Domaine Chandon was established by French champagne house Moët & Chandon in 1986 and is dedicated to the production of Méthode Traditionnelle sparkling wine and premium quality, cool-climate still Victorian wines.
Set in the verdant hills of Victoria’s beautiful Yarra Valley, just a short drive from Melbourne, the winery attracts more than 110,000 visitors a year. And I can see why, as I didn’t want to leave after my 2 hours tour was up. Crisp cool air & total serenity surrounded the entire area. Lovely!
Recently, Chandon’s winemaker, Lilian Carter was especially flown in for an event to talk us through about the winemaking process.
Growing up on a vineyard in the historic Victorian region of Rutherglen, Lilian was introduced to the delights of wine from a very young age and has travelled abroad, gaining vintage experience in world-class wine regions such as Marlborough, New Zealand. In 2008 she was appointed as winemaker for Pernod Ricard in the Ningxia region of China, and after only one year, Lilian was awarded the “Wine of China” trophy for her 2008 Special Reserve Chardonnay at the Hong Kong International Wine Fair.
As winemaker responsible for all still wines at Chandon Australia, Lilian brings with her a passion for creating unique & iconic wines, and gains great satisfaction from the knowledge that every wine produced is going to be shared and enjoyed by many people.
A seasoned expert, and one with tremendous experience in winemaking, Lilian was more than pleased to guide us through an exclusive preview on the flavours and styles of Chandon wines during the Chandon NV Brut Tasting Brunch at Sevenatenine, The Ascott.
The invited guests were all in white, following the theme set for the event.
I was really glad to be invited; and met some new friends at the event.
A chardonnay led méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine, the Chandon NV Brut is crafted to create a fresh & elegant aperitif style wine, with a soft, generous palate and a crisp finish.
The Chandon NV Brut is straw yellow in colour with flashes of green and a fine persistent bead. A bright and fresh fruit bouquet of citrus blossom, subtle pear and white nectarine combines with savoury characters of roasted nuts & delicate spices.
The entry is soft with generous primary fruit characters followed by a creamy mid-palate offering nougat & nectarines extending to a lingering and crisp brut finish.
Simple english from me: This is like a sparkling wine. Think champagne; light, easy to drink. Sweetish. Fruity for sure. I could drink this on its own or paired with food. But it would go well with food that are non-spicy (meaning not strong flavours) & perfect with seafood (raw or cooked with light seasoning).
A great wine for entertaining for sure.
Our little palate test. We were required to note 8 flavours we detected from our Domain Chandon NV Brut.
My main course that afternoon. Fish.
Shan, founder of Rocking Reptiles (which specialises in gorgeous heels for ladies) won Best Dressed for the event. That’s a Karen Millen number by the way.
The sexy & gorgeous Marketing Director of MHD Malaysia.
A flashback to my time in Victoria, Australia. Yup, I was actually walking & touring the Domain Chandon vineyards in Yarra Valley!
Hence it wasn’t my first time experience with Domain Chandon wines. During my tour, I sampled 4 different vintage from Domain Chandon, namely the Domaine Chandon NV Brut, Domain Chandon Brut Rose (which was my favourite, I think it’s cos of the lovely pink hue!), the Sparkling Pinot Shiraz & the last of which I can’t remember!
Offering a fascinating insight into the world of wine production, Domaine Chandon’s tour is one of the most outstanding wine-tourism experiences in the world. Guests can see winemaking in progress, visit the barrel cellar & the riddling hall.
Stunning photography and informative notes – available in English, French, German, Japanese and Cantonese – explain each step in the process.
The tour concludes in the Green Point Room (as below), where guests can enjoy Domaine Chandon’s premium sparkling & still wines by the glass.
Free guided tours are conducted two times daily – at 11am, 1pm and 3pm – and run for 30 minutes.
There’s even food & cheese if you wish to pair them with your wines.
Our tour begun with “winemaking in progress” where impressive graphic displays and engaging panoramic story panels reflects the company’s diversity in wine production and give detailed process and production information. Check them out below!
Welcoming us into the world of Domain Chandon.
Then we visited the barrels cellar. Our guide then explained the significance of different oak barrels to the winemaking process.
We moved on to the riddling hall. Riddling, or “remuage” involves placing the bottles neck first & inclined into holes in the “riddling racks” & turning the bottles at regular intervals over several days to gently coax the yeast sediment to the neck of the bottles, making it easy to remove.
More on the riddling process. There’s so much I have learnt from the tour, and I became all the more wiser of wine-making as a whole. Needless to say, reading printed materials & actually touring the vineyards offers completely different information absorption levels. If you are ever in a wine producing country, never miss out on an opportunity to tour a vineyard!
The tour concludes in the Green Point Room, where guests can enjoy Domaine Chandon’s premium sparkling and still wines by the glass.
The retails area of the vineyard has a tasting bar where one can taste a selected range of wines for a mere AUD5, of which is refundable if you purchase any bottle here.
There was a crowd huddled together at the Tasting Bar all the time!
My souvenir from the Domain Chandon vineyard – The limited Domain Chandon Prestige Cuvee 2002. For a fantastic friend. He liked it. Yay!
Reception: +613 9738 9200
Greenpoint Brasserie: +613 9738 9243
Open from 10.30am to 4.30pm daily except for Christmas Day
My overall Aussie trip video:
Thanks to Tourism Victoria & Tourism Australia for the opportunity to visit Domain Chandon in Yarra Valley & thanks to MHD Malaysia for the Domain Chandon NV Brut Tasting Brunch!