Thirsty Thursday: Bress

Thursday July 19, 2012 Written by luke

Bress is a small winery/cidery sitting just outside Castlemaine, an hour and a half north-west from Melbourne where the ethos is sustainable, but irreverent.

Their grapes, apples and pears are organic and grown biodynamically, but their top of the run wines go by the name of Le Grand Coq Noir – The Big Black Cock. Bress's wines are superb, but it's their ciders that are the true revelation. Try the 750 mL Bon Bon: crisp, perfectly balanced (it's 80 per cent apple, 20 per cent pear), highly alcoholic cider that gives you the distinct impression you're drinking high-end champagne.

Get there on the right day – probably more likely in the off season – and the cellar door is run by chief winemaker Adam Marks. Marks is manic, hilarious and house proud, and enjoys nothing more than explaining the inner workings of his winery/cidery. On the Saturday we were there, he took us and six other hapless souls on an impromptu two-hour tour of the place, replete with samplings of pre-cider froth and copious tastings of their wines at various stages of the barreling process. Marks also boasts a remarkable litany of sexual metaphors to explain the workings of his outfit. Personal favourite: It's colder than a nun's clacker in here.