Basia Mille – They call it “the kissing wine”.
A country boy from the Italian Lakes sat in Clodia’s room at Rome over two thousand years ago. Catullus was bewitched by his beloved’s eyes, her sophistication, her sensuality. He began to write poetry in Latin. It was the first intensely personal, lyric poetry ever written. It has influenced poets ever since.
“Basia Mille” means “one thousand passionate kisses”. An early poem contains the line “Da mihi basia mille, dein centum, dein mille” . Its translation can be seen as line seven in this translation of the whole poem.
“Living, dear Clodia, is useless without loving The wisdom of censorious old men. Are worth a penny, every piece of advice. One day follows another, the sun comes back But when once we have died, we cannot! One night comes for us and it is one night for ever. Give me a thousand passionate kisses, and then a hundred, Then a second thousand, and then a hundred And when we have kissed many,many thousands of times, Let us forget to count. ‘Tis better not to know – Knowing will bring someone’s jealous eye upon us Were people to know how much kissing there has been.”
We think good wines and real olive oil can kiss your palate in just the same way. Wine is to a sumptuous meal what a delicious kiss is to love! But Geraldine and I do not want to hide this beautiful experience from you. We would like you to partake over and over again.
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THE “BASIA MILLE” VINEYARD AND OLIVE GROVE is on Waratah Ridge, South Gippsland, overlooking Wilson’s Promontory and Bass Strait. The vines were first planted in 1997 and the first vintage was produced in 2002. The Pinot Noir is classic : intense fruit flavours of cherry, plum and blackberry infuse its herbaceous peppery bouquet with just a whiff of cinnamon. A refreshing long palate and the smooth lingering finish of cool climate grapes makes this wine a delight with poultry, venison and lean beef.
Pinot Noir is an elegant, silky and spicy red. Naturally translucent and somewhat pale, the grape is thin of skin and a somewhat more precarious proposition to cultivate, despite the powerful support the luxuriant pinot vine gives. But, the perfect bunch of Pinot Noir is a joy to behold, a portent of what it will become once the wine-maker’s artistry has had its way with them. The wine balances a delicate sweetness with an equally delicate acidity, a simplicity with a sensual complexity, and its subtlety with a lingering finish.
Andre Domine ranks Pinot Noir “among the greatest wines in the world”, highlighting their “finesse and the particular appeal of their bouquet which can include aromas ranging from raspberries, violets, wild cherries, plums, blackberries, and numerous spices, to smoke, soil, oak and liquorice”. It is a grape that complements perfectly lean meats, young spring vegetables, fresh herbs and the earthy smoky aromas of mushrooms. Pinot Noir is one of only a few red wines that “can complement Asian inspired cuisine….Pinot Noir and ginger, in particular, can make an amazingly harmonious combination.”
The grape achieves its best in long ripening cooler climates found in the Yarra Valley, the Mornington Peninsula and on Gippsland’s coastal plain. Fascinating wine-makers continue to achieve wider recognition and praise for the grape, their wineries and their region.
In South Gippsland, along the Great Southern Wine Trail, you will find the world renowned Bass Phillip winery and many new local wineries. Basia Mille Vineyard and Olive Grove aims to become equally well known.