Meet Matt Fawcett of Gapsted Wines
The farming chores never seem to end but that won’t stop Matt Fawcett, Chief Winemaker at Gapsted Wines, from producing some delicious cool-climate varieties. Let’s meet him.
Can you recall the first wine you tried?
I was brought up with wine. My folks always enjoyed a wine, and they often visited the vineyards and wineries nearby, and shared some wine with us.
What is your all-time favourite wine memory (other than a wine itself)?
That would be Vintage 2007! There was the winemaker Lindsay and I, and we were processing Botrytis Semillon. It was cold, wet and the bloody mouldy Semillon would not press out. We could hardly get a drop, but were both determined to get something from the grapes (mush). Anyhow, about 36 hours later, we gave up, after burning two bins of barrel chocks to keep warm and cleaning the press about a dozen times. We managed to extract about 200 litres per tonne and the wine was great, but I had to live with the cellar manager (Peter), who is probably still laughing at us.
If you had to pick three, name your biggest career highlights so far?
Surviving a vintage in France, working with and making some great friends.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to winemaking?
Smile, breath and move on. Each day can sometimes blur into the next, so just remain calm and work the problem (easier said than done).
It’s a tough call, but do you have a favourite wine or varietal?
It would have to be Chardonnay with lots of distractions. Intense fruit, complex struck match and chestnut aromas with toasty French oak and a lingering palate.
What is your favourite thing about being a winemaker?
You can enjoy the wines that you have worked hard to make with friends and family all of the time.
What's your ultimate food + wine match?
Steak, Shiraz and great company.
In your opinion, is the Alpine Valley region the best for winemaking in Australia?
Well, it is different, but very good. The white varieties from this region are just amazing.
What do you love most about working at Gapsted Wines?
We’re a small company with a hands-on approach. Everyone jumps in and works hard to achieve the result.
What advice would you give to aspiring winemakers?
Work hard and stick with it, and travel as much as you can.
If you had to pick a favourite wine at Gapsted Wines, which would it be?
The High Country Tempranillo with its amazing vibrant colour, plummy and spicy aroma and silky soft tannins.
What is your favourite…
Victorian restaurant? Bastoni Pizzas, THE BEST pizzas in Victoria! Fun and relaxing.
Weekend activity? Farming, chasing cows, fixing fences, gardening. The chores just don’t seem to end on a farm.
Season? Spring – everything starts to grow, the temperature is great, and it’s just a magic time of year.
Travel destination? Beside a river camping in the Victorian High Country where the mobile phone reception drops out!