Billy Button “The Torment” Riesling
From the outset, Billy Button Wines were Alpine Valleys only. End of. But then came the conundrum – Riesling is Jo’s absolute favourite variety and unfortunately there is almost no Riesling available in the Alpine Valleys. There she was, resigned to rule out Riesling in her line-up, when someone had to mention an amazing Riesling vineyard in the King Valley. This vineyard was incredible. She just couldn’t walk away from it. Hence “The Torment” was born. No other variety could have caused her to break the Alpine Valleys rule. Sourced from the Croucher Vineyard at Whitlands this Riesling is classic in style with pristine citrus fruit and a tight racy palate that will age for decades. Go on. Torment yourself like Jo did. It’s worth it.
Billy Button "The Demure" Pinot Blanc
As Jo got to know the vineyards and growers of the Alpine Valleys during vintage 2014, she kept her eyes and ears open for even more interesting varietals to add to her range. Hence Pinot Blanc entered the picture. The grape originates from the Alsace region of France and only one small parcel is grown in the Alpine Valleys at the Mulcahy vineyard at the foot of Mount Buffalo. Its a wine with an initally elusive aroma of poached pears, citrus and spice.The palate shows white stone ffruit and citrus flavours, combining texture with elegance and a touch of minerality. Something different to try next time you're looking for interesting white wine.
2015 Vintage is sold out
2016 to be released in September
Billy Button “The Happy” Gewürztraminer
Jo has always loved a good Gewürztraminer (hard to find in Australia) and she became obsessed with this aromatic variety after finding – and tremendously enjoying – a 1978 Seppelt Drumborg Traminer. It became her mission to have it replanted at Drumborg, but unfortunately she left before the dream was realised. The Billy Button Gewurz is sourced from 30-year-old vines in the Souter Vineyard in Happy Valley. (How can this wine be anything but splendid when its grapes hail from a town called Happy?). The vineyard is very small, with a very low yield, but just because she makes only 25 dozen doesn’t mean her options are limited. The wine is part tank-fermented with an aromatic yeast to capture the delightful florals, and part barrel-fermented on solids to create texture and complexity. It’s a flamboyant drop for those who love a bit of texture and floral frivolity in their lives.
2015 vintage is sold out
2016 to be released in September
Billy Button "The Little Rascal" Arneis
A white grape originating from the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Whilst there are a number of Arneis plantings in Australia, Jo believes the mountain influence of the topography of the Alpine Valleys has the potential to produce an outstanding example of this variety in Australia. Sourced from the Antonello Vineyard in Buffalo Creek, the same vineyard that supplies Jo with her Verduzzo. Combining punchy flavours with a zippy acid, take the time to get to know it's characters! After all the word Arneis translates to "little rascal" in the local dialect.
Billy Button “The Versatile” Vermentino
Vermentino originates from the Italian island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean. Jo’s first experience with this variety was when working at Feathertop in 2012. She was immediately impressed with the variety and its ability to combine generous vibrant fruit flavours with a fantastic texture. The Billy Button Vermentino is whole-bunch pressed and fermented naturally on full solids. Jo’s expression shows how happily Vermentino partners with so many styles of cuisines (she’s a floosy at heart!), and lends itself to being such a versatile variety. The fruit is sourced from the Ferraro Vineyard at Myrtleford.
Billy Button 'The Mysterious' Malvasia
Malvasia (Istriana) is widely planted on the Istrian peninsular of Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, but is believed to have originated in Greece. Jo managed to source Malvasia for the first time in 2015 and at the time knew very little about the variety so used a 'hands off' approach to ger winemaking and let the variety show itself. It has produced a wine that is fruit driven, yet with complex savoury notes, quite light on the palate but round and textural at the same time. Sourced from the Mulcahy Vineyard at Porepunkah
Billy Button 'The Fantastic' Fiano
Fiano is a variety that originates from the Campania region of Italy. Like all Italian varieties it loves the sun and produces vibrant melon, guava and tropical fruit flavours with a rich, intense palate. The high natural acidity gives the wine a crisp, refreshing finish. A pleasure to grow, a pleasure to make, a pleasure to drink, it really is a fantastic variety! Sourced from the Greenacres Vineyard at Merriang South
Billy Button “The Feisty” Friulano
Friulano originates from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of North-East Italy. (It also goes by the names of Sauvignon Vert and Sauvignonasse.) Jo’s interest in this white variety began in 2013 when she experienced it for the first time while working at Feathertop. She was intrigued by the intensity of flavour combined with a fantastic texture, and she knew there and then that she wanted to play with the variety even more. Sourced from the Dalbosco Vineyard at Porepunkah and the Bungamero vineyard at Whorouly South, Billy Button’s expression of this wine is textural and complex balanced by a vibrant fruit intensity. It’s a mouthful of a wine, and delicious to boot.
Billy Button “The Delinquent” Verduzzo
Jo obviously has a thing for the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of North-East Italy. Like Friulano, Verduzzo originates from the same Italian region. Jo knew very little about this variety before taking it on. What she did know was that it’s a challenging variety to make because of its high phenolic content in the skin. Problem is, the flavour also exists in the skin, so how do you get the flavour out without making an excessively phenolic wine? Jo said, bring it on. What she discovered is that Verduzzo is a red wine disguised as a white wine. It is a wine not for the faint hearted, it’s quite savoury with the phenolics giving the wine a firm structure that demands food, contrasted by an unexpected intensity of citrus and nashi pear fruit character. It’s a wine that will polarise. But who doesn’t love a great debate? The fruit is sourced from the Antonello Vineyard at Buffalo Creek.
Billy Button “The Classic” Chardonnay
So, chardonnay may not be not as weird and whacky as some of the other alternative varieties in the Billy Button line-up, but how can you go past its classic characteristics and universal appeal? It may have gone out of fashion for a minute, but it is truly one of the world’s great varieties, and as a winemaker it offers one of the most awesome opportunities to have fun in the winery. Jo couldn’t start a wine label without a Chardonnay, so here it is. The fruit is sourced from the Con Mara Vineyard at Whorouly and the Dalbosco Vineyard at Porepunkah – the chardonnay grapes grown in the Alpine Valleys have enormous potential. Watch this space.
2014 vintage sold out!
2015 be released in September
Billy Button 'The Renegade' Refosco
Refosco (dal Penduncolo Rosso) originates from Friuli in North East Italy. With just one row of this grape planted at the Dalbosco vineyard in Porepunkah, this is an extremely limited release. Perfumed aromas of pepper and berry fruits combine with a juicy crisp palate.
2015 vintage sold out
2016 to be released in April 2017
Billy Button 'The Clandestine' Schioppettino
Schioppettino (pronounced skee-op-eh-tee-no) also originates from the Friuli region of North East Italy. At the end of the 19th century the variety nearly became extinct and the story goes that it became so rare that it was no longer included on the allowable varieties for the region. Cuttings were propogated 'clandestinely' until there were sufficient vines to reclaim its place on the allowable varieties list. With aromas of pepper, dark berry fruit and savour spice, the wine is more reminiscent of a Rhone variety. Medium bodied on the palate with fine long tannins. A very exciting variety for the region. Sourced from the Greenacres vineyard at Merriang South
2015 vintage sold out!
2016 to be released in April 2017
Billy Button "The Affable" Barbera
Originating from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, Barbera (not to be confused with your cousin on the Gold Coast) is yet to find fame in Australia, but its infinite potential means that you’ll be seeing a lot more of Barbs over the coming years, as it suits our climate fantastically. A hallmark of Barbera is its high acid retention, which is just perfect for the warm, sunny Australian climate. Combine high acid with bright jubey fruit, and you have a vibrant fruit-driven style with the ability to cellar mid-term. Prego. The fruit is sourced from the Ferraro vineyard in Myrtleford.
Billy Button "The Alluring" Tempranillo
One of the main red varieties of Spain, tempranillo is often referred to as Spain’s “noble” grape. As such, Jo found it hard to refuse its alluring charm. Tempranillo has been growing on her more and more over the past few years. It’s a variety renowned for having low natural acid, meaning that it struggles in many of the warmer regions of Australia, however the cool nights and sunny days of the Alpine Valleys make it the ideal home for this noble variety. Sourced from the Greenacres Vineyard at Merriang South and the Bungamero Vineyard at Whorouly South, this wine captures the vibrancy and juiciness of Tempranillo combined with a serious tannin structure that means it’s here to stay. So make room in your cellar.
Billy Button "The Rustic" Sangiovese
Sangiovese is the Aussie Shiraz of the Italian world. It’s the most widely planted red variety in Italy, although its performance in Australia is rather patchy, primarily due to poor clonal selections. In the last 10-15 years, work has been done to import superior clonal material and this wine is the result of that attempt to elevate Sangiovese back up to its spot on the podium. A combination of the MAT6, MAT7 and Brunello clones from the Bungamero and Con Mara vineyards at Whorouly South, this wine combines vibrant cherry varietal flavours with savoury spice and maintains a rustic edge. Serve with pizza and be transported to Roma.
Billy Button Elusive Nebbiolo
Nebbiolo. The ultimate challenge when it comes to Italian varieties. And Jo loves a challenge! Originating from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, Nebbiolo (in the form of Barbaresco and Barolo) is the ultimate Italian wine and the best examples are absolutely glorious to drink. A very tannic variety that requires deft handling to produce a balanced wine.
The inaugural 2015 vintage to be released in 2017
Billy Button "The Beloved" Shiraz
Shiraz – always has been, always will be Jo’s favourite red variety. Particularly cool-climate Shiraz, so it’s a no-brainer that you’ll be finding this wine in the Billy Button line-up. Jo struck gold by landing a parcel of the best Shiraz fruit in the region. Sourced from the Con Mara Vineyard at Whorouly and the Dalbosco Vineyard at Porepunkah, this wine is a combination of seven separate parcels and nine different clones. A classic cool-climate style with pepper, spice and dark fruit on the nose with an intense, structured palate that hints at the long cellaring potential of this wine.
2014 vintage is sold out!
2015 to be released in September
Billy Button 'The Squid' Saperavi
Saperavi produces the famous red wines of Georgia, and literally translates to 'dye' on 'ink' in the local dialect. One of the few varieties with red coloured flesh, it is intensely coloured. An intriguing and very different variety it combines perfumed floral and berry notes with dried herbs with an intense, inky, juicy palate.
The 2015 vintage to be released in September 2016