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Meet the winemaker: Andy & Trine Gay, Burnbrae Wines

Tony and Jill Bryant took over the oldest winery in Mudgee back in 2004 before passing the legacy down to their daughter Trine, and son-in-law Andy.

With a background in agriculture and business management Andy is very hands on with Burnbrae and effective ‘Top Dog’ of the business while Trine not only ensures that the quality of their wine is top notch, but also brings big events together at the picturesque winery to celebrate Burnbrae’s cracking wines.

The duo talk of the philosophy, passed down by Trine’s parents, to always maintain the integrity of each wine while nurturing every vintage to bring out its finest characteristics, and wow, have they smashed it.

Burnbrae’s wines are simply delicious and their brilliant selection ranging from a fruity citrusy Pinot Gris right down to a spicy Shiraz are a standout for the region.

Here, The Wine Pig has been lucky enough to speak to Trine to find out more about the duo’s passion for the wine world.

Why did you decide to become a winemaker?

We didn’t, we have just fallen in love with Burnbrae Wines and have built our knowledge through my dad’s passion and my older brother is the expert of wine in our family. Andy is the knowledge behind the vines, with dad, and finance side, and I am the one that has the passion for marketing and events.  Our family make a great team with everyone being an expert in their own areas. We are very lucky to have a fabulous winemaker, Chris Derez from Orange, that works with us and utilizes my brother’s feedback to turn our fruit into delicious wine.

What attracted you to the Mudgee wine region in particular?

My family has always been in the Mudgee region and when dad purchased Burnbrae Wines in 2004 both Andy and I had a great interest in the business. Andy and I were based in Sydney for many years however we didn’t really want to start a family in the middle of the city so we decided to head west over the mountains in 2011.

I worked with Dad in the business whilst having my own contracting business. Succession planning started to take place and Andy and I saw a little dream in Burnbrae, as Dad did, and we took on the adventure in 2015.

Can you describe your winemaking style, and how it differs to your peers in the region?

I don’t really know how we are unique however our winemaker tries to display the best characters of the fruit. Our winemaker is very good at guiding us through the stages of winemaking and displaying the potential of the aged vines that we have.

Which of your wines are you most proud of and why?

Good questions, we are very proud of most of our wines that are coming to the table. But if you were to ask the question then I would say our sparkling as I am a person who loves the bubbles, and I must mention the Chardonnay. 

Chardonnay is one of my favorites because I love the fact that when you pick up a chardonnay you are just not quite sure what style it may give you. Ours is lightly oaked with French oak which gives it delicious melon and white peach aromas.

For Andy, I would say he loves the Shiraz. This is the wine that it receiving a lot of attention at the moment and winning us loads of accolades such as The Best Mudgee Red in 2015, a silver in the NSW Wine Awards, also a great review from Houn Hooke.

What most surprises people about you or the wines you produce?

That every wine on our tasting bench is delicious, cheeky… maybe, but we do get comments like this rather frequently. We may have to put this out to the public as I am not really sure.

What are you drinking now, and what are you cellaring?

As its rather chilly here in Mudgee I’m loving GSMs or a brilliant Tassie Pinot Noir.

I do admit to not being able to cellar… if I have wine in my house I tend to enjoy it straight away.

If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what would that be?

If I only had to drink one wine for the rest of my life then… I’m out. That’s the great thing about this industry that amazing wines just keep popping up. 

However if I had to choose it would be the amazing champagne Perrier Jouet.

What is the most exciting thing coming up for both you and the business over the next 12 months?

Growth of our business is very exciting for us. Its extremely hard work but we love seeing the improvements and achievements we have accomplished over the past year. The other great thing we look forward too every year is our blacktie@burbrae party, which is a tradition that my Dad started and has carried out every year.  It’s a party which is all about food, wine and loads of fun!

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