Wine blending class at Mt Majura

27 Oct

After sampling and experimenting, our table has put together a winning TSG blend which we’ve submitted to our judges. It’s just a matter of time before they announce the winner – and we know it’s going to be us*.

We’ve arrived bang on 11am at Mt Majura vineyard – still open to the public despite the huge amount of roadworks going on around us. We’re booked in for a class (turned competition) of blending wine to make our own TSG: tempranillo, shiraz and graciano. Mt Majura does very well with their own versions of TSG, so we’re excited about what we’re going to learn.

After I get over the shock of someone recognising me from Twitter (gets me every time) we take a seat in the room off the main tasting room. We’re sorted into tables, and we’ll be ‘competing’ as tables. A group of three female friends join us who turn out to be great fun. We’ve already got the right blend of personalities to put together a winning wine, but I guess we need to learn about the actual wines.


Frank the winemaker and Fergus the sales/marketing guru open the session and we taste their 2012 and 2011 TSG vintages.

2011 and 2012 TSG from Mt Majura

2011 and 2012 TSG from Mt Majura

The two TSGs are very different – not only are the percentages of each of the T, S and G a little different, but the wines show off the different conditions in the vineyard in each year.

We then break it down to the 2013 graciano, shiraz and tempranillo and try each. My red wine of choice is usually shiraz, so this shiraz tastes almost bland to me, while it’s got more of a hit for the others. Almost all of us appreciate the tempranillo the best, while the graciano has a real kick.

Graciano, shiraz and tempranillo

Graciano, shiraz and tempranillo

Frank explains how the different wines taste on the palette with diagrams

Frank explains how the different wines taste on the palette with diagrams

With a few rules in place (tempranillo has to have the greatest percentage) and an explanation of the tools we have in front of us, we set about making three batches of TSG.

Boyfriend with his concentrating face

Boyfriend with his concentrating face

Putting together a winning TSG blend

Putting together a winning TSG blend

Getting technical

Getting technical

This requires accurate calculations!

This requires accurate calculations!

We put together three blends and love the first two, but are disappointed with our third. We empty our third batch (we’re only given three bottles) and start again, and love our final combo. They’re all good, but we all agree that our final blend is the winning combination which we submit for judging.

One of our lovely blends

One of our lovely blends

It’s an anxious wait as the judges deliberate, and then retire to the backroom to determine the winner. The sommelier from Aubergine is also part of the judging panel, and it’s when he returns and says something along the lines of ‘We liked them all, but remember that the blends that you like might not be what the judges are looking for’ that I know it’s not us. We love our blend(s), but it’s probably not quite the TSG that you’d normally expect!

Table 3 are crowned winners, and have quite a lot of graciano in their blend (~20%).

We finish with a platter of cheese, nuts and dates and a few more samples of our (not winning) blends.

It’s a really fun few hours (which go by very quickly), and we learn a bit, too. Most of all, I’m determined to win next year.

Date: 11am-1pm, Saturday 26 October 2013

Cost: $40 per person

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? We found out about this event through and the vineyard itself has a pretty up to date events list

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10 Responses to “Wine blending class at Mt Majura”

  1. keepreflections October 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    What a fun thing to do. I think I’ll book in a visit for my sister in-law and I during her next visit to Canberra.

    • inthetaratory October 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      It was fun! I wish they did it more often. I really like that they have a whole heap of regular events, though. Clever marketing.

  2. Gary Lum October 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    The image of you crushing grapes is so apt for this post πŸ™‚

    • inthetaratory October 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      My blog does sometimes feel 90% wine-related!

      • Gary Lum October 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

        Not a bad thing. Can you image what mine might be like if I could drink alcohol lol

  3. Heike Herrling October 28, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Mt Majura always has such great events and it’s so close to Canberra. Love that you find personality is evidence of wine tastes! I too am a Shiraz gal, at heart. Can always spot a Moscato drinker a mile off…. πŸ™‚


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