Plump Piglets Bank of Triple-Free-Range Food
Pairing premium pork and fine wine is a farm-to-fork win-win at the Stein family’s award-winning vineyard of almost 50 years, in the Mudgee district of central west New South Wales.
On more than 240 hectares with panoramic views at Eastwood, the remains of grape marc from winemaking are fed to the farm’s mix of free-range Berkshire pigs and breeder Angus cattle, which join Dorper sheep to graze on native grasses and clear weeds from 15 hectares under vines for the Robert Stein Winery.
During drought, the bespoke diet with a ration of highly palatable and nutrient-dense Dried Distillers Grains and Syrups (DDG-S) Wheat Pellets, enabled about 200 of the farm’s pigs and breeder and weaner cattle to be retained despite widespread destocking, Chief Winemaker Jacob Stein told The Cultivator.
“We did still need to mix in hay, because there was minimal grass at the time, but I think the supplementary feed was probably the difference between us being able to hold on to our cattle,” said Mr Stein, whose grandparents Bob and Lorna planted less than one hectare of shiraz grapes in 1976.
The vines – dating back to 1838 – remain the forefront of the Robert Stein Winery, while the cornerstone mixed farming operation features another 40 hectares currently under oats, wheat and lucerne.
But the pigs have been really hamming it up – stealing the spotlight from the Steins’ lauded rosé and white wines to take centre-stage atop tables in some of Australia’s most renowned restaurants, where chefs célèbre stake their reputations on selection of locally fresh premium produce.
“We have had great success feeding our free-range Berkshire swine the Manildra Stockfeed DDG-S Wheat Pellets,” said Mr Stein of the performance pasture supplement rationed to sows and their piglets, as well as boars, since the 2018 drought.
“Remarkably, we have not required any medications or antibiotics for the pigs, since feeding them DDG-S Wheat Pellets.”
An exceptional source of balanced nutrition, the energy-boosting pellets are formulated to balance starch, protein, and other carbohydrates enhancing growth.
Manildra Stockfeed Southern Division Manager Andrew Lloyd said the Berkshires “would have to be some of the happiest and healthiest pigs you can find – bred well and, of course, fed well with our nutritious DDG-S Wheat Pellet, while roaming freely around the vineyards feeding on forage, native grasses and grape marc”.
“And that means mouth-watering free-range pork products that are also importantly antibiotic-free and hormone free, to carry a full range of flavours from tender smoked hams and streaky bacon to full-bodied salamis and second-to-none prosciutto,” Mr Lloyd said.
Sold domestically and internationally to delis, restaurants and wholesalers, the smallgoods’ reputation for ultimate tenderness and bursting flavours in every bite, reflected the skilled hands of Mr Stein’s holistic approach to sustainable, free-range farming practices, Mr Lloyd added.
Mr Stein credited Montecatini Smallgoods Deli for the delectable pork products from his free-range Berkshires cooked and cured locally.
He said the boars’ one-kilogram daily sustenance ration of Manildra Stockfeed DDG-S Wheat Pellets was doubled for sows, to improve milk volume consistency and quality in protein and fat content, for weaner health and growth.
He recommended introducing 100 grams of DDG-S Wheat Pellets daily at three weeks of age with creep-feeding and troughs, for weaning at six-to eight weeks.
On-site tastings and door sales of the Steins’ winning wines and premium pork combinations are available at their Pipeclay Pumphouse Restaurant, followed by a stroll around the property’s vintage motorcycle display.
For details on the fill range of Manildra Stockfeed products, contact our specialist sales team on 02 4423 8300 or email@example.com