The Producers: Box Grove Vineyard Verjus

Box Grove Vineyard Verjus.

Box Grove Vineyard Verjus.

WHO  For more than a decade, winemaker Sarah Gough has been producing Rhône-inspired wines at her family vineyard in Tabilk, in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria. In 2011, however, an overly fruitful season saw the vigneron pursuing other ways to use her grapes. "It looked like the roussanne grapes weren't going to ripen at all, so I decided to make verjuice instead," she says.

WHAT  Verjuice is made from pressed unripe grapes. Unlike other acids, such as lemon juice or vinegar, a splash of verjuice can give everything from salad dressing to roasts "a refreshing zing without the aggressive bite," says Gough. At Lûmé in Melbourne, verjuice is often used in cocktails instead of citrus. "We can batch them without worrying about ingredients going off or sediment forming in the bottle," says Lûmé bar manager Orlando Marzo. "And Box Grove's verjuice is delicate and textured, yet with perfume in spades, so it's perfect for drinks."

HOW  Gough keeps it simple: the grapes are picked between mid-February and March, then crushed, chilled, filtered and bottled. "We try to get it in and out of the vineyard as soon as possible to avoid any rogue yeast spores that may trigger fermentation," she says. Gough still uses roussanne for her verjuice, which she prefers for the natural acid backbone and hallmark pear and quince flavour.

WHERE  Chef Ben Shewry is a fan of Box Grove: he uses a litre each day at Attica for his chicken and pork dishes, and is working with the vineyard to produce a red verjuice for next season. "He wanted something that would better suit red meat," says Gough. "One of the Mediterranean varieties I grow - mourvèdre - might be interesting for that."

Box Grove Vineyard Verjus, $22 for 750ml, available from Box Grove Vineyard, 955 Avenel-Nagambie Rd, Tabilk, Vic, boxgrovevineyard.com.au

 


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Artisanal Korean ingredients at Table 181
30.10.2017
Adelaide's Ferment the Festival
25.10.2017
The Producers: Fawk Foods
26.09.2017
Meet Your Maker: Tanto, QT Melbourne
14.09.2017
Sydney is part of Airbnb's Flavours of Home
11.09.2017
Perth's Chu Bakery: home to the matcha choux puff
06.09.2017
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Listen
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Easy summer recipes

Perfect for balmy summer evenings, these meals from food dir...

Summer seafood recipes

Turn festive seafood into something special with flavourful ...

Summer salad recipes

It’s time to turn over a new leaf: these crisp and fresh sal...

Quick summer recipes

Perfect for midweek summer nights, these meals are ready in ...

Christmas classic recipes

’Tis the season for turkey, ham and pudding. Whether you’re ...

Adriano Zumbo's Christmas recipes

So you think you know trifle? Think again. Adriano Zumbo tur...

Holiday entertaining recipes

Dare to think outside the box this season with an elegant lu...

David Thompson's Thai recipes

Scholarship and street food come together in David Thompson’...

Strawberry recipes

Sweet, juicy and bursting with flavour, strawberries add a b...

Longrain recipes

It’s been 10 years since Longrain introduced us to big Thai ...

Barbecue recipes

Grab the tongs and novelty apron and fire up your imaginatio...

Fast spring recipes

Fast and fresh food can be ready in just 30 minutes with the...

Recipes inspired by Julia Child

So you can't wait to watch Julie & Julia and don't have a co...

Spanish dessert recipes

The Spanish know exactly how to sweeten the post-prandial de...

Recipes from Spain's Catalonia region

Who better to extol the virtues of this rich Spanish cuisine...