“What’s your name?” “Yow mah.” “Sorry, I didn’t understand what you just said… can you repeat that?” “Yow mah! It’s your fucking name in Catalan!” When James Erskine was travelling through Spain, he met a winemaker called Jauma (‘yow mah’), who was making wine with grenache, or rather garnacha. Unlike the beastly boozers from his … Continue reading What’s Your Name? – Jauma, Adelaide Hills, S.A.
Two years ago I attended the first Real Wine Fair as a nervous wine novice. I went to taste some wine to, perhaps, include on the list of a West London wine bar I worked in. That experience changed my perception of Australian wine forever. Two years later, I’ve been given the opportunity to go to the Real Wine Fair again, … Continue reading Advance Australia and New Zealand Real Wine Fair – 2014
1978, and a young Morgon winemaker named Marcel Lapierre is experimenting in Beaujolais with no-sulphur winemaking, from grapes grown organically. In doing so, Lapierre along with a few local cohorts, had unwittingly caused the modern genesis of vin naturel… or natural wine. Of course this didn’t happen overnight, but soon enough, with the help of some Parisian sommeliers, … Continue reading Avril Lavigne et Le Vin Naturel – Is Natural Wine a Fad?
The Kalleske family arrived in South Australia in 1838, four years after the state was established by the creation of the Foundation Act of 1834. Fifteen years later, in 1853, the family set down their roots in the village of Greenock, in the Barossa Valley, and established a mixed farm consisting of sheep, pigs cattle, … Continue reading Innovative Pioneers – Kalleske Wines, Barossa Valley S.A.
Coming back bigger and better is a term usually reserved for rubbish sequels of big blockbuster films, and a bit of a cliché these days, but this is fact, not fiction, and Rootstock 2014 was bigger, and we were all excited to see just how much better it was going to be. Expanded over two … Continue reading The Rise of the Counter Culture – Rootstock 2014
– GO TO ROOTSTOCK! – Just about every Australian and New Zealand winegrower I’ve written about, here on The Wine Idealist, will be at this weekends festival. Taste their natural, organic and biodynamic wines and meet them all in person, along with an entire two days jam packed with international winegrowers, artisan food, beer and … Continue reading Go! to Rootstock, Sydney – 2014
Bloody good, if you ask me. In 2013 I had the distinct privilege of speaking to so many passionate winegrowers and makers throughout Australia (and New Zealand) all because I wanted to find out if more bottles like Castagna’s Genesis Syrah existed across this wide brown land. What I found was not only are there … Continue reading Happy 2014! – How Good is the Aussie Wine Scene?
May, 2012. Having quit my job at the BBC, and swapping it for a full time gig in a wine bar just down the road, I was asked by, my boss, to attend the first ever Real Wine Fair, in London. I was to attend, as a representative of the west London bar, Albertine, and report back, … Continue reading An Origin Story… Genesis – The Wine Idealist Is One Year Old
“The first batch of wine we made was just so that we had something to drink…”, says winegrower Wayne Ahrens, from his family home in the Barossa Valley, “It was a small barrel of cabernet which we made at home”. Wayne is a fifth generation grape farmer in Australia’s pre-eminent winegrowing region, the Barossa Valley, where … Continue reading ‘Get Out Of The Bloody Way!’ – Small Fry Wines, Barossa SA.
“There’s no sidetracks, there’s no compromise, we want to be the best biodynamic producer in this region, full stop”, says a determined Mike Brown, chief winemaker at Gemtree Vineyards, in the McLaren Vale, South Australia. The Gemtree Vineyards were established in 1980, when Paul and Jill Buttery purchased a vineyard on Tatachilla Road, in the heart … Continue reading Determination and Team Work – Gemtree Vineyards