Ask The Winery: Oxford Landing

MattLast night Majestic staff were invited to an evening of food and wine tasting hosted by Oxford Landing Estates. A couple of us from the social media team snuck in early to ask a few questions from our twitter and facebook followers and some we made up ourselves!

We interviewed Matt Pick, winemaker for Oxford Landing Estates. He spends most of his time in the vineyards near Waikerie, South Australia.

Favourite Aussie cricketer? Favourite English Cricketer?

Love watching highlights of Shane WarneSimon Katich is good; he’s a bit hard done by not getting another contract. My favourite is Dennis Lillee though. My favourite English? Do they play cricket still… (chuckles) … can’t remember his name… tall bowler, he caught a great catch on the last day of the Adelaide test right in front of me. You do notice the English team is a lot younger than the Australian team as well.

What is the most difficult/time consuming variety of wine to grow and manufacture?
From Alannah in Hampstead


I would say probably Pinot Grigio. You have to spend so much time getting the vines to the right level and light penetration, so the final fruit is not too exposed to the light, but enough for it to ripen. Probably takes about 3 years to get a good crop. It’s also a delicate variety – too wet and it’s prone to disease.

If I came to your home and looked in the fridge, what would I find?

Butter in the butter conditioner [ed- we don’t know what this is?!]…. it’s very ordered… a dairy shelf. I’ve usually got a couple of wines on the go. My wife is also a winemaker; she works for a fortified house. We’ve always got a Fino Sherry open. Also different whites that we’ll put back in the fridge and see what they look like in a couple of days. I like to look at different styles of wine – Chardonnay from France, other competitors’ wines. I do have a rabbit in the freezer… which I found in the vineyard. I can’t bury it otherwise the dogs will dig it up.

Which has been the most successful Aussie vintage and why?
From Chris in Bloomsbury

Aussie Vineyard

Every vintage has its highlights. Sauvignon Blanc 2009 was a cool vintage with grassy and herbaceous characteristics. 2010 was a lot warmer, late in the vintage things like a Shiraz did well. This year was a cool and humid vintage and the cabernets are great. The 2002 vintage springs to mind the most, a cool year, brilliant for white wines, particularly Rieslings.

Prediction for the Rugby World Cup?

New Zealand have a strong home turf advantage, I think they’ll probably win. They’re due a win. If not they’ll have a brilliant excuse.

Why do they plant rose bushes at the end of the vines?

It’s an early indicator for odium or mildew, which is in essence why they plant them, but also more because they look nice. Disease will affect the rose bushes first so you know you’ll have to do some spraying on the vine to protect them.

Oxford Landing Sauv B

What was the last book you read?

An autobiography by Cynthia Lennon about her life with John Lennon. She’s the mother of Julian Lennon. It was really interesting, about the early Beatles performances. I’m currently reading about a refugee from Vietnam who came to Australia on a boat and he’s now one of Australia’s leading comedians. I love life stories, real stories about people who did interesting stuff.

If you weren’t a winemaker what would you be?

Disappointed! I came to winemaking late. I actually first studied medicine, then I realised I didn’t really have a passion for dealing with sick people. So I moved to winemaking. Quite a few people started their lives in medicine and created tonics. Both Penfolds wines and Lindeman’s wines were all doctors’ tonics for curing ills…

Where do you see Oxford Landing Estates in 10 years time?

It will grow incrementally. I think it will still be something that people are not embarrassed about drinking 10 years ago, they’re happy to see it as a reliable wine that delivers great value for money and it’s a serious wine at an introductory price point.

Which is your favourite wine from the range?

My favourite from the range is probably the Sauvignon Blanc. It’s always the one that has you most edge that you’ve got to get right. The weather can change quickly and the flavours can disappear. Once you’ve got the fruit in, the whole thing is running along at full steam and everyone is active and the whole winery’s engaged and you know you’re right into the thick of it, and it’s just a great time of year.

Oxford Landing

If you want to read all the action from the tasting as it happened, search for the hashtag #askthewinery on twitter for the full live tweeting! Matt finished the evening divulging his love of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

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