Victoria's Gippsland is known for its maritime and cool climate. There are only about 200 hectares of vineyards in the area, but the area has impressed many wine lovers by producing particularly expressive wines. In the eastern and western parts of Gippsland, Cabernet Sauvignon ripens nicely to produce rich red wines. The southern part of the region, on the other hand, is known for its fresh Chardonnay and pinot noir wines due to its proximity to the sea.
Named after pioneers George Bass and Arthur Phillip, who lived in the 19th century, Bass Phillip's estate, founded in 1979, is focused specifically on producing wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. No compromises are made in winemaking and production is guided by a strong respect for the surrounding nature. Since 1993, the nurseries have been managed with organic methods and since 2002 also biodynamically. Cosmic rhythms are also allowed to guide the winemaking procedures, so that the resulting wines are as energetic and lively as possible.
The vines in the orchards are pruned considerably to limit the yield, and the viticulture does not rely on irrigation systems. The limited yield is well illustrated by the fact that one vine produces barely half a bottle of wine. The hedgerows are also planted exceptionally densely compared to common Australian customs. The deep and mineral-rich soil, natural humidity and the cool breezes brought by the ocean are suitable for producing acidic wines with multidimensional aromas. With the principles of thoughtful and detailed viticulture and minimal intervention in cellar operations, Bass Phillip's wines have become ambassadors for the entire Gippsland region. The wines are made with the help of a natural yeast strain, they are not clarified, and the use of pumps and filters as well as the decanting of the wines are also kept to a minimum.
Since April 2020, Bass Phillip's winemaker has been Jean-Marie Fourrier, who runs his family farm in Burgundy, and who, together with Arthur Phillip, a former IT expert who is obsessed with Burgundy, shares a passion for complex and textural wines. Today, the gentlemen's vineyards cover 12 hectares.
The farm's annual production is around 42,000 bottles.