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Josephine Perry - #004

Young Gun of Wine winner Josephine Perry is a winemaker based in Margaret River. Josephine is a serial vintager, owner and founder of Dormilona Wines, Mica Wines and Yokel Wines, also a saviour of endangered tortoises, Surfer and mother of two.

Dormilona.com.au
Instagram @dormilona

micawine.com.au
Instagram @mica_vino

Artist : Sean Edward

 

 

 

LINKS 

Blind Corner
Falls Creek
Charles Sturt Wagga Wagga
Jackaroo
Cape Mentelle
Swan Brewery
Mike Gadd
Vasse Felix
Hay Shed Hill
Matty Trent
Leeuwin Estate
Chateaux Du Roure du Paulin
Chateaux Fussie
Phillip Shaw
Deep Woods
Howard Park
Corymbia
Snake and Herring
Coopers Green
Abuela
Negative Positive
Sean Edward
Gallery On Stone
Rivendell
Happs
Yokel – Swan Valley
Mica
Tamra Washington Kelly
Celtic v Celtic
Razor Clams
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
Bodega Vina Nora
Pazos del Ray
Lamprey Lampraya
Young Gun of Wine
Cath – Imbibo
Margaret River Skate Ramp
BK
Cliff Richard Winery
Castle Rock
Rosily
Aria Restaurant
Bennetts Pottery
Clayface
Whale Shark
Pedargus – Night Owl
Qvevri
Yoko – Brave New Wine
The Phantom
Iwo – Si Vintners
Wine Diamonds
Ansett
Exponential eggs
Karen - Silveroak
Oakover
Sonoma Stone
Dig up Qvevri
Burnt Ends Singapore Dinner
Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise
Perth Zoo
Pinelli Estate
Lamonts

 TRANSCRIPT

Please note, transcript not checked for accuracy

Jo:
That's a pretty cool island, that's my favorite.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
So, Clayface is all about 100% amphora. In fact, it's showing that purity of fruit into the wine. So amphora allows the wine to breathe naturally without imparting any flavor. So I find the wines ... you have this lovely purity and lovely freshness, and you can really see the vintage in style.

Ben:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Real Wine People. Today my guest is Josephine Perry, a good friend and winemaker based in Margaret River, Western Australia. Josephine has done vintages all around the world, including in Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, New Zealand, California, Galicia in Spain, Margaret River, and I'm sure I've forgotten others.

Ben:
Josephine is owner and founder of Dormilona Wines, a very sought after brand out of Margaret River. Yokel wines, her new release stuff from the Swan Valley and a partner in Mica Wines. She's a surfer and a mother of two. Her kids can be heard in this podcast playing outside. This was recorded at Blind Corner on a Saturday morning.

Ben:
You can go to my website, realwinepeople.com, which will have links to everything we spoke about, including Josephine's website, which has just been redone, dormilona.com.au. I hope you enjoy that episode with Josephine Perry.

Ben:
Jo, can you hear yourself in the microphone?

Jo:
It's really weird.

Ben:
Sound check. You can take one ear off if you want, can sometimes help.

Jo:
What? To hear the kids scream?

Ben:
Okay, let's not do that. Okay. We're here ... thanks, we're here, Josephine Perry is here from Dormilona Wine at Blind Corner today. It's a sunny day, the kids are outside probably teasing animals and chickens and about to jump on the skate ramp. But, thanks for coming in Jo.

Jo:
Pleasure Ben. Thanks for having me.

Ben:
No problem. We just spoke before ... I guess we've known each other for 20 years or so ... maybe about that. Studied at uni-

Jo:
21 , 22.

Ben:
Really.

Jo:
That was actually when I started, I'm 40 now.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
22.

Ben:
Well I was 45 yesterday.

Jo:
Woo-hoo.

Ben:
Getting old. So we've had snow day for my birthday and we've ... that was in Falls Creek where I learned how to snowboard. Fell over.

Jo:
Yeah, that was your first time.

Ben:
Yeah, it was. It was. So that's been bit of an obsession since that day. And that was a day off at uni when we were at Wagga. And then, we had another birthday at Saint-Emilion.

Jo:
Saint-Emilion.

Ben:
Probably a few in between at a pub somewhere.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah. So, how's it all going?

Jo:
Good.

Ben:
Good.

Jo:
Good. Sun is shining.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
Yes.

Ben:
Today, just general chat about Dormilona. How you got here, where you're from? Did you grow up in WA?

Jo:
Yes, I did.

Ben:
Where abouts?

Jo:
Oh-

Ben:
All over?

Jo:
All over.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Yes. Born in Dampier.

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Okay. And then from there where'd you go to school?

Jo:
Born in Dampier, my brother's born out there as well and then my dad thought he'd better get a real job.

Ben:
What was he doing out there?

Jo:
I think he was working just a bit of jackeroo, sort of-

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
Farming and stuff-

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
And then decided to move to Perth and get a real job and go to uni and then my sister came along and we traveled over east for many years and then came back to Perth for high school.

Ben:
Right, cool. Then how'd you get down south?

Jo:
Pretty much as soon as I graduated, left school, moved down here.

Ben:
Right. And you've been down here before?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Okay. Just on holidays and what not?

Jo:
Yeah, I did work experience at Cape Mentelle.

Ben:
Right. And was that your first exposure to wine?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
How did that come about?

Jo:
My grandfather was a head brewer at Swan Brewery for 33 years.

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yeah. And I said to him "Grandpa, I don't know what to do-

Ben:
Yeah-

Jo:
Can I do work experience" he made me write a list of everything he thought I should do in life and one of them was be a wine maker. And I was like "yeah that sounds cool, I'll do that"

Ben:
Cool and you were how old then?

Jo:
14.

Ben:
Wow. Okay, that's great. And so Cape Mentelle work experience, that's year 10 you do that? Is that?

Jo:
Yeah. 10. Year 10 or year 9, I can't remember.

Ben:
I can't remember. I think I went to a law firm in Perth.

Jo:
Oh, did you?

Ben:
Who ended up being the guy that owns the property next door.

Jo:
Oh, really?

Ben:
Yeah, yeah. Pretty random. Okay, so from Cape Mentelle, finished school, go to uni?

Jo:
Finished school, did a TAFE course. My parents said do a TAFE course to make sure it's what you want to do before applying to uni.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
And I did like a semester and got taught I was a space cadet and had no chance, by Mike Gadd actually, he taught me I was a space cadet and had no chance being a winemaker.

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yeah. So I taught him to fuck off-

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
And applied to uni.

Ben:
So, TAFE had a wine course?

Jo:
It was like a cellar operations or something.

Ben:
Yeah, okay. And was that ... that wasn't down here?

Jo:
Yeah, it was in Margs.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
At the old hospital.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Okay. So did that, did a semester, and then went to uni, straight to Wagga.

Jo:
Yes, straight to Wagga.

Ben:
So were you working when you were doing the TAFE course? Oh, there's Elle. Hi, Elle.

Jo:
Hi, Elle.

Ben:
He can't hear us with your headphones on. So, TAFE, one semester and then from ... were you working anywhere when you were at TAFE?

Jo:
Yeah, I was working at Vasse Felix.

Ben:
Okay, Cape Mentelle, Vasse Felix, not a bad start.

Jo:
Yes.

Ben:
And from Vasse Felix to Hay Shed.

Jo:
Hay Shed, yeah.

Ben:
Right. And then we met at-

Jo:
Hay Shed.

Ben:
Hay Shed. Before uni? I can't remember, so bad at this stuff.

Jo:
I think it was during uni. I think we met at uni and worked out we're both from Margs, wasn't it?

Ben:
Yeah. I think so. I think ... was it Matty Trent?

Jo:
Oh, yeah.

Ben:
Maybe that was the connection. I don't know. Anyway that's cool. So then from Hay Shed, you were there for four years or?

Jo:
Four, five years.

Ben:
Five years.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And then east coast.

Jo:
And then Leeuwin, and then east coast and lots of trip to France in between. Because I wasn't really full time at Hay Shed so I kept saying, "can I go away"

Ben:
Oh.

Jo:
So they let me go to France for about six weeks each year, unpaid.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
So I went to Burgundy.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
I did about four, five vintages over there.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
They're the same family in Burgundy.

Ben:
What family was that?

Jo:
Jean Claude du Roure, Chateaux du Roure.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
It's the ... they actually now sell all their fruit to Chateaux Fussie.

Ben:
Okay.

Jo:
And the Maconnais.

Ben:
That's not the fruit from wine people, is it the life lights, Jean ... was it Jean-Marc?

Jo:
No.

Ben:
No.

Jo:
Wrong Jean, no.

Ben:
Oh okay. That's right, he was a different human.

Jo:
It was a very different human.

Ben:
Cool, okay. And so Leeuwin off to France and then to the east coast, with Oranje?

Jo:
France, yeah, Oranje. And then yeah, was at Leeuwin and the wine industry done here got really clichey at that stage.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
That was 2003, 2004.

Ben:
Yes, yeah.

Jo:
And I found it really clichey, really suffocating-

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
And so I just went "I'm going to go do something different." And got a job with Phillip Shaw at Oranje.

Ben:
Cool, I do remember that.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, I think the year after that, about that time, my dad sold Deep Woods and sort of was desperate for that freedom too.

Jo:
Yeah, it got really suffocating. CAn't do anything with that, people talking.

Ben:
Sure, exactly. Exactly. And I wouldn't say judgemental but it was quite conservative and set in its ways and anything that was outside the norm or not sort of towing the line of this cliché tended to get panned.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So, yeah. Cool. So I went across to the U.K. for a bit-

Jo:
Oh, that's right.

Ben:
Yeah. Oh, so you mentioned and then you were in Avalon Beach at Bookaccino, that's now Bookavino, I've been told.

Jo:
Oh, really?

Ben:
Yeah, they've got a liquor license. Yeah, Brad, a mate of mine, I don't know if you've met ... he lives there, he goes "yeah people just drink wine all day and read books."

Jo:
Oh, it's the coolest little book shop.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
I loved it.

Ben:
Nice. And then off to Spain?

Jo:
And then back to France, went back to Bourdeaux, worked for Laithwaite's-

Ben:
That's right.

Jo:
Direct wines.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
With Tom-tom. And I was there for ... can't remember now ... four months or something. And then went back to New Zealand and then was going to go back to Bourdeaux. I was trying to find a full-time job.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
I got offered a job but it was ... it was a pretty cool job, it was a wine broker, living in the U.K. buying wine from all around the world but I denied it because I wanted to live on the mainland Europe, I didn't want to live in the U.K.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So then that's where I found Spain, and that was pretty awkward.

Ben:
Galicia, is that?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah. You'd fit right in. That's the part of Spain with all the red-heads and blue eyes.

Jo:
No. I jumped off the plane. The plane landed, I jumped off the plane, jumped on to a bus, and I was a foot taller than everyone, I was white, freckles, screaming red hair, no Spanish, and everybody spoke like this [inaudible 00:09:17].

Ben:
Oh, yeah.

Jo:
I was like "oh, shit, where am I?"

Ben:
So they've got a lingo there, that's much faster.

Jo:
Yeah and then Portuguese.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
I had no idea what was happening.

Ben:
But you had a job? You landed-

Jo:
Yeah, I had a job. I had a job at two small wineries. One in Rias Baixis, in Galicia, 100% alborino and the other one in Monterrei, so Mencia and Godello.

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
It was pretty cool.

Ben:
And you were there for a few years?

Jo:
Yeah, six years.

Ben:
Jesus.

Jo:
Yeah, my son was born over there, Sonny.

Ben:
I didn't know that.

Jo:
Yeah. He's Spanish.

Ben:
Did you ... so we worked at Hale Park together so you went back to Spain?

Jo:
Yes, I came back for that vintage.

Ben:
What was that? '08 or something?

Jo:
'07.

Ben:
'07.

Jo:
Because I got a T-shirt.

Ben:
Oh, did you? They never gave me-

Jo:
You've got to get T-shirts, they keep you in check, what year it is.

Ben:
Didn't give me a T-shirt. Because I opened that red fermenter on top of the press.

Jo:
That was a good vintage.

Ben:
It was. It was fun. Who else was there? That was a good-

Jo:
Oh, was it Kevin? The guy with the bike?

Ben:
Yeah, yeah. The Canadian?

Jo:
The Canadian.

Ben:
Kevin and Marty, who works at Vinline now.

Jo:
Jen?

Ben:
Jen, Jen of Eve Corymbia with Rob Mann. Good times.

Jo:
Snake and Herring, what's his name? Tony Davis.

Ben:
Oh, he was a head wine maker.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah. That's who I was missing.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
It's pretty fun. But we're on night shift. Nobody knew what we got up to.

Ben:
No, no, used to hide those coops of grain up against the chiller. Kevin used to hide them. We'd a chill plate on the tank.

Jo:
Oh, really?

Ben:
Probably have to edit that one out.

Jo:
Yeah maybe.

Ben:
Classic. Okay, so then-

Jo:
Yes, I came back that vintage to get my visa, my permanent residency in Spain. So I had to get all fingerprinted-

Ben:
So you have a Spanish visa?

Jo:
Yeah, I'm a Spanish resident.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
It was only this year. This year, the Spanish government, actually had to hold my job for me until the child is six years old. They say once you have a baby in Spain, you don't have to go back to work full time until the child's six.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Because there's no real sort of care, and that's sort of primary school age.

Ben:
So, you're getting paid?

Jo:
No, this is time off.

Ben:
Oh, okay.

Jo:
You do get a baby bonus.

Ben:
They have to hold your job?

Jo:
They have to legally hold your job.

Ben:
When's that ... how old ... Sonny's more than-

Jo:
Oh no, he's eight now. Last couple of years ... but yeah, they had to hold it for me.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
And then Pablo sent me a message and Amam, the bank guy in the little village I worked in said "I've got money, because I didn't get the job back".

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
So no wonder, they're going broke.

Ben:
Yeah, there you go. So have you got the money? Are we going to spend it on tortillas?

Jo:
No, it's still there. I plan to go back and spend it on tortillas.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
And the vetha.

Ben:
The vetha. So, there, I guess that's where the name of your winery, Dormilona, came from?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Which means?

Jo:
Sleepyhead, lazy bones, in Spanish

Ben:
Right, which was your nickname?

Jo:
Yeah, which they sort of played around with. It was that or abuela, which is grandma. Because ... I thought dormilona is a bit nicer than abuela.

Ben:
Abuela, yeah.

Jo:
Abuela. Because I used to get up early, go for a run, go for a swim, go for a surf, there was surfing in Galicia, and all my friends would party all night, fiesta until four, five AM.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
And then dinner was like at 10. They wouldn't wake up until like 11, 12 so I would have done all this shit before they got up.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
And then come dinner time, I'm just like passed out on the table.

Ben:
And they're calling you lazy bones.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
That's great.

Jo:
So yeah, it was sort of that negative, positive thing.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
We were talking about it before.

Ben:
Yeah, like Blind Corner.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
And then everyone thinks I love skeletons, but I actually don't like skeletons and skulls. Everyone buys me skull tissues and skull bottles-

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yeah, so many people just go "here, I bought this for you" and I'm like "oh, thanks"

Ben:
I'll make a note of that for your birthday. Red Punisher T-shirts.

Jo:
And then it sort of went from that negative thing of something being lazy with a fun sleepy, you know, skeleton, I suppose that's how it ... and then that skull and cross bones.

Ben:
In referencing the wine making in the name?

Jo:
Yeah, yeah.

Ben:
Was that the idea or is it just-

Jo:
Yeah, sort of.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
Sort of all just together.

Ben:
Can you talk about the artist? Did you say you wanted skeletons? Obviously-

Jo:
Yeah. I found Sean through a girlfriend who's got a gallery in Melbourne on Stone. And I said to her, "I've got this idea, this is what I want to do, I want to make this imaginary island, and every year, I want the label to change, and then eventually we can make this world of where Dormilona lives, Dormilandia, the island of lazy bones." And so she said "I'll keep an eye out" And I scrolled the net and she found Sean.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
And he was in Japan at the time, with his Japanese wife. I just started emailing him.

Ben:
You never met him?

Jo:
Never met him. Actually, I only met him last year for the first time.

Ben:
Does he live in Australia?

Jo:
He lives in Australia now.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
But he thought I was on drugs. He's like ... because I just kept hustling him and saying "Come on I want this skeleton, I want it sleeping on pile of moss and then the next year I want it to move around and we make this imaginary island and all this stuff". And he was just like "Okay, Jo, I'll draw you one picture and we'll see how we go." And I was like "no, no, no, I want you for like 10 years."

Ben:
That's Humphrey yelling at Elle because I think Salvador, which is your dog-

Jo:
Yes.

Ben:
Keeping her customers away. So Sean drew one.

Jo:
Drew one, it went really well. The one was really well recepted and since then, every year, I get him ... we change labels slightly-

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
So it all sort of links into together and that's the idea, to keep that sort of style with the mossy set outcrop, that natural look of an island, with landmarks and stuff. And just now, we've just released the website, which has that interactive island.

Ben:
Dormilona.com.au

Jo:
.au

Ben:
.au

Jo:
So that's always been the goal and it's finally come about after about five, six years of-

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Six years, so your first vintage-

Jo:
First vintage was 12, but we didn't release until 13.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Jo:
Is that right? I don't know.

Ben:
I don't know, I can't remember.

Jo:
19. Yeah, so that's six years, yeah.

Ben:
Sure. And started in Mark's danishes.

Jo:
Little shed up the road that you found.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah. Well it was always there, it's sort of that property was cut out of Deep Woods back when it was Rivendell-

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And Mark, he originally planted the Deep Woods vineyard, ended up buying that back and living there. But, I remember, working, the vintage, everything gets so busy, I'd just escape. It was right near the Cherez and the Fidelo block and you'd always cross the fence and Mark would be there.

Jo:
There's always beers in the fridge.

Ben:
There's always beers in the fridge. So, yeah.

Jo:
Always.

Ben:
10 two, in the morning, "you want a beer mate?" "yeah, sure"

Jo:
He's always rolling skudes and stuff.

Ben:
Yeah, yeah. I think it was endearing though.

Jo:
It does.

Ben:
Classic. So what was your first ... I can hear the dogs barking ... what was the first release then, in 13?

Jo:
13, Sem, Sauv, and Cabernet, traditional Margaret River wines.

Ben:
Nice. And oak for the Cabernet?

Jo:
Oak, a little bit of Oak, lots of Sauvignon skins and-

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
And some Sauv, that was all from Marywood Park, so, all bay day fruit.

Ben:
That's right.

Jo:
Yeah. Sauv was on skins but Sem was direct press.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
And then since then, it's grown and I think I've got like-

Ben:
How many now?

Jo:
25-

Ben:
That's almost more than Happs.

Jo:
Really?

Ben:
I don't know, for me, they've always held the unofficial record for most amount of wines.

Jo:
Oh really? It's just embarrassing.

Ben:
We've got a few. Well run me through all 25, what are you making?

Jo:
Oh, gosh. We've got house range, which are, I suppose those entry-level, easy everyday-

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
Drinks that you can just eat with pizza, cheese plates, whatever. No thinking-

Ben:
Yeah-

Jo:
Just easy everyday. Lower alcohol as well and no big wine making influences. So it's just simply in and out the winery and tank-

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So we've got five wines under that now, House Pet, Blanco, Pinku, Orenji, and Tinto. And then apart from that we've got the core end which is sort of the classics I suppose-

Ben:
Listen to you, core end-

Jo:
Because I didn't know what to call them-

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
There's reasons why people call their wine this- Chenin, which is pretty much a star, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Skinnie save blanc skins and then I splash it around with another couple of reds in there but they're not ... like a bit of Merlot-

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
Carbonic Merlot and a bit of Malbec but they're not vineyards I can ... it's not a reliable enough fruit, I suppose.

Ben:
Sure. Yeah. That makes sense. So you said Merlot and Malbec were-

Jo:
Malbec yeah.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
But then I made them from the vineyard and the owners want the fruit now because the wine's not good.

Ben:
That's the problem. I mean that's happened to us so many times.

Jo:
Because Merlot goes really well carbonic.

Ben:
Yeah, I actually haven't tried that.

Jo:
Yeah, it does.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
If you get it good-

Ben:
Yeah-

Jo:
Good Merlot, which is hard, I snagged it though, I reckon.

Ben:
You've got some of those new clones here, which have got thicker skins, you know more like the Merlot you see in Bordeaux or Saint-Emilion.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And now you're making stuff out of Yokel out of the Swan Valley?

Jo:
Swan Valley. So, that's all a new project for 2019.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
So, that's bit of a passion project I suppose. Trying to give back to the Swan.

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
I wanted to expand Dormilona, I don't know why. Oh no, I do know why.

Ben:
Why, why? More holidays?

Jo:
No, Jim, my partner, wants a real job for himself-

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Jo:
So that's why I thought I could expand and he could take a wing of the business.

Ben:
Sure. And then Mica as well which is-

Jo:
Ah, Mica, yeah.

Ben:
Is it M-I-C-A?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, what does it mean?

Jo:
Loving friendship in Latin. Like amiga, amica, it's a friend, a loving friendship.

Ben:
So it's you and a loving friendship?

Jo:
Yes, me and myself.

Ben:
Right. Me and my mirror. I was going to call it Mira but they just got the "c" and the "r" mixed up.

Jo:
Girlfriend in New Zealand, Tamra Washington Kelly, recently married, she looks after New Zealand portion and I do the Australian and then we're trying to source grapes from other little parcels around the world. So, pino, vermentino, verdejo-

Ben:
And that's all from New Zealand?

Jo:
Verdejo's Ferguson Valley, Vermentino's Margs, the Pino's from Central Otago.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
And then she's got her eyes on some Grillo, I think that's coming across soon from Sicily. She spent a lot of time in Sicily.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
And then I'm trying to get some Mencia from Monterrei in Galicia, in Spain.

Ben:
Great. Does that mean you go across there?

Jo:
Well it's just a text, holiday label really.

Ben:
And albarino?

Jo:
Hopefully.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Jo:
It's not hard to get good albarino. I think you really got to work hard with the growers.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
That's from my experience being over there. You can't just sort of ... if you go to a corp or something and say "we want to look at your tanks and that kind of stuff", you've really got to look at the growers.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So I think I need a bit more time to do that. But with Mencia, it just grows beautifully and no big surprise, and that kind of stuff. In Galicia, it rains a lot.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
So you go to the vineyards and they're sometimes blue because they've put so much copper.

Ben:
Copper, wow.

Jo:
And then you wonder why you've got struggling vermites.

Ben:
Yes. Yeah, yeah.

Jo:
Yeah. It's pretty different, the wine growing over there.

Ben:
Yeah, Galicia, yeah. I mean it's so green as well.

Jo:
Oh you've been there, yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, a few times. Love it.

Jo:
It's good.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
It's pretty lost.

Ben:
Yeah, it's nice. Yeah, it is. I think there's a huge Irish influence there too, isn't there?

Jo:
Yeah. Celtic.

Ben:
That's right. Does that mean the same thing?

Jo:
I don't know.

Ben:
I don't know. One's Celtic one's celtic.

Jo:
Oh, Celtic.

Ben:
I don't know. I thought one was Scottish and one was Irish and I don't know which one's which. I'm probably going to edit this out because I don't know what I'm talking about.

Jo:
I should, I've got red hair.

Ben:
Yes. Tell me about it. Cool, right. So, mencia.

Jo:
Mencia.

Ben:
Razor clams?

Jo:
Razor clams.

Ben:
What are you going to bring back?

Jo:
Pulled pork.

Ben:
Pulled pork. Oh, I remember going to a place there and ordering it and they just give you one giant plate-

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
With a lemon.

Jo:
Oh, the lemon.

Ben:
Well that was it. That was all. It was just one giant ... you know, you order octopus here and there's a bit of garnish and you might have a bit of bread with it or something.

Jo:
Oh, they normally ... well Mama just pulls it out of the big part and they just chop the crap out of it straight onto the plate.

Ben:
That's what we got.

Jo:
And then drizzle olive oil, drizzle salt, and then paprika.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
And then a slab of bread.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
So good.

Ben:
I couldn't get through it though. There was so much of it.

Jo:
Jim just annihilated it.

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So what town were you ... in Vigo?

Jo:
Across the rias, so across the river, I lived in Moana.

Ben:
Moana?

Jo:
Moana. Near Cangas. I really wanted to live in Cangas because you know, being Australian-

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Kangaroos.

Ben:
Scared of the bush, Cangas, roo.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
But I couldn't find an apartment in Cangas. But the winery Bodega Vineyard Norte was in [inaudible 00:22:48], so really close to the Portuguese border, like the river was right in front of the property and you could throw a rock over.

Ben:
Okay.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Did you ever have the lamprey?

Jo:
Lamprey? Yeah. So weird.

Ben:
Well, lamprey's the eel from the river. They boil it in its own blood, is it?

Jo:
Yeah. And then they wrap it up and dry it.

Ben:
Sorry to the vegans out there.

Jo:
And then they slice it out. So-

Ben:
I couldn't do it.

Jo:
No. It's so powerful. It's really yeah.

Ben:
Okay.

Jo:
It's pretty intense.

Ben:
None of that. So what's next? Jimmy's coming along?

Jo:
Hopefully. We'll see, not sure.

Ben:
Yeah, cool. So one young gun in all of Australia for one.

Jo:
Pow, pow.

Ben:
Young Gun of Wine. Young gun of Wine?

Jo:
Young Gun of Wine.

Ben:
Now you're a judge?

Jo:
Yes. Done it twice now.

Ben:
Any inside ... you want to put a bet on for this year? Or is it already been-

Jo:
No, it's all done. I think judging again is February.

Ben:
Cool. Does that have a big impact on what you're doing?

Jo:
Yeah, totally. Because I had just started really in 13 and released the first wine so now I've got that best new act award thing and then entered again and missed a year because everything was just full on, kids and babies and business. And then entered again in 16 and won and it just went booming, I suppose it was just amazing PR and marketing for the business.

Ben:
Great. Then from there, you just sold out and-

Jo:
Yeah and grew and I've got a really good distributor, Cath imbibo and she really-

Ben:
I know Cath.

Jo:
You know Cath, you actually got me onto her.

Ben:
Yeah, only one Cath.

Jo:
But she really helped my business grow as well.

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
So, without her, I don't think my business could have ... you know, she was a real rock and sort of pointed me in directions when I was quite lost because I've got two small kids, I started with one, then I had a pregnancy and then a baby and I never stopped working as well. So it was quite hard to keep an eye on what was happening out in the industry plus be a mom plus try and look after a business and be a partner to Jim.

Ben:
Yeah. You always laugh when you say Jim, he's not going to be happy with this.

Jo:
No, he was "oh you're going to sound like a dick head".

Ben:
It's like "thanks jimmy". He's already giving me shit he said before. Don't know if we recorded that part of it.

Jo:
He should have come.

Ben:
Oh, Clover's at the door. I'll just open it. What were we talking about?

Jo:
I don't know, how did you get into Blind Corner?

Ben:
Well, thanks for asking.

Jo:
Might interview you now.

Ben:
Oh, really. Okay. Well I sold my house and bought a vineyard, went to Dad and sold Deep Wood.

Jo:
Oh yeah, got that one on the highway.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Do you still get grapes from there?

Ben:
We do. We've got some Cabernet coming off this vintage but, in order to get this gigantic thing here, we had to sell. We had a place for a while and realized we had millions of dollars in mortgages just in vineyards so we sold the Willoughby Park site and then had a long lease on it, you know, to keep looking after it, which we did for three years. And then the new owners, they wanted to take it on, so we then bought the fruit from them.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And now, they're going to start their own thing.

Jo:
Yeah, that's what I heard.

Ben:
Yeah. So, every year, they've taken a ton or two and made a little bit. But I think they're going full on next year so, I think using everything themselves except for a bit of Cabernet that we're getting.

Jo:
Wow, that's good.

Ben:
So, I started there. For three years, we had it running and we just sold the fruit off and that's when Nomes and I went to the U.K. and lived for a while. And then ended up living in the builder's van doing every surf break in wine region in Western Europe.

Jo:
That's all right.

Ben:
It was pretty good. We started ... ferry from Brighton which landed Dieppe, and then we went to Stratus champagne and then all through Burgundy, down to Rhone, across ... down through Bordeaux and then hit the Biarritz and then across the top of Spain, all the way across to Galicia, down all the way the Portuguese coast-

Jo:
Oh, nice.

Ben:
Back into Spain to Ares and Jerez and then cross down to Morocco.

Jo:
Morocco.

Ben:
Did that to the Algerian border and then straight up the guts through Rioja, landed in San Tandura and then across back to the U.K.

Jo:
How long did that take?

Ben:
Almost six months, five or so.

Jo:
That must have been good.

Ben:
So good. Like we just had nothing to do. And the GSE at the same time, so we're living in this van on like seven Euros a day, hadn't seen an English newspaper for four weeks or something. And hit Lisbon, no not Lisbon, South at the Algarve, went to Cliff Richard's winery-

Jo:
What was that like?

Ben:
It was designed by Guys and Donebry here.

Jo:
Oh, really.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Oh, yeah. It was too.

Ben:
Mitch someone, I think his name was. Castle rock?

Jo:
They did the rosily vineyard, the winery.

Ben:
The winery there? Okay. Yeah, I think it's castle rock something. Anyway, it was a really well set out winery. But yeah, you walk in and there's a big cardboard cut out of Cliff Richard to lead you. And the whole place is full of English tourists who sort of flood the Algarve but are just so obsessed with Cliff Richard, it was crazy.

Jo:
Oh, wow.

Ben:
Yeah. So anyways, that, strangely enough, backed onto this giant shopping center. So, it was a very random place. I walked in there, and I hadn't seen this English newspaper for ages, I was just walking past the news agency, which had all the papers and it just said end of the world, all this sort of stuff and I was like "what is going on?" And picked it up and I think it was The Times that had the capitol building in Washington with all these storm clouds over it, I was like "oh, something's gone down", Lehman Brothers had collapsed at that point, and I was like "oh my god, still living on seven Euros a day, living in a van at the beach"-

Jo:
Yeah, life's all right.

Ben:
Just kept on cruising. Yeah. So avoided that whole chapter which is nice. And then came back and started making wine.

Jo:
Hi Nomes.

Ben:
That's Nomes, he's brought pizza. So the start of wine making you're doing, all hands off?

Jo:
Yeah, all the fruit now, the Yokel wines aren't, because they're all bought off old families out there-

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So, they sell a portion and because the weather's quite intrusive over harvest-

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
They are not going to look at organic certification.

Ben:
Right, okay.

Jo:
Yeah, so this year, they only sprayed sulfur and copper, check the diaries, but I imagine, in years to come, they are going to be spraying some other stuff.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
Which I Don't blame them because the Swan is a hard region to grow grapes out of and hard to make money out of. So they're all conventional and then down here, just the Tempranillo vineyard. Otherwise, everything's certified organic.

Ben:
Wow, cool.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So that's the vineyards and the wine making and winery, you're using different vessels and-

Jo:
Yeah, so the winery's certified organic. I don't actually have the little label on my bottles-

Ben:
Want me to send a temp over?

Jo:
No.

Ben:
I just got a bill.

Jo:
Oh did you?

Ben:
It's capped, but we don't need the cap yet.

Jo:
Yeah, I'm getting order ship on the ninth or something.

Ben:
Cool. I got it last Saturday.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
We could go today.

Jo:
Yeah, so she keeps pushing me to do it and I'm just like "I don't want to do it"

Ben:
Oh, the order?

Jo:
No, not the order, the sticker on the label.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
Because it's quite tricky for me as well because I do one label for all my wines.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
And then I just hand stamp them. So-

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Jo:
I have to go back and put stickers all over them, it's just-

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
I don't know, it's a tricky one. I don't know whether to do it or not to do it. And I bought a massive roll of stickers that I could just stick on but then I've never done it.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Jo:
So-

Ben:
Yeah, they want it to be pre-approved as well.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So part of that process is you go send your recipes in, which-

Jo:
Well, I've tried it twice with my Pet House and my Chennin and Chardonnay. I've sent it to get pre-approved and by the time they actually gave it back to me, the wine is sold out.

Ben:
Yeah, that's a big issue at the moment.

Jo:
Yeah. That's why I haven't actually pushed it to get it printed on any of the labels yet.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
Because I probably could get it printed on half and then swap and change the labels as I get ... but then I'm like with that lag period and then-

Ben:
It's like a six-day wait time to approve the label. And we made Cabernet, which went to Aria restaurant-

Jo:
Nice.

Ben:
It's very posh, looking at the opera house. And it's a great wine, it's all certified organic, biodynamic, etc. but the lead times that we expected in order to get the label approved, Aria said "let's just not bother putting it on, you know, and let's get this out here now, so we can sell it"

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And you know, so that's what happens. That doesn't really help anyone because we've spent five, six years getting this vineyard sorted, through the audits, everything's organic, so it doesn't help us, doesn't help the customer, and doesn't help the certifier either because we're not putting that symbol on. It just takes too long to get a label approved.

Jo:
Yeah, yeah. So ... I've got it on my website. Certified organic-

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
A symbol on my website. But then, I suppose I've got all my Yokel ones on there now and stuff-

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
It's probably not the best.

Ben:
I think you're just transparent about it-

Jo:
I know, I am. I just tell people Tempe is not, everything else is.

Ben:
Sure, yeah. So, in the winery, you're using different vessels?

Jo:
Yeah, I've got a lot of amphoras-

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)- where are they from?

Jo:
I've got big 800 liter ones, they're from Italy. And then I've got one, two, three, four 500 liter ones from Italy as well. And then I've got a couple of those ones from Bennett's pottery that you've got at the front here.

Ben:
Oh, that we backed into with a forklift?

Jo:
Yeah. That are stuck together.

Ben:
They pot plants.

Jo:
So I've got four of those. They were my first ones but then I learnt a lot about amphoras. My aunt is a ceramicist and she came down -and we wrapped a shard of one of yours, it was broken, remember?

Ben:
Yes, that's right.

Jo:
And she tested it and she said that that clay is mass produced and it's actually stoneware because it's not as breathable.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Doesn't have the pore acidity as terracotta should.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
So then I moved away from them, got the Italians and then I've got some imported from Spain, which are black because they're clay from the purines and they use a wooden kiln not an electric kiln so it makes them go black. They're pretty cool but they're super porous. They're actually only ... I've tried storing wine in them and they've just absolutely-

Ben:
Disappeared?

Jo:
Oh my gosh, like vea of ten.

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yes.

Ben:
Good. Good work.

Jo:
Yeah. Kept on thinking it was going to come back but didn't.

Ben:
Yeah, can't fix that.

Jo:
Reverse osmosis naturally. Will happen one day.

Ben:
Maybe. Maybe. Well we could distill it as vinegar.

Jo:
No, I tipped it. I just went, "I screwed this". It was pretty sad, that was my first attempt at Clayface cherez, just got all tipped out.

Ben:
So, Clayface is-

Jo:
Oh yeah, Clayface is another label.

Ben:
Yeah, so this has got its own island as well doesn't it?

Jo:
Yes it does.

Ben:
Check the website. Dormiloma.com.au

Jo:
That's a pretty cool island, it's my favorite.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
So Clayface is all about 100% amphora. In fact, it's showing that purity of fruit into the wine. So amphora allows the wine to breathe naturally without imparting any flavor. So I find the wines ... you have this lovely purity and lovely freshness, and you can really see the vintage in style and stuff so that's what the label reflects as well.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
Is about what I see in the wines, where the wines come from. Like the Chenin wine's got a little whale shark-

Ben:
Yeah, I saw that. It's cool.

Jo:
Yeah, and that's because my relationship with Chenin is on there, what I see in the wine plus it's affinity with the ocean.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So I sort of think- and then the Shiraz one with the podargus, which is you don't see that often and it still hasn't got its place which I think with Margaret Shiraz, it still hasn't got-

Ben:
The what, sorry?

Jo:
Podargus.

Ben:
What's that?

Jo:
The night owl.

Ben:
Oh, okay.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
I didn't know that.

Jo:
It sort of sits in there and that sort of for me is because Shiraz in Magaret River doesn't have its style yet.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
It's still so young. So that's why I'm sort of like sometimes you see this owl sometimes you don't but you can hear it. It's that sort of ... it's what I fuel into wine with Sean's artwork that brings it all to life.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So amphora, do you have qvevri as well.

Jo:
Yeah, I've got a qvevri.

Ben:
So what goes in there?

Jo:
I have put Chenin-

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
I did a Clayface Chenin on skins for like three, four months.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
Oh no, less than that. Six weeks I think, six to eight weeks.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
For Merlot, and then pressed off and bottled early. I try and do the Clayface ones as well sans sulfur, so no sulfur in them. I still do put a bit in the Chardonnay and the Cabernet just because I get so nervous.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
And they are my stars.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So-

Ben:
Sure, sure. Absolutely.

Jo:
And then the meca goes in the qvevri, the Verdelho, so Chenin goes in and-

Ben:
That's from Margaret River?

Jo:
No, Fergurson.

Ben:
Ferguson, you did say that.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Okay so, you've got qvevri, amphora ... what are the Spanish ones called?

Jo:
I think amphorae.

Ben:
Right. Oh, got a message.

Jo:
It's just Yoka.

Ben:
Oh, nice. What does she want?

Jo:
She's my wine bitch. Hearing out her bitch session.

Ben:
Oh nice.

Jo:
We do. You should get her in.

Ben:
Right. I don't like editing. Classic, okay. So Clayface is in the winery, lots of skin contact-

Jo:
Yeah, lots of skin contact on everything.

Ben:
And you have a tasting room?

Jo:
No, no.

Ben:
Any plans?

Jo:
No, not really. I just ... kids are so little still and I like my weekends. I like going surfing.

Ben:
No, fair enough.

Jo:
And hanging with my kids on the weekend.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Being able to do podcasts with you Ben.

Ben:
Oh, look how professional we are.

Jo:
Meanwhile someone's out there with a crate looking like he's going to trap a chicken.

Ben:
Yeah. I'm not sure what's going to happen there. Jo's going to walk in sick. Cool. Is there anything else we need to talk about? Rose? What happened with the Rose?

Jo:
Oh, Rose.

Ben:
Why do you make Rose? Do you love Rose?

Jo:
No, I don't like Rose.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Jim likes Rose. Jim is my partner, he's 6 foot something, covered in tattoos, has a ... well used to have a Harley Davidson because he sold it and now he's pissed off at the world and me because he sold it.

Ben:
And Rose's his go-to?

Jo:
And Rose's his go-to. And wears frilly knickers.

Ben:
I so hope that's true.

Jo:
You should check him.

Ben:
Right. Put it on Instagram so we can see.

Jo:
Purple ones.

Ben:
Oh, nice.

Jo:
Pink lace on it. But then now, all the Rosado is in Magnum. Well pretty much all ... half the production is in Magnums.

Ben:
Oh, look now. Harry's got a crate, Sonny's got a stick. Think they're trying to trap the cat.

Jo:
Oh, torturing the cat.

Ben:
So what's new? What's next?

Jo:
What's next? I suppose working export markets. I want to go to America.

Ben:
Yeah. Aren't a lot of work over there?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
We have great success and then those massive changes and now we're not really selling anything.

Jo:
I sent some wine to Canada, that's just landed.

Ben:
Cool. I ... we sent some to Japan.

Jo:
Oh, cool.

Ben:
Want to get a [inaudible 00:38:37] snowboarding trip.

Jo:
Oh, that's what I'm trying for. Who'd you go with?

Ben:
GRN.

Jo:
Well I've been talking to Kyle, he's already got samples and stuff.

Ben:
Oh cool.

Jo:
At Wine Diamonds.

Ben:
So what are you thinking of sending up to Japan?

Jo:
I don't know, they're interested in the Pinku, Orinje, and Tinto. And now, they're interested in the normal ones, Chenin, Chardonnay, something of high price point.

Ben:
Oh, great.

Jo:
But I think because they've dropped that lower price point, they're like okay we could-

Ben:
Yeah, I don't know either. I'm due for a phone call. Well he rang yesterday when we were bottling, that's what I did on my birthday bottle Sauv blanc, when my dreams come true.

Jo:
Oh my gosh. That's so depressing.

Ben:
Thank you.

Jo:
You know what, I just remembered, we were together actually when the-

Ben:
The planes went down-

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
I was thinking about that earlier.

Jo:
And then we both flew the next day. I flew straight to France and you flew straight home.

Ben:
No, I got stuck for a few days because then Ansett went down-

Jo:
Oh, Ansett.

Ben:
That's when I became a contest member and I've never looked back. But yeah, I was asleep and Matty kept calling me, Matty Trent, who we spoke about earlier, kept calling going "her plane's flown into a building". I'm like "okay, mate, just whatever"

Jo:
Yeah because it happened at 11, 12 o'clock at night.

Ben:
Something ... yeah and then the next morning, there was a few messages and we walked into the mess hole, what do we call that thing?

Jo:
Yeah, it was disgusting.

Ben:
The kitchen, exponential eggs, do you remember that?

Jo:
Oh my gosh.

Ben:
Did you ever play that?

Jo:
No, but I just remember the potato that never left-

Ben:
Oh yeah, nice. So this is Charleston University, we both studied correspondence wine making. Matthew Trent studied viticulture. Took six years, two subjects a semester, which you'd do from home so we could work in wineries.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Then we'd fly across to do lab work generally, the holidays of the uni there so we'd use the accommodation.

Jo:
Yeah, they'll get kicked out.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
I remember actually, one of the guys coming back to one of his rooms and he's like "oh excuse me, can I come into my room?"

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
I was like "yeah, sure, it's fine" "I just need to get some stuff" and I was like standing there oh okay he wants me to get out of the room. Out of the room, I looked in and there was a massive porno stash under his bed-

Ben:
Oh, no-

Jo:
And I was just like no

Ben:
Oh, that's terrible.

Jo:
I know, it was so bad. Can I change rooms?

Ben:
Didn't some people use to stay in town? In apartments?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Or the motels?

Jo:
Oh, that was Karen. Remember Karen? She's over in Boonville now.

Ben:
What's Boonville?

Jo:
Boonville is a town in Mendocino County.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Because I went out there and did vintage with them. Him and Matt. The Silveroak family.

Ben:
Yes, yes.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
So how many vintages have you done?

Jo:
God knows.

Ben:
You don't know?

Jo:
No.

Ben:
You pushing 40?

Jo:
Easy.

Ben:
So six in Burgundy, or five?

Jo:
Five, six, I don't know I lost count. And then I've done one in Rhone, two in Bourdeaux-

Ben:
And then Galicia.

Jo:
Galicia, America, New Zealand.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
Would you count Swan in vintages?

Ben:
I don't know about that. Maybe. Well they'll be picking in November this year so-

Jo:
Really?

Ben:
Not going to get five vintages a year. Matty said Chardonnay's flowering.

Jo:
No.

Ben:
On the verge of flowering so we're late September now, we've just ... Chardonnay's probably five centimeters and he said oak and chardonnay's on the verge of flowering.

Jo:
What is Naomi doing? She's cutting down a tree.

Ben:
Yeah, those trees on the driveway, we planted ... I had to dig 160 holes and then it rained and they all filled in, I had to dig them again to put all those trees in.

Jo:
Oh gosh.

Ben:
They look good though.

Jo:
They look good. Probably looks amazing.

Ben:
Thanks Jo.

Jo:
It does. It looks really good.

Ben:
So, Paul.

Jo:
Where is Paul?

Ben:
Saturday, day off.

Jo:
Oh.

Ben:
Elle's on Salvador today. I think we've got a group coming in so, Naomi's here to help out. But yeah. So, next is more Mica stuff. When are you going to Spain?

Jo:
I was asked to go back this year and work for a different company over there to do a vintage but, we have family issues-

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Jo:
Couldn't go.

Ben:
Maybe next year. Sarah's there.

Jo:
Yeah, I know. Yeah, next year for sure.

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
I need to go back.

Ben:
I'll threaten to go next year and pretend to work with Eva. I think it involves cooking salmon and amalgamating little ham on sandwiches down at the pub.

Jo:
Oh, nice.

Ben:
Yeah, so that's the idea.

Jo:
That's pretty central. There's no surf there. Come to Galicia.

Ben:
Yeah, I want to go back for sure. Okay, I will.

Jo:
Yeah. I'm keen to go back. Super keen. I just got to pencil it in now in our year planner.

Ben:
Anywhere else you're going to make wine? You going to do some in the states or France?

Jo:
Yeah, maybe France.

Ben:
Where abouts?

Jo:
Burgundy?

Ben:
Burgundy.

Jo:
Burgundy.

Ben:
Nice. What are you going to make there?

Jo:
Chardonnay.

Ben:
Cabernet?

Jo:
Chardonnay.

Ben:
Chardonnay. Aligote?

Jo:
Aligote? No, Chardonnay.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Maybe a bit of Gamay, bit of Boissay.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Jo:
Jean Claude's sister lives in Boissay and has little chateau so got access.

Ben:
That's a good way to sort it. Because you're dealing with the same vineyards for a lot of your wines here over the years so to play faces consistently from one face, is that right?

Jo:
Yeah. Yeah.

Ben:
So you can just go when it's spraying or pruning. I mean obviously you have to check things out.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
But do you have to prune it all yourself?

Jo:
No, no, no.

Ben:
That's great.

Jo:
We did lease a vineyard and Jim and I managed it. Or Jim did it and then my dad sprayed it. But now we just buy our fruit because we're just so busy.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
It's just easier.

Ben:
Cool.

Jo:
And we've got good relationships with our growers.

Ben:
It gives you a lot more freedom too. I mean you have to be here for vintage, but it means you can be somewhere else for vintage.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
You know, in the Northern hemisphere, and do core stuff elsewhere.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
That's nice. You want to buy a vineyard?

Jo:
No, thanks

Ben:
Okay. That's the curse of it, is that you have more control if you grow it yourself but you have to be committed to doing that and sometimes that means you don't do it as well as someone who is committed.

Jo:
Yeah. Well we're always around for January.

Ben:
Oh, yeah.

Jo:
January, February. Jim always wants to go to Japan in January and I'm like "no".

Ben:
So do I. Should we talk anything about what you're trying to achieve by doing what you're doing just to-

Jo:
I suppose skins because I'm not buying any new Oak. Well I do, I buy one you punch in every second year or so.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Otherwise I invest in amphora. I got my first cement tank from Sonoma this year.

Ben:
Oh, great.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Isn't Sonoma stone?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, cool.

Jo:
It's really cool, you should come check it out.

Ben:
I will.

Jo:
It's massive. Weighs two tonne. 1800 liters.

Ben:
Is it closed or? Oh it's an egg.

Jo:
Yeah. It's a big egg.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Closed base. I just wanted something I can store in.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
Fermenting skins on contact and storing as well. I just find the amphoras, I just can't get enough skin contact. Not enough skin ... I just need so many more of them-

Ben:
Sure, to get the effect you want?

Jo:
Yeah, so that's why I thought I'd go bigger. It's cool but it's massive and weighs two tonne, I'm not going to be able to move it.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Ever.

Ben:
But it's in place now?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah, great.

Jo:
So working with skins helps to try to not have to add anything. So, if I'm picking earlier as well, and I've found over the years, that I like to pick the sauv blanc especially quite early. And you get that high acid naturally and that skin contact helps drop that natural high acid so it's not so harsh and grain.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
So it sort of helps with that as well so there's no need for chilling as well.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
So I can just press it, settle it, and bottle it without having to have that chill factor of dropping out that natural hard acid like in the Chenin. Chenin's all whole bunch, goes straight to barrel, but then I need to chuck cooling on to really drop that acid.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Because otherwise it's too aggressive with those phenolics because it's all solid.

Ben:
Yeah, okay.

Jo:
Yeah, I've just found it works.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Quite well with some styles and that's sort of why I did that Clayface Chenin as well. Like on skins, six to eight weeks, and then press it off and it looked amazing.

Ben:
Great.

Jo:
No, actually it looked really awkward when I wen to bottle because it was sans sulfur. And then now, it looks really good.

Ben:
Awesome.

Jo:
But it's taken a long time to get there though.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
About a year, 18 months ago.

Ben:
Is it out now?

Jo:
It's all sold out. What's out is gone.

Ben:
Okay.

Jo:
But then I suppose as well talking about things I like to do is the Chenin. Every year I keep back half a pallette of Chenin.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
So I've actually got four vintages, I think, or five vintages of aged Chenin.

Ben:
And you're going to release that as a museum tasting or something?

Jo:
Oh no, I'm just going to chuck a different label on it and throw it out there. So, people just don't have time to store and keep or age wines.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
So that's why I sort of want to do it. To help educate people and help people be able to store wine. Same price point but just a fun different label.

Ben:
Cool. Are you going to pack them up and when are you going to release them?

Jo:
I don't know, I've got to put it in the calendar somewhere.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
Maybe next year.

Ben:
And that will give you five vintages?

Jo:
Five yeah. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

Ben:
Are you holding anything else back?

Jo:
No. I pretty much sell everything.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
I don't have room.

Ben:
No, we're the same.

Jo:
If you keep bottles lying around, you just trip over them or-

Ben:
So not holding anything else back. Any new styles coming out? New secret projects?

Jo:
No, I think I've done everything.

Ben:
Two secret projects came out this year so that's-

Jo:
Two secret?

Ben:
The Yokel and the Mica.

Jo:
Yeah, Yokel and Mica. Yokel's been fun. I suppose Yokel is all about the turtle. Can I talk about the turtle?

Ben:
Oh yeah, talk about the turtle.

Jo:
The turtle. Actually I'm missing an Aegean of the Friends of the Western Swamp Turtle Foundation-

Ben:
Right, so there's a turtle on your label.

Jo:
So there's a turtle on my label which is the Western swamp turtle which is a critically endangered species ... reptile, the most endangered in Australia.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
So part of Yokel is ... he's our mascot, the Western swamp turtle and we're giving back a dollar per bottle.

Ben:
Oh cool.

Jo:
To the foundation and Perth Zoo.

Ben:
Nice.

Jo:
So it goes to them. Helping out with conservation, the land, and the breeding program at the Perth Zoo and anything else that they think will help the little guy. But we've been out there ... Clover and I have been out digging holes, picking out rubbish-

Ben:
Where are they? Where's their habitat?

Jo:
Originally they were found in Ellenbrook, so in the upper Swan, bit North. And there's actually a fenced off area there reserved, which is actually fox-proof and everything and they've got some in the wildlife there now-

Ben:
Great.

Jo:
And I went up recently, two hours North, Moore River, and we released them to a new area, up there.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
It was pretty cool. Had to walk through swamp land for like I don't know how long, holding a box od squiggly little turtles.

Ben:
Wow.

Jo:
Yeah. We had to hold the turtle for like two minutes and then we had to release it.

Ben:
Right.

Jo:
Into the wild.

Ben:
And Clover did this with you?

Jo:
No. I just did that by myself.

Ben:
Yeah. Well done.

Jo:
Yeah. It's pretty fun.

Ben:
And the label's awesome. So is that Sean doing that drawing as well?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
So every year, we'll probably change that a bit. Keeping that 1920s theme going through the labels because that's when the Swan was in boom.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
That's why I chose that era. Yeah, probably do a miner, a flapper, a cool girl, or-

Ben:
Oh, I see. Yeah.

Jo:
Yeah to change the turtle around and get a bit of a story going there.

Ben:
Sure.

Jo:
And then we'll make the Yokel island or the Yokel village.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jo:
So yeah.

Ben:
Are they out now? Those wines?

Jo:
Yes.

Ben:
Buy them on your website?

Jo:
They are. Dormilona.com.au

Ben:
Yeah, cool. Oh, that's great. So you're saving turtles-

Jo:
Which is fun.

Ben:
Saving vineyards-

Jo:
Yeah, helping out old growers as well.

Ben:
Yeah.

Jo:
Because they're just ... they're just getting bought up by real estate. They're just selling their land, houses are popping up.

Ben:
Yeah, it's crazy up there.

Jo:
Vineyards are getting pulled out. Eugeno Veno Italia, he's a gorgeous 80, probably close to 90 year old man, on a Zimmer frame, and he's just so thankful and so lovely. It takes him 10 minutes to work out who I am, then I have to answer his phone for him, do a load of washing, I put band-aids on his legs the last time I was there.

Ben:
Really?

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
Oh that's sweet.

Jo:
Oh, this poor guy. But yeah, he's got a beautiful family that looks after him and stuff. But yeah, trying to choose those old growers so I can help their business I suppose as much as they're helping my business and Pinelli Estate and Lamonts, get some fruit off them as well.

Ben:
Great.

Jo:
Yeah.

Ben:
And it gives you something to do in January when you're waiting for the fruit to come in.

Jo:
Yeah, instead of [inaudible 00:51:52].

Ben:
I know, well why do that?

Jo:
Why?

Ben:
Just keep moving North, you'll be getting some gelatin fruit in December. Can't do Christmas this year, sorry we're picking Riesling. Oh, cool. Well anything else you'd like to add before we wrap it up?

Jo:
You're amazing Ben, thank you.

Ben:
Oh thanks, I'll make sure I won't edit that out. You're amazing too, thanks Josephine. And everything will be available on the website so you can go to dormilona.com.au realwinepeople.com will have all the show notes. I'll put Sean's links on there and everything as well. Thanks for coming by.

Jo:
Cool, thanks for having me. Bye.

Ben:
I hope you enjoyed this episode. You can find all show notes and links at realwinepeople.com. I think we spoke about Jo's website enough but one more time for good luck dormilona.com.au, if you get a chance please leave a rating for this podcast on the Apple podcast app and reviews are also very welcome, thank you very much. 

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