Flying into Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous urban area, is nowhere near as dramatic a journey as it is, say, flying into Blenheim in Marlborough, or, indeed, Queenstown in Central Otago… especially at midnight, on a Sunday. But, what this city lacks in terms of steep, textured mountain ranges, which seem to scrape the sky with … Continue reading From The Bottom Up :: Sustainable Winegrowing in New Zealand
“Everyone has heard of the Garden of Eden,” says John Nagorcka, winegrower and farmer from Hochkirch Wines in Victoria, “but, you haven’t heard of the Garden of Monsanto, or DuPont.” John comes from a farming family, but moved away from the land to study radiology at university in Melbourne. He worked in the field for … Continue reading ‘Nature’s Farmer’ – Hochkirch Wine, Victoria
It’s a bit cooler up here. Especially when the clouds pass overhead and obscure the sun that is shining down on the bare patch of brown earth below. Four men are working together on a gentle crest that marks the top of a 6 acre property which looks out over Pokolbin, in the Hunter Valley. … Continue reading ‘Starting From Scratch’ – Tinklers Wine’s New Biodynamic Vineyard
“Chemicals are expensive and not good for you, or the environment,” says Duncan Harris from Harris Organic Wines, in the Swan Valley, 30 minutes drive north-west of Perth, Western Australia, “so it’s safer to just leave them out.” Duncan Harris is a Swan Valley winegrower and was brought up on a mixed farm in Tasmania, … Continue reading ‘Organic Convictions’ – Harris Organic Wines, Swan Valley, W.A.
“The grape supplies everything that’s needed,” says Stan Ivanov, winegrower at Mill About Vineyard, in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. “It supplies its own yeast and enzymes to help with fermentation, the bacteria necessary for malolactic fermentation is also there, and so is all the acid and tannin. So, what else do I need?” Stan, and … Continue reading Something Good – Mill About Vineyards, Barossa Valley, S.A.
“One of the weaknesses of Australian wine is that many producers try to be all things to every body, and when you do that you tend to lose focus,” says Peter Fraser, Manager and Chief Winemaker at Yangarra Estate, in the McLaren Vale, South Australia. The first vines to be planted at Yangarra were back … Continue reading ‘From The Earth’ – Yangarra Estate, McLaren Vale, S.A.
On a north-east facing ridge, which slopes down towards the banks of the Hay River near Mount Barker, in Western Australia’s Great Southern wine region, there lies a biodynamically managed vineyard, flanked by Blue Gums and olive trees, set against a big sky, and comprised of shiraz, merlot, cabernet, semillon and sauvignon blanc wine grape varieties. … Continue reading ‘Giving Nature a Freehand’ – Freehand Wines, WA
“Whatever you may feel about the principals and practices of biodynamics, there are good grounds for suggesting that this is one of the most positive developments for fine wine over the past couple of decades.” – Authentic Wine, Jamie Goode, Sam Harrop MW. Preparations 500, and 501 are, no doubt, two of the most important tools … Continue reading Biodynamics 101 – The Other Preparations – 502-508
“There’s a romantic narrative in winemaking that should be told more often than what it is,” says Jarad Curwood of Chapter Wine in Victoria, “and that story should be told through the vineyard, not through the skills of the winemaker.” Jarad is a painter who gravitated toward wine’s black hole, while studying a fine arts … Continue reading Liquid Literature – Chapter Wine, Victoria
“Mum used to say ‘quality, not quantity’”, says Vanya Cullen, managing director, and chief winegrower at Cullen Wines, in the Margaret River sub-region of Wilyabrup, Western Australia. Promised to pioneers as the land of milk and honey, Margaret River was anything but that in the early years right after the Second World War, as ancient, … Continue reading ‘Quality Not Quantity’ – Cullen Wines, Margaret River, WA