Frequently Asked Questions
What is Organic?
Organic is not using any artificial fertilisers or chemical sprays.
What is biodynamic?
Biodynamic is an advanced organic method in which no artificial fertilizers or chemical sprays are used. The biodynamic grower learns to see the plant in its overall context, not just by itself in a piece of soil. The soil, surrounding plants, air, moisture, light , sun, warmth and influences from cosmic bodies all contribute to a healthy plant which will produce flavoursome, healthy food.
How long have you been organic?
We have always operated the vineyards organically. We have been certified for about 14 years. We have operated biodynamically for about 8 years.
Do you water your vineyard?
No! Both our vineyards are dry land that is non irrigated.
Do you ever buy fruit in?
No! We never buy fruit in, even if this means not having a vintage, which was the case in 2007 following a devastating frost related to the drought at that time.
Do you make your wine?
Yes! all our wine, including our Ports, Muscat and Sherries is made here at Pennyweight by us.
Who is the winemaker?
Stephen MG Morris and his father Stephen N Morris.
Do you do your own bottling?
Yes! We bottle all our wines over a period of about 3 months. Plus we continually bottle our fortifieds as they are required.
How many acres of vines do you have?
We have about 14 acres at Pennyweight and 10 acres at Sun Low Kee in Rutherglen.
Are both your vineyards Biodynamic?
Yes! Both Pennyweight Vineyard and Sun Low Key Vineyard are certified biodynamic.
Are you part of Morris’s of Rutherglen?
No! Stephen N. grew up there. Morris’ s was owned by his Father and Uncle. It was sold to Reckett and Coleman a multi national company in 1970.
How long has the Morris family been in the wine industry?
We celebrated our 150th Anniversary in 2009.
Did you plant this vineyard?
Yes we planted Pennyweight. We planted the first vines in 1983 following purchase of the land in 1982. We planted the first vines at Sun Low Kee Rutherglen in 2001. We opened for Cellar door sales in 1992.
Where does the name Pennyweight come from?
It is the name of Pennyweight Flat Goldfield a small gold field close by. Pennyweight is a measure for precious metals known as Troy Weight. 20 pwgts equals one ounce. 12 ounces equals 1 pound. Was the Lane named first? No the Lane was named after the Winery. The name Sun Low Kee comes from a Mr. Sun Low Kee who purchased the land in 1918 and grew a market garden.
Why do you use cork?
It is a natural product and we are a traditional winery. The interaction between wine and cork is vey important in the ageing process.
Do you use any preservative in your wines?
Yes. We use a small amount of sulphur in our wines in order that they do not oxidize. (destruction of more delicate characters of the wine esp. fruit flavours, when wine is exposed to air) The level we use is generally about half of that used in commercial wine.
What is your flagship/favourite?
We consider all our wines to be of high quality. Like your children you like them for different reasons!
What is the difference between Ruby, Tawny and Vintage?
Ruby is the young port so ruby in colour with an average age of 4 years. Tawny is the old port, tawny in colour average age 17 years. Ruby and Tawny are ready for drinking. Both are aged in the barrel. Vintage is made of a single year of the vintage shown. It is bottled young under cork for drinking at any time in the next 25 years.
What is Pennyweight Gold?
Gold is a sweet white fortified wine showing some brandy characters. It is made from a mixed variety of ripe white grapes. Drink chilled as an aperitif or as a dessert wine. Great as mixer with tonic, ice and slice of lime or lemon.
How long do these wines keep after opening?
The Gold, Ruby and Tawny will keep for 2-3 months after opening. When young the vintage must be drunk within a couple of weeks. If you cellar it for a number of years it must be drunk within a day after opening.
Do you have to keep the Gold in the fridge?
No! It may be served chilled or at room temperature.
What wines do well in the Beechworth Wine region?
All the varieties that we grow at Pennyweight. We have established our Rutherglen vineyard for our fortified varieties, plus Durif and Shiraz which we can use for table or fortified wines.
Do you export?
No! We do not.