Arguably the most important trophy at the Boutique Wine Awards is not for the best wine of the show, but for the ‘best estate grown and produced’ wine. This is an acknowledgement that it takes special effort and commitment to do it all yourself –
Had enough of chancing wine by-the-glass in restaurants? Tired of finding stale wine in your glass, poured from a bottle opened three days ago? Or maybe you don’t even get that far, because there’s nothing on the by-the-glass wine list you want to drink?
Join the club. If there are just two of you dining, and you want to drink moderately, by-the- glass is a good option – in theory.
Tom Carson is a cool-climate winemaker whose great love is pinot noir. Chardonnay runs a close second. He’s taken Mornington Peninsula vineyard Yabby Lake to a new level with both these Burgundy grape varieties. Earlier, he put Yarra Valley winery Yering Station on the map, with outstanding wines from several grape varieties. As part of the Yering gig, he made the Yarrabank sparkling wines. He worked vintages in Champagne and Burgundy to learn more about those styles. At first glance, you might think having to make a Heathcote shiraz – one of his tasks with the Yabby Lake group – might be something of a chore. (Both Yabby Lake and Heathcote Estate are owned by Melbourne business couple Robert and Mem Kirby, of Village Roadshow.) Heathcote can be damned hot, and searingly dry, and has produced some very big and sometimes inelegant wines over the years.
Tim Kirk, chief winemaker at his family’s Clonakilla winery at Murrumbateman, is well-known as a religious man, but now it seems he is working his own miracles.
It’s been difficult to avoid drinking riesling this summer – not that you’d want to avoid it! This week (6-7 February) sees the Frankland Estate International Riesling Tasting returning to Sydney, and there are several other riesling events: Summer of Riesling, Wrapped In Riesling and the Great Southern Riesling Tasting.
I’m a born sceptic. The Australian Sceptics magazine is a very entertaining read and I’m the last person to take anything at face value, especially the supposed benefits of biodynamic viticulture, magnetic wine pourers, vortexes, pyramids and stags’ bladders. But I like to think I have an open mind on all these things – I don’t discount the possibility that even UFOs exist. But please show me one.
Noosa Heads is a slightly unreal place. A place where the beautiful people go to frolic with other beautiful people and forget their worries. It’s the logical place for a wine and food festival, and Noosa’s attracts an amazing cast of celebs and wannabe celebs. Matt Preston’s face was everywhere, the celeb of the moment. The occasional un-beautiful person slips in by accident, such as your correspondent.