Meet Flying Fish Cove’s senior winemaker, Simon Ding
The Flying Fish Chardonnay 2014 is our Wine of the Month for March. What makes this such a special wine?
Chardonnay is a Margaret River star, famous for being rich and powerful. This plush drop fits the bill and with its layers of peachy fruit supported by oak and zesty acidity, it's a classic example of why the variety is a natural match to rich seafood.
When you work in a stunning seaside location like Margaret River, nobody can blame Simon Ding for slipping out of the winery for the occasional quick swim.
Your Gold medal-winning Flying Fish Chardonnay 2014 is our Wine of the Month for March. What makes this such a special wine?
Over time we have seen the Margaret River region produce many high-quality Chardonnay wines. The dedication of the people involved from the grower to the winemaking team at Flying Fish Cove has allowed us to craft a pure and fine expression of excellent modern Chardonnay. I think there is a little bit of love in each and every bottle of Flying Fish Cove Chardonnay, that we hope you can taste.
In recent years, there’s been a switch from traditional big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay to the crisper, modern styles. What are the best attributes of both?
Big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay is like a blast from the past and a look at where we have come from. Sometimes, it is good to look at where you have been to know that you don’t want to go back. Fine, delicate and crisp Chardonnay styles are favourable now. The nature of these styles seems to appeal to a broader range of maturing palates amongst the drinking public. I think it is the lightly oaked and delicately balanced nature and more often than not, the lighter alcohol content of these styles that is appealing to the modern wine drinker.
We’ve matched your 2014 Chardonnay with barbequed WA marron withgarlic and herb butter – what’s your suggestion for a great food match?
It’s also absolutely delicious paired with a butterflied and barbequed free range chicken, with a garlic, lemon rind and thyme rub, served with a side of seasonal roasted vegetables.
How is vintage 2017 going for Flying Fish Cove and Margaret River?
So far, the vintage is looking great, which we hope will continue given the late start and cool ripening conditions we have had this season.
When did you fall in love with wine?
I fell in love with wine whilst travelling throughout Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia in the 1990s.
It’s a tough question, but do you have a favourite wine or varietal?
I can’t seem to go past Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, however Riesling and some of the new Spanish varietals are interesting as well.
What is your favourite wine memory?
I don’t have any one specific wine memory that stands out. I’d have to say that the industry people I have met along my wine journey have been a great memory to me and a few memorable bottles have been shared with them along the way.
How do you spend your time when you’re not making wine?
There’s always plenty do around the winery, but the best way to spend time out is with my family exploring Margaret River and its beautiful surrounds.