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We Spoke To Jayden Ong & Kaspar Herman About Our Grafted Wines

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We Spoke To Jayden Ong & Kaspar Herman About Our Grafted Wines

Yes, our Grafted series is about making good wine, but it's also about making it with great people too. We spoke to Kaspar Herman and Jayden Ong, the brains behind our latest Grafted releases.

WINE

Yes, our Grafted series is about making good wine, but it's also about making it with great people too. We spoke to Kaspar Herman and Jayden Ong, the brains behind our latest Grafted releases.

First up, Kaspar Herman, Chief Winemaker at Toolangi Wines.

Can you tell us a little about what got you into wine and a little background from before you arrived at Toolangi? At high school I became fascinated by biology, my family (on both sides) were in agriculture back in NZ, luckily my decision to study Viticulture proved to be the right path. I’ve been very fortunate to work for some fantastic Yarra Valley vineyards (Seville Estate, Punch and Mount Mary) before arriving with Toolangi for the 2019 harvest.

When did your love of Chardonnay begin and was there an epiphany bottle(s)? My love for Chardonnay began early on, Dylan McMahon (now my brother in law) of Seville Estate taught me plenty about the grape! Epiphany bottles; Bindi Quartz, Milton Vineyard “Clos de St Anne” (Gisborne, NZ) and Domaine Roulot were some worldly highlights.

How did the Grafted collab come about? Probably through the connection Joe (my assistant) has with Adam Fischer of Blackhearts, they’re old mates, I’ve known Adam and the Blackhearts family a while too. He enjoyed the direction of our Chardonnays and thought this ceramic offering would be great for the people!

If the collaboration was a famous music duo who would it be? I was thinking Daft Punk because the lees in ceramic egg go around the world, around the world. Ha! (as suggested by our wine buyer, Adam Fischer—Kaspar passionately agrees!)

What would you pair with the Grafted Chardonnay? Crusty baguette, soft and hard cheese options and a tin of sardines.

Favourite place to visit in the Yarra Valley? Without question Jayden Ong’s Cellar bar in Healesville. Jayden and Morgan Ong have created something truly wonderful down there and serendipitously it happens to be 500 meters from my house

And next Jayden Ong, Winemaker, Owner & Hospitality Legend.

Can you tell us a little about what got you into wine and a little background on how you ended up with your own winery and cellar door in Healesville? I don’t come from a grape-growing/winemaking family and thus have had the pleasure of discovering the wine world through my own glasses. Wine is about people and places, enjoying others' company, and can sometimes be about tasting a place, through a particular grape or wine. I completed my degree at CSU and have been steadily searching for a marginal site to plant some vines, which we found in 2015 high up in the Yarra Valley GI. The new winery we built in 2020 and opened to the public in 2021. It’s a great place to have a drink and a bite to eat.

When did your love of Syrah begin and was there an epiphany bottle? Syrah is an interesting beast, and can be a remarkable grape to work with if grown in the right place. There have been many remarkable wines, but in the last ten years, Gonon St Joseph was a wine of note that captured my attention.

How did the Grafted collab come about? The good people at BH’s had an idea, and I was fond of that idea and bringing it to fruition.

If the collaboration was a famous TV duo who would it be? I would say Simon & Simon as we share many of the same loves, wine and music in particular. So might as well have the same name. Simon seems like a good one.

What would you pair with the Grafted Syrah? Food & music. Maybe some beers as well.

Favourite place to visit in the Yarra Valley? Tarrawarra Museum, or collecting mushrooms in the forest in Autumn.

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