We love to notice and mark the changing of seasons, the sighting of a new birds' nest, or our unceasing wonder at the seamless enrichment that biodynamic viticulture provides our pristine environment. Working in rhythm with nature ensures we're vigilant in the vineyard, and follow that attention to detail through to the winery and the table. As fifth and sixth generation winegrowers, we value family, tradition and progression, and we hope our stories strike a chord with you – hopefully so much that we're lucky enough to one day hear yours.
Steve and Monique Lubiana.
Malbec & Merlot are Bordeaux grape varieties used in the production of our 2019 Chicane. Whilst we have been growing Bordeaux varieties for many years, production of these wines is small unlike Pinot Noir & Chardonnay that dominate the Stefano Lubiana Wines portfolio.
Pinot noir is one of the most graceful red varieties grown around the world compared to Malbec & Merlot that are more structured in their design and in most cool climates display deeper longer tannin chains compared to the Pinot Noir variety.
That being said, here at Stefano Lubiana Wines our Chicane is produced in a very elegant style where the tannins are very soft but persistent and the fruit buoyant. Aromas of mulberries, plums, blackberries and boysenberries feature on the nose and these fruit flavours also populate the palate. Fleshy, fruity textures with juicy natural acids excite the tastebuds whilst the fine tannins give structure and length and helps dry out the fruitiness adding savouriness to the finish.
The decision to plant Bordeaux varieties at our Granton vineyard came about due our vineyard being situated on an estuary. Soil types that accompany these sites are usually poorer in fertility, gravelly and warm easily creating perfect conditions for growing Merlot & Malbec. Originally we trialled Cabernet and Cabernet Franc but found we could not ripen these varieties consistently.
Being able to grown both Pinot Noir & Malbec/Merlot offers more wine choices and at the same time provides a fantastic challenge for Steve who loves nothing more than exercising his wine brain.
We are closing in on completing harvest and we have experienced very mild long autumn days where rain has been almost absent, reducing disease pressure, and most importantly limiting stress for our vineyard team. The next grapes that will be picked just before or after Easter are Malbec, Merlot & Malvasia.
Enjoy the 2019 Chicane with your favourite meat dish, rustic been stew or cheeses you love the best.
Some of you will have purchased and will be enjoying our recently released ‘premium’ biodynamic Primavera Pinot Noir & Chardonnay wines, our ‘iconic’ Sasso Pinot Noir. The time is now ripe to release our biodynamic ‘flagship’ 2020 Estate Pinot Noir & Chardonnay wines.
These two varieties are known as the Queen of whites and the King of reds. The excellent 2019-20 growing season has produced wines of outstanding quality. Viticulture for these wines is very similar to previous vintages. Low yields in the vicinity of 5 tonnes/ha with good strong canopies ensuring the fruit slowly ripens in a stress free environment.
In vintage 2020 slight changes to winemaking were made to include more whole bunches for the pinot noir introducing more aromatics to the nose and more fruit to the front palate. For the chardonnay we have bumped up the percentage of small format new oak a little and introduced a new Burgundian cooper from the Rully region. The oak providing some subtle complexity that marries well with our fruit. These small changes have resulted in a deepening of the palate whilst maintaining minierality and a linear acid profile. Otherwise, all other quality profiles remain in place.
We have been making Chardonnay & Pinot Noir at our Granton vineyard since 1993. The excitement, thrills & spills have never diminished as we strive for authentic terroir driven wines.
The beauty of making the same wine from the same fruit for over 30 years means the relationship between the winemaker and the terroir is very close. The winemaker is constantly learning and responding to what the terroir is expressing through the fruit leading to one outcome, well-balanced wines that are faithful to their sense of place.
2020 Estate Pinot Noir biodynamic is aromatic on the nose, a combination of cherry blossom and the smell of the forest after rain. More complexity will show with maturation. The palate is rich and perfectly balanced between fruit sweetness and tannin grip. The length of the wine persists and the finish is dry.
2020 Estate Chardonnay biodynamic is equally as lovely as the pinot noir. It has a bouquet of meal, sherbet & lemon blossom and a soft scent of spice from well-matched new oak. The palate is rich, creamy and intense with a tight long finish.
2020 Sasso Pinot Noir, 26 dozen, and 1999 Prestige Brut, 8 dozen.
Thinking of these two wines, the first noteworthy detail is these are definitely status wines. Two icons of the highly desirable and respected, Stefano Lubiana Wine’s brand. They both speak of place, the environment in which they were grown and vinified or as the French say, Terroir, and both radiate precision, clarity and tension.
The 1999 Prestige Brut has had the luxury of decades to evolve, slowly unveiling its inner components that have now settled in to a well-formed dramatic sparkling wine. Maturation at this level is not common amongst the sparkling wines produced in Australia. Testament to the decision and foresight of Steve & Monique to swim against the tide and relocate their wine business from South Australia to Tasmania. Proof that Tasmania, with it coolest of climates and chalky soils, can produce stars of the highest calibre. Speaking of stars, they have aligned to deliver 1999 Prestige a one of a kind sparkling wine. Very few Australian Sparkling wine makers can claim to match this standard. A wine that will be appreciated amongst the most discerning connoisseurs and a potential worthy adversary to the best sparkling wine that Champagne can produce!
Enjoy with caviar dip, oysters natural, or a cheese soufflé.
2017 was the most recent release of the Sasso Pinot Noir produced at Stefano Lubiana. So it is with much pomp and ceremony that we release the 2020 Sasso Pinot Noir. It will delight its admirers to no end with its velvety blend of dark cherries and subtle spice. A satisfier to all the senses, especially to the eyes with its dark rich crimson red, to the palate with the sensation of silky rich chocolate and, to the nose, a bouquet of the sweetest smelling reddest roses. It would not be out of place in the company of some of Burgundy’s finest Pinot Noirs.
Here is wine where no amount of expense has been spared in yield reduction, oak selection and deployment, winemaking expertise and experience and very importantly a luxurious maturation. A lucky and prized parcel of wine that has enjoyed the loving care, attention and consideration of its maker.
Try this exceptional Pinot Noir with crispy roast duck, Wagyu beef or a burnt butter sage gnocchi.
2020 Riesling Biodynamic
Rieslings grown in Tasmania are framed with endless racy acid, a consequence of very cool nights that blanket the most southern landscapes of our magnificent country.
The 2020 growing season was dry, warm, and mild. Ripening fruit beyond perfect, swelling its aromas of mandarin, orange blossom, lemon curd and musk-sticks. For many years we’ve worked hard in the vineyard to grow greater/taller Riesling canopies that protect bunches from the sun, ensuing reduced phenolics whilst promoting pretty aromas and palate textures of chalk, soft juiciness, and silky light tannins.
Grapes are always picked in the cool of the morning, pressed and the juice then fermented in large format oak. The wine is left on lees for an extended period to gather even more flavour & complexity, at the same time tempering angles and presenting layers of tannins. Bottle aging is for many months, relaxing its core without corrupting its cellaring potential. This is the final step before release.
Steve’s favourite food pairing; freshly caught flathead, garfish, whiting or if you live in the top end Barramundi, lightly dusted in flour and pan fried in hot organic sunflower or olive oil and seasoned with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
For those in a hurry, reach for a few oysters or prawns and dress with a squeeze of fresh lemom. Vegetarians and vegans, enjoy our Riesling with a soft cheese or creamy humus and crusty bread.
21st January 2022
Had this bottle of Wine 2008 (Alfresco Riesling) at the weekend and it was absolutely amazing, Thank you.
25th December 2021
Wow! Christmas Day and have just had a Sasso 2013 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both fantastic and wine of the day. But the Pinot Noir was the wine of the day - beating chassagne Montrachet. Few picked it as burgundy. Want to let you know that this is a absolutely fantastic wine. Just wish I had more (got the next few years…) Merry Christmas Paul
1st December 2021
I thought you might be interested to know I had a Champagne tasting with friends and the Stefano Lubiana Brut Reserve sparkling came first.
I do the event every year with about 10 girlfriends, we have a range of champagnes and sparklings we taste. We always have an expensive bottle and then a few well known french plus some cheaper unknown sparklings. The expensive bottle this time was XXXX.
It's a blind tasting so no one knows what sparkling they are tasting, my partner determines the order, so I don't know what I am tasting as well. We haven't tried Stefano Lubiana Sparkling in the tasting before, so it was the first time.... and it came first.
Although I live in Melbourne, I am a Tassie girl, so happy that your sparkling did so well. My friends have all now stocked up on Stefano Lubiana Brut for Christmas.
Last time we did it with XXXX, it did quite well, so interesting it didn't do well this time.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this, I know you already know your wines are amazing, but thought you might be interested in our results.
note: list of 10 wines supplied and xxxx is a champage with a price tag of $330.
The spring of 2021 has been a ‘la Nina’ or wetter than average season so far.
Healthy growth has appeared everywhere. Whilst it has been cool so far this spring, the forecast for later this week, is for warmer weather. This will produce an even greater explosion of growth setting up an effective canopy to ripen fruit over a long growing season.
The cover crops are still in situ. Their top 30% have been mowed once. The benefit of mowing encourages and stimulates the cover crop roots to push down further into the soil, allowing more air and nutrients to follow. This then produces excellent conditions for the microbes that provide nitrogen to the vine. Vines that are afforded excellent nutrition produces the greatest wines.
As can be seen in the photo there are plenty of flowers on the vines, universal across, all varieties and clones in our biodynamic vineyard. 2022 is looking like another quantity year for Stefano Lubiana. Flowering is the next stage in the vine’s cycle and once the flowers are fertilised and set we will then be able to gauge the crop level and then take action to balance the yield.
We notice other berry crops in our garden are laden with flowers. This year’s moisture has certainly added to fertility across all our berry crops.
Stefano Lubiana 2020 Sauvignon Blanc biodynamic Fumé. In recent years our Sauvignon Blanc winemaking style has been shifting towards a morerestrained, earthy mineral, lightly oaked style.
Our first Sauvignon Blanc was made in 1998. That's 23 years ago! Originally the vineyard was planted to both Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the blend favoured in Bordeaux, France. We soon discarded the few rows of Semillon and replaced it with Sauvignon Blanc, making the block, 1.3 ha in total. In our opinion the wine tasted better without the Semillon.
The new world style, or approach, back in the 1990’s was to produce Sauvignon blanc with some herbaceousness, passion fruit, green apples topped off with tropical fruits flavours. This was consumer driven, partly by the ABC crowd (anything but chardonnay) and partly by a younger or new to wine consumers who favoured fruitier wines.
The advent of cool climate viticulture and winemaking in Australia supplied sauvignon blanc grapes that were not widely available pre 1990. We participated to some extent in the fruity Sauvignon Blanc craze, albeit at the higher quality end, with New Zealand taking full advantage of the trend and planting thousands of ha to satisfy the insatiable demand.
Many wine drinkers overdosed on these fruit bombs and soon grew tired of the style. Again much like the oaked chardonnay craze that saw consumers desert the variety in droves, they eventually returned some years later appreciating and not tiring of the more sophisticated complex cool climate chardonnays that are today’s top sellers.
In the last few years, we have taken our Sauvignon Blanc back to the drawing board and have tailored it to appeal to the more mature wine palate. Many consumers are now ready to let go of, or willing to trade, the tropical gooseberry, and passionfruit overtones for a more flinty, lightly oaked, chalky, earthy Sauvignon blanc featuring more elegant and balanced fruit structure. Marrying such fruit elegance with subtle tannic grip further develops the style into a versatile wine suitable for a range of culinary pairings. The Stefano Lubiana 2020 Fume Features poached pear, quince, persimmon, honeysuckle & floral musk. When the occasion presents itself this wine takes pride of place at the dinner table in the Lubiana household.
We are not reinventing the wheel with our 2020 Biodynamic Stefano Lubiana fume Sauvignon Blanc instead we have readjusted the style to suit our customer base our aging vines and our exceptional Sauvignon Blanc vineyard site.
The Loire Valley in France is world renowned for its exceptional quality Sauvignon Blancs, some selling for A$60-100. It is a more complex wine style, they have been making for centuries. France grows 35,000 ha of Sauvignon blanc compared to 23,000 ha grown in New Zealand, with 14,000 ha grown in Chile and only 6,000 ha grown Australia wide. Tasmania statistics, I could not find but, I estimate it would be less than 200 ha.
Tasmania offers the coolest climate Australia wide to grow sauvignon blanc to its full potential, thanks to our latitude. Sauvignon Blanc is a late ripener, therefore the longer it hangs on the vine, the more flavour it gathers. It is then up to the winemaker to use their skill to gently process the grapes, match the wine to quality oak (large format lightly toasted, in our case) that will not dominate but support the structure, and ensure the overall silhouette and winemaker’s contributions are true to the grape’s terroir.
Bio-Dynamics Tasmania a Resource Handbook www.biodynamicstas.com
Bio-Dynamics Tasmania kicked off with a seminar held in Ulverstone in 1988, presented by Colin Cook. The subject of today’s blog is the Bio-dynamics Tasmania resource handbook. It has largely been written by Graeme Roberts and Brian Grayling both long time members of Bio-Dynamics Tasmania.
We signed a contract to purchase our Granton property in 1989. I remember Alex Podolinsky (guru and Australian pioneer of bio-dynamics) visited our property in 1992 around April. He surveyed the property with Steve to assess its capacity to convert to bio-dynamics. We were so eager to get started, but with a young family and plenty of debt, bio-dynamics sat on the back burner until 2008. It was around this time we knew that the business would not fail and that we were on the road to reaching our business and personal goals. We had made the decision to start to use compost and softer fungicides (non-systemic) knowing that bio-dynamics were our ultimate farming systems. With this in mind it was less scary to take the risk of completely moving away from synthetic farming and to trial bio-dynamics. The trial was successful and in 2010 we became certified in conversion. In 2013 we became fully certified.
When I think of bio-dynamics I think of ‘the garden of Eden’; imagine a beautiful landscape where there is random organisation and everywhere you look is breathtakingly lush, healthy with a bounty of flavour filled produce. Of course this is a once a upon a time existence, perhaps a fantasy and possibly unachievable in this day and age. Nonetheless it did not stop us from striving towards this goal where one day, through the use of bio-dynamic systems, our vineyard would enter into a natural balance where it would almost care take for itself.
Graeme Roberts stopped by on Friday to go through the Bio-Dynamics Tasmania resource handbook with me. The difference with this resource is that it relates directly to Tasmanian’s climatic conditions and farming experiences, rather than those in Europe or even on the mainland. Graeme discussed with me his biodynamic knowledge and how he applied it to his own little 5-acre vineyard at Bagdad which he planted in 1992. He said there were great benefits to be had when making 500 by adding 8ml of valerian to the mix. This is a great tonic for all plants. I believe this to be true as Brian Keats (Astro Calendar author) has also told me that 501, when combined with trace elements, helps the plant to take them up more readily and to assimilate them.
The Bio-Dynamics Tasmania Resource Handbook is for everyone. It is not necessary to be certified to practice biodynmaics. On any level there is something that each of us can do to improve the soil and the planet. The bio-dynamic preparations are readily available from Bio-Dynamics Tasmania (or your local supplier). You can purchase their Resource Handbook on their website www.biodynamicstas.com and action the very easy steps to create your own bio-dynamic paradise. Bio-dynamics is a little bit like parenting; the more of it you do the more confident and better you get at it. If you’re not a parent think of it as learning to ride a bike. You start out slowly learn from the stacks and near misses and then take it to the ultimate level. Any bike rider, if skilled enough and determined, can ride in the Tour de France!