Michael makes the session more informative, rather than getting too technical. If you want to get technical, I say become a wine maker!
We learn there are 3 major stages of sparkling wine production:
Make the base wine. This is a still wine.
Bottle the base wine for second fermentation; this is what gives the wine the bubbles.
Yeast sediment needs to be removed. This is done by putting the bottles in a freezer so the sediment gathers together at the neck of bottle and is easy to remove when you pop the lid off. Sugar is then added before the cork is put in.
Fermenting in the bottle, also known as the Champagne method, gives the tiny bubbles. This means the wine will stay bubbly for longer, once it has been opened.
The sweetness in sparkling wines is a ‘wine style’ decision that can be controlled easily through the addition of sugar syrup. Michael takes us through different stages of adding different amounts of each sugar to the wine. It’s amazing to taste how different amounts of sugar immediately effect the taste of the wine.
Michael adds different amounts of sugar syrup to the base wine.
Different amounts of sugar syrup added for us to taste the difference.
I chose to have the Sparkling Rose made for me, which involved a mixture of the sparkling wine with an injection of Shiraz. Michael mixes it up in front of us all, and takes us through the bottling process. This involves putting the cork in, the wire cage around the cork, and the foil covering and labels. It’s really fascinating stuff. Then to finish it off, the wine requires a birth certificate, which states the day it was made, the dosage and recommended drinking time. I can’t touch it for 6 months, so I think it might have to feature at Christmas lunch! …. that’s if I feel like sharing it 😉
The personal sessions really help to understand the process of making a good sparkling wine. It really makes your appreciate all the time and effort that goes into just the one bottle.
I’d like to thank Tony and Michael for the hospitality, and teaching me a lot about sparkling wine.
I can’t wait to get back down there; sit back, enjoy the view, enjoy the food, and of course, enjoy more wine!
Foxeys Hangout is open Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 5pm, with extended weekday hours in January, school and public holidays.
For more information head to www.foxeys-hangout.com.au or give the boys a call on (03) 5989 2022.
Personal bottlings at 11am by appointment every Saturday and Sunday.
Iron Chef Shellie visited Foxeys Hangout thanks to Q Strategies, Mornington Peninsula Tourism and Foxeys Hangout.