Happy New Year, Wine Idealists! Welcome to 2016…
It’s been a while between stories (but definitely not between drinks!) on thewineidealist.com… I’ve had almost a month off to unwind and assess the evolution of The Wine Idealist over the last three years. Both it and I have come a long way since I wrote a few enthused lines about my intentions as a budding wine idealist…
“this site will soon become the most comprehensive, interesting and entertaining site on all the internets regarding the emerging paradigm shift for natural, organic, and biodynamic wines throughout Australia and New Zealand.”
Since that first post, back in November 2012, The Wine Idealist has published over 150 articles and stories about natural, organic, and biodynamic wine from Australia and New Zealand. These stories come from first-hand interviews with winegrowers, winemakers, and viticulturists, farmers, sommeliers, importers, fellow journalists and wine writers, and many other people living and working within the wine trade throughout the world. Through these conversations I reckon I’ve managed to write a fair bit about the ‘emerging paradigm shift for natural, organic, and biodynamic wines throughout Australia and New Zealand’, covering everything from the soil to the sales and all stops in between…
It takes a lot of time and effort to write these stories and publish them every Friday at 10:30am… not that I’m complaining! It’s also immensely rewarding to be so creative each week, and then see your work read by 1000s of people, and sometimes even republished in print or elsewhere online. The best thing is when the people you’re writing about really appreciate your words by thanking you with a text message or an email or a tweet. But it does take a long time – usually 2 full days to interview, transcribe, write and edit – and time is something that is going to be at a bit of a premium in 2016.
Sustainability has always been a big focus of what I do. My manifesto has always been to advocate for environmental sustainability in viticulture and winemaking by recognising and promoting those wine producers who grow and make natural, organic, and biodynamic wine in Australia and New Zealand. But there’s only so much you can do as wine blogger…
A few weeks after writing a story about the McLaren Vale SAW program I was inspired by the work of Dr Irina Santiago-Brown and her commitment to sustainability in the Australian wine industry. Dr Santiago-Brown’s PhD work helped develop the SAW program into one of the world’s best sustainability programs for winegrowers. As of 2015, the program accounts for 39.5% of the whole region’s area under vine, and that figure is steadily increasing each year. The program can be adopted and adapted to any other wine region in Australia, for free… (so far this hasn’t happened – thanks, in part, to the lack of support by the industries peak body, Wine Australia).
Inspired by the work of Dr Santiago-Brown and through conversations with Newcastle University Wine Studies Historian, Dr Julie McIntyre, I’ve decided to undertake post-graduate Honours, which will lead to a PhD. I will be studying sustainability and the concept of terroir and provenance with regards to viticulture and winemaking. Because I will be studying full time I simply won’t have the time to write a /NEW/ Edition of The Wine Idealist each and every week, as I’ve done for the last three years.
Instead, a /NEW/ Edition of The Wine Idealist will now be published (at least) once a month, on the last Friday of each month. I’ve got loads of interviews still left to transcribe and so many more stories to write! I’m looking forward to writing them for you and getting them out there in 2016!
In the meantime, I’ve decided to start formally writing down my tasting notes for some of the wines that I’m lucky to taste every now and then… You will be able to read them all here on the new TASTING NOTES website. They will be accompanied by a relevant story, previously published on thewineidealist.com (if there is one!). The site will be updated with /NEW/ wines for you to read about and taste each week…
So you can still get your weekly fix of #wineidealism!
To celebrate #wineidealism in 2016, and all the new adventures in wine we’re about to embark on, I have commissioned The Wine Idealist’s own TASTING NOTES notebook for you to write down your own wine tasting notes this year!
I’ve got x10 TASTING NOTES notebooks to give away to x10 people who repost the image below (as featured on @thewineidealist Instagram) AND tags the post with the hashtag – #wineidealism and @thewineidealist – on their own Instagram account… Winners will be chosen at random and must follow @thewineidealist. Read the Full Ts&Cs below…
If you miss out on winning one of x10 copies of The Wine Idealist TASTING NOTES notebook and you still want one, why don’t you consider supporting The Wine Idealist over at my Patreon page and pledge a few bucks to help keep my work going… I’ll send you out a copy of the TASTING NOTES notebook as a way of saying THANK YOU!
I’m looking forward to bringing you more of the best stories about sustainable winegrowing and natural winemaking from Australia and New Zealand in 2016… just not as often as I used to!
There’s a long, winding, and exciting road ahead! Thanks for reading!
D// – The Wine Idealist
Links and Further Reading
*Ts&Cs – Sadly, I can’t post these booklets over seas, unless you want to pick up the tab for the postage!? Let me know if so. Otherwise… TASTING NOTES Instagram Repost Competition available to those of you with an Australian postal address only! Repost must include the hashtag #wineidealism and tag @thewineidealist to make it easier for me to find you! Also, please allow 14 business days for the notebook to arrive. Winners will be announced on Monday 1st February 2016… Go Forth! x