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Meat the farmer

Neil Prentice's cows graze freely in Moondarra.

Neil Prentice

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4

Neil Prentice farms wagyu cattle, the Japanese breed famed for their interlaced muscular fat. The only trouble with wagyu is that they need to be kept in feedlots for nearly two years to obtain the sort of fat the Japanese love. Prentice, however, sees feedlotting as unethical.

"It's unnatural for cattle to eat what they feed them in feedlots, and it's also environmentally unsustainable," says the farmer and winemaker, who raises his small herd at Moondarra in Victoria's Gippsland region.

Over the years, he has replanted much of his farm with indigenous trees and has eschewed chemical farming and grape growing for biodynamic methods.

The meat from his grass-fed wagyu cattle, although not as dominated by fat as prized by the Japanese, is still richly marbled and has a deep, earthy quality that makes it much sought-after by city restaurateurs. "Like my pinot noir," says Prentice, "my wagyu actually tastes of somewhere. The French call it terroir."

Visit the Moondarra website for more information and distributors.

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