EATS & DRINKS
WINE: 13 OCTOBER 2014
By JOHN ROZENTALS
Daniel Binet uses his skills ... and charms ... to great effect
Daniel Binet, born in Vanuatu of French parentage and now making wine in the Hunter Valley, clearly is a charmer. So much so that my companion, a confirmed Italophile, considered realigning her national loyalties ... if only for a moment.
He’s equally clearly a very talented winemaker, who fell in love with the trade while exploring his French heritage and picking grapes in Alsace.
Returning to Australia, he first worked for Bimbadgen Estate, then learnt many of the finer points of winemaking from the tragically late Alasdair Sutherland at Capercaillie, in the Hunter sub-region of Lovedale.
There he met Alex Stuart, who had failed at retirement from his executive position in a building company and planted a vineyard he called Ballabourneen after the neighbouring road.
A while after Alex had sold his vineyard and put the Ballabourneen label on hold, Daniel decided he wanted to make his own way in the world of wine.
He approached Alex about buying the label and remaining stocks of wine. “No,” said Alex. “How about we do this together. You make the wine, I’ll run the business.”
Thus Ballabourneen was resurrected, using leased winemaking facilities and a cottage in Broke Road, right in the heart of Pokolbin, as a cellar door.
Now they have established another label, Domaine de Binet, with its own cellar door at 477 Lovedale Road, in the winery they lease and have expanded considerably.
With Domaine, Daniel is flexing his imagination, often using alternative varieties and buying fruit from regions outside the Hunter. The results are going to be very interesting to watch.
Daniel Binet ... charmer and young winemaker extraordinaire.
Domaine de Binet
Phone 02 4998 6505
477 Lovedale Road, Lovedale 2325
Domaine de Binet 2013 Hunter Valley Semillon
Domaine de Binet 2013 Hunter Valley Tempranillo