Mike Bennie wanted you to get to know Rob and Genevieve Mann from Corymbia that little bit better. As the winners of the WAGFG Wine of the Year 2019, they shared intel with Mike on the wines that inspire them, Rob’s love for a great fantasy sci-fi series and their all-important answer to the age-old conundrum, Art vs Science (and why)!. Follow the link in our profile to read the full Q&A.
Who and what is Corymbia?
Corymbia is a wine born from over 100 years of Western Australian grape growing and winemaking experience. Wine is in our blood. We’re husband and wife, the heads and hearts of Corymbia, and part of one of the oldest winemaking families in Australia. Rob’s family history in wine spans back 6 generations and Rob was influenced from a very early age by a family of winemakers, vignerons, restaurateurs and drinkers.
The wines are made by Rob and Genevieve Mann from vineyards they farm from dirt to bottle in the Swan Valley. Our wines are organically farmed, single vineyard wines offering the purest expression of fruit and a clear sense of place.
What is the over-arching theme/reason for the wines?
The fruit is dry grown, organically farmed from mature vines planted from the mid 80’s. Winemaking is very traditional using techniques such as hand harvesting, berry sorting, gravity, oak fermentation, indigenous yeast and natural malolactic fermentation. Where oak is used, it is seasoned oak barrels and vats subtly offering support to the fruit. Our wines express the qualities of the Swan Valley that Rob’s family has admired of the region for over 100 years.
Why should we pay attention to Swan Valley?
Our wines are grown in a region that was founded in 1829, which is the second oldest wine region in the country (behind the Hunter Valley). The region has great depth of character, diversity and tradition. The wines of the Swan Valley have always articulated the place from which they came, are great with food and age beautifully.
The real heroes of the Swan Valley are Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Mediterranean red varietals and blends and rare old vine fortifieds . Our love for Chenin Blanc was passed down through the generations but was started by Jack Mann who created a Chenin Blanc based table wine (Houghton White Burgundy) in 1937. The inspiration behind our Tempranillo, Malbec, Cabernet blend were the delicious medium bodied reds Rob’s family made and drank from the Swan Valley over generations.
A must-see destination for any locals or travellers hitting the west coast. The Swan Valley offers so much to explore, just 30 minutes from down-town Perth. As Mike Bennie stated “there is an emerging undercurrent of exciting innovation” from both the revered families of the valley and younger generations either returning to the Valley or starting fresh.
What wines inspire you?
- Keller Trocken Riesling
- Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon
- Abreu Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
They all taste amazing, reflect a true sense of place and inspire us to push our boundaries everyday. The Togni family has bucked the trends and David Abreu has set the bar really high in terms of attention to detail in the vineyard with organic farming at the core.
What other things do you like drinking?
- Melbourne Gin Company gin with sin-ko-nah tonic syrup and soda (with a twist of Grapefruit) is the perfect aperitif before dinner after a long day in the vineyards.
- Over lunch or dinner we love Australian wines with vibrancy, fruit purity and depth.
- Margaret River Chardonnay – Nocturne and Suckfizzle
- Tasmanian Pinot Noir – Pooley Cooinda Vale, Mewstone, Dawson and James
- McLaren Vale Grenache – S.C. Pannell and Yangarra
If you have spare time what do you do with it?
We have two boys, Arlo (8yrs) and Isaac (6yrs) so much time is spent at the beach surfing, playing cricket or soccer, mountain bike riding or playing lego on a Saturday morning with a strong coffee in hand.
What’s the last three things you read and/or watched?
We’re watching “Westworld” and finishing off the last season of “House of Cards”. Gen is reading all the Harry Potter novels for the first time to the boys while Rob is engrossed in the fantasy sci-fi series “Mortal Engines”.
Art or science, or both, and why?
“Winemaking is an entirely natural process and no person has the right to assume the title winemaker. Nature is the winemaker and man—if he is skilled—gives nature the opportunity to perform to its best advantage. That is the art of winemaking.” – Jack Mann
Death row meal?
1996 Dom Ruinart (Genevieve) with an abundance of fresh sashimi and oysters followed by 2001 Chateau d’ Yquem (Rob) and a large cut of Roquefort Papillon.