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Sal Johnson
14 November 2016 | The Artisans | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - Jaysen Collins from Massena

Winemaker of the Month - Jaysen Collins from Massena

A quick chat with Jayse over a glass of Saperavi and a plate of Ribs and I am all caught up on the happenings at Massena including some exciting new releases. This year has seen Jayse take a quick trip to the States for vintage with Forlorn Hope winery and two new products come into the line-up under the JC's Own label. For years Jayse has been setting aside small parcels of fruit and playing around with winemaking techniques to enure that the Massena wines are constantly evolving. Some stellar Grenache from 2015 that was just too good to blend away is the first (of many to come) wine to be released. Adding another string to his bow this year Jaysen has produced a Wermut (aka Vermouth), using Marsanne as the base and then infused with wormwood, juniper, rosehips, lemon peel and a raft of other delicious botanicals, its a beatifully crafted gem.

What is the oldest vineyard that you make wine from? - 150 year old bush vine Grenache in the Barossa foothills near Angaston that goes into my JC’s Own Originale.

What is your favourite part of vintage? - Looking at each vineyard and batch that comes in and deciding on the spot what to do with it.

What was your very first job? - Disbudding roses at a local glasshouse that is long gone.

What would you do if you weren’t in the wine industry? - I’d have a well paying, secure job in finance somewhere, probably more financial success but maybe not so happy.

What do you love about your job and why?- Everyday is different and you get exposed to the whole spectrum of the trials and tribulations of small business, but mostly it is that I can wear casual clothes every day.

What are your top five tips for people visiting the Barossa? 

- Have a bacon challenge – Schulz’s vs Linke’s and see who wins.

- Visit Artisans, grab a glass of Massena Surly Muse Viognier Marsanne and a serve of Harvest Kitchen’s fried chicken.

- Eat at Vintners Bar and Grill in Angaston, a truly iconic regional restaurant.

- Play a round of golf at Tanunda Pines

- Go for a walk in the Kaiser Stuhl National Park

What was the first wine you drank?- Mateus Rose with my folks as a well under age drinker

What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you? - I started making wine in 2000 from a vineyard that promised a lot but delivered very little. I quickly taught me the importance of the vineyard in making good wine.

What are your top three desert island wines

- Domaine Tempier Rose

- Forlorn Hope Ribolla Gialla

- Etna Erse Bianco

How many vintages have you completed? - 20 - Every Southern hemisphere vintage since 1999 plus 2 northern hemisphere vintages at Forlorn Hope in Califonia


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