Drinking Victoria: Dilworth and Allain

Published on 14 July 2020

Photo: Winemakers Chris Dilworth and Loique Allain

Your guide to what's in the glass from the people in the trade.

Chris Dilworth and Loïque Allain moved to Hepburn in 2017 to start a family wine business. They focus on the Macedon Ranges under their label Dilworth and Allain. Chris grew up in a hospitality family and went on to study viticulture and oenology, while Loïque is also an artist, predominantly working with linocuts, and the designs for the wine labels are her work. With a passion for wine, art and culture, the couple has lived and travelled in many wine regions in Australia and around Europe. Their philosophy is to make wines that have a sense of place and are able to tell a story – and to make wines that they’d like to drink themselves. In June, the label took top honours at the Young Guns of Wine awards, with the 2018 Cope Williams Vineyard Chardonnay and 2018 Doug’s Vineyard Pinot Noir singled out for special mention.

Here’s what Chris and Loïque have been drinking lately.

The last three delicious things we drank were to celebrate our awards from the Young Guns of Wine. We opened some delicious bottles to share with some friends: Domaine Dandelion 2018 Hautes Cote de Beaune, a beauty grown and made by our friend Christian Knott and his partner Morgane Seuillet; a Foillard 2010 3.14 out of magnum that was given to us by Agnes Foillard for Loïque's birthday, and a Castello dei Rampolla 2017 Chianti Classico. 

When someone hands one of us a wine list in a restaurant, we get excited and read it from cover to cover. With a suggestion from the staff or a premeditated idea to get the ball rolling.

The Victorian spirit we’re loving most right now is Maidenii La Tonique or any other vermouth from those guys. We rarely drink spirits, and though vermouth is more wine than a true spirit, we love it just the same.

There’s no better value on a wine list in this state than at The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld. Amazing place and makes for a great weekend away. Beautiful surroundings, good food and an epic wine list.

My favourite place to buy booze is Winespeake. We’re lucky to have a fantastic local in Daylesford. Formerly known as Wine and the Country, it has good vibes for sitting in, and an extensive selection that you can also take home with a bounty of cheese and ham.

I’d love to see us planting a vineyard of our own. It’s our long-term goal. Our business is only three years old and currently we’re exploring opportunities to make more wine. We purchase grapes from local growers who have great vineyards, but we would love to grow our own vines in the future. We’d like to do it the Macedon Ranges – we were drawn here by the people, the wines and the landscape. After many years of travelling and moving around, this place has started to feel like home.

The most important change to the way we drink in Victoria in recent years has been the progression of the wine industry. There are no boundaries in the way people can approach making wine. As consumers we have reaped the rewards and enjoy a broad spectrum of beverages in general.

For us, the most inspiring person in the Victorian drinks world is anyone farming vineyards with love and care. To name but a few we look to the established producers who are walking the line between traditional and modern. People such as John Nagorcka from Hochkirch and Tarrington winery, Alan and Nelly Cooper from Cobaw Ridge and Michael Dhillon from Bindi. There are so many more, though, and that’s why Victorian wine is so highly regarded. These people set a very high standard because they are living it to the fullest. Their farming is exceptional, and the wines really speak to us. 

For stockists and more information on Loïque and Chris’s wines, visit dilworthandallain.com.au or follow them on Instagram at @dilworthandallain.

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