Miceli Winery

About

We are a family owned and run vineyard and winery with the ambition to produce the best wines in Australia!

Location Description

Located in the heart of Arthurs Seat, Victoria

Contact

Fax: 03 5989 2755

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
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  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
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Winemaker

Tony is a medical practitioner and a graduate of Charles Sturt University (Wagga) in winemaking and viticulture. Tony thus works at two occupations, both as a GP on the Peninsula, and as a vigneron, at Arthurs Seat. His speciality is science, love of nature and especially plants, and he loves the challenge of getting everything just right.

Pauline is a registered nurse and midwife and has a natural talent with working out what is good, what is not as good, and a palate that is not biased by wishful thinking. Quiet work behind the scenes, looking after the family, and making everything possible is her speciality.

History

The vineyard and winery were established in 1991 by Anthony and Pauline Miceli, after a search for a cool area with suitable slopes, aspect, and soils for the production of ultimate quality wines from the Burgundian varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Grigio was added in 1997.

For Anthony this was the culmination of a dream that evolved from a love of wine and a love of plants and nature, since childhood.

For Pauline this was a continuation and renewal of her deep connection with rural life from her upbringing in a small country town.

Between them the plan was to raise a family together and establish a winery, small enough to allow personal attention to crafting the finest wines but big enough to be a fully self supporting, profitable enterprise, and not just a toy.

Practices & Techniques

The winery itself is no more than a steel shed, but the important part is the winemaking process and philosophy, which Tony sees as inspired by the traditional French techniques, but taking advantage of modern scienctific understanding of chemistry and microbiology, both strongpoints brought from his background in medicine.

The winemaking is very "hands-on" with the The whole family (and extended family, the minimum of mechanisation, let alone automation.

The grapes are picked into buckets which are brought in a trailer up to the winery directly from the vineyard.

The grapes are weighed as received in buckets, and the marc is taken away in the trailer to be composted on the farm

The red grapes are crushed directly into open fermentors.

The crusher directly over the open fermentor again avoids over-handling the grapes.

The press is a modern membrane type, which enables the juice to be extracted with the minimum of pressure and maceration of the grape skins. With white varieties, including Pinot Grigio, and for sparkling wines, this avoids extraction of harsh tannins and of excessive colour from the skins.

The white grapes are then directly tipped into the press still whole.

Directly tipping buckets into the membrane press without crushing

This new technology emulates the effect of gently crushing the grapes by human feet and taking only the very best "cut" of juice from gently pressing the grapes.

After pressing our approach diverges from a "standard" Australian approach by allowing a mild amount of juice oxidation at ambient temperatures (say 16 deg C), without the use of inert gases or mechanical refrigeration. On the one hand this is only possible because of the naturally cool temperatures (In April not February), and on the other hand because of the careful grape handling, with no significant delay between hand picking and the pressing, and no trauma from mechanical harvesting, or even tipping from buckets into bulk bins.

Fermentation for most wines is conducted at ambient temperatures, is aimed at producing wines with vinosity rather than purely fruitiness. Also our small batches are less likely to overheat badly than the huge ones at industrial wineries.

This is also a major saving in energy and carbon emissions as refrigeration is normally the single biggest energy user in large wineries.

Bottling is conducted on site using a mobile bottling plant which brings all the sophisticated equipment to our winery in a caravan. The unit is setup in the parking area next to the winery, and the bottling takes place under direct winemaker supervision.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The vineyard is the basis for the quality of our wines and is (I'm afraid), a hugely intensive labour of love.

The climate is cool and maritime, due to our position at the extreme South of the continent, close to the Southern Ocean, and surrounded on three sides by the sea- Port Phillip, Westernport, and Bass Strait, and also reflects our elevation at 250 m above sea level, catching more rain, cloud, and wind than areas even only a few km away, near sea level at Dromana. Premium grapegrowing areas are not always easy!

The aspect is NW to W, meaning that during the ripening period we get the benefit of the lovely warm afternoons, when the (leaf) temperatures are above 20 deg, and effective photosynthesis will produce sugars to ripen the grapes, even late into Autumn (April/May). The rows run North-South, across the slope, to achieve equal exposure of both sides of the row to the sun. Terracing of the rows prevents erosion and levels the rows to make machinery operation safe

The soils determine the health and growth of the vines and define the characters of the wines. As represented on our logo, the soils range down the slope from deep basaltic red soils, to duplex chocolate soils, to grey loam, and at the base of the slope are grey grainy granitic sandy soils. Each variety is planted to include a section on each main soil type, increasing the complexity and depth of the wines.

We have extremely close row spacing to reduce vine vigour and increase row surface area and thus sun exposure. Our plantings are from 1.8 m x 1.8 m to 2.2 m(rows) x 2.0 m(vines). This compares with a typical Australian planting density of 3.6 (row spacing) x 2.0m (vine spacing). In combination with our trellising system, this means we have more than 3 times the effective surface area and sun exposure of traditional Australian vineyards.

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Address

60 Main Creek Rd.
Arthurs Seat, Victoria
Australia

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