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Wine voices – Clive Otto, Winemaker, Fraser Gallop Estate

“I came across to Margaret River on a surfing safari back in 1989 and went “wow this is an amazing place”. I put my name down at Vasse Felix and then by the time I’d finished university I had a job. I got there and David Gregg was GM. He was a huge mentor for me. One day he said “our winemaker is leaving so you’re going to be doing his job next vintage”.  Chucked in at the deep end. With David it wasn’t scary. I’d run things past him. We did so many medals that year. I stayed for 16 years, over which time we grew and grew.

Coming to Fraser Gallop it was nice to come back to a smaller winery. We never follow the herd. We’re detailed in the vineyard and take no short cuts. We dry grow, and we hand pick. We do detailed winemaking trials every year to see if something works.

In the last years we’ve made a dessert wine from Chardonnay by freezing grapes then pressing them. What we call Ice Pressed Chardonnay.  It’s unlike the plethora of cane cut and late harvest styles around. Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon is a single vineyard Cabernet where layers of complexity and elegance come from making the wine with various techniques, incorporating plunging and pumping over at the same time, then coming together at the blending stage. It’s the opportunity to make wines that stand alone in their styles.”

– Clive Otto, Winemaker, Fraser Gallop Estate

Image: Sarah Hewer

Clive Otto, Winemaker, Fraser Gallop Estate
Max Brearley

About Max Brearley

Max Brearley is a food writer, critic, consultant and host working with The Australian, The Guardian, Halliday, Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Truffle Kerfuffle, Conde Nast Traveller and delicious. to name just a few. A passion for a good yarn and great produce has seen him forage for native foods in the north west of WA, follow abalone from ocean to plate in the south west and dig for black truffles in the towering Southern Forests. He’s also been known to cast a critical eye over a meal or two for The Australian’s annual Hot 50 Restaurants and delicous., as well as producing written, visual and event content for organisations across Australia and globally.

Whilst a proud Yorkshireman; he’s been moving south for much of his life. Relocating from London to Perth in 2012, a move to the southwest soon followed, where life girt by sea and vines is more than agreeable.

Instagram: @max_brearley / Twitter: @maxbrearley / Web: maxbrearley.com

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