The Sam Hughes benefit and wine auction is definitely on – this Sunday October 13 at the new Vincent restaurant, Hughenden Hotel, 14 Queen St, Woollahra, starting at 3.30pm. The live auction (by Andrew Caillard MW) of Sam’s private cellar comprises 34 lots of just
Save the date: October 13. Sam Hughes was a creative soul, innovator, iconoclast and a lot of fun. As the kingpin of the group Natural Selection Theory, he espoused sustainable, minimum-intervention wines, both Australian and foreign, some of which he made himself. He shook up
One of the Sydney wine scene’s true originals, Sam Hughes, died by his own hand on December 16. Hughes, the public face of a group called Natural Selection Theory, died a few days before his 41st birthday. Hughes was an eccentric with a streak of brilliance, who
What should we make of an invitation to attend a Hot Pants wine tasting in Rozelle? The invitation depicted girls wearing skimpy shorts, 1970s style, and attendees were invited to do the same. However, in the interests of not frightening the horses, your correspondent chose to wear his customary long baggy modern shorts.
Tom Shobbrook is a young man who thinks outside the square. He’s into biodynamic viticulture and ‘natural’, or low-intervention, winemaking, but he’s also quality orientated. He’s no hippy winemaker, but he has a strong sense of nature and respect for the earth. After a year studying agricultural science he went to Italy, and spent five years with the esteemed Chianti producer Riecine. The Tuscan experience affected him deeply and gave him a different sense of a way of life involving various agricultural pursuits. Upon returning to his Barossa Valley home, he couldn’t find anyone in the valley he wanted to work with. He was interested in biodynamic viticulture and natural winemaking, and those ideas were eccentric to Barossans. So he spent a year working in Rob O’Callaghan’s biodynamic vegetable garden at Rockford, helping grow the produce for the Rockford Stonewallers’ lunches.
If you’ve been out and about in wine bars recently you might have noticed a large clear container of red wine perched on the counter. It has a steel tube coming out of the top with a tap and a lump of cherry-wood for a handle. Scrawled on the demijohn is its name: Voice Of The People. You’ll see it in Balmain’s Riverview Hotel, Danks Street Depot, Firefly, Delicado, Fratelli Paradiso, Glebe Point Diner, Fix St James, and several other establishments.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock out west of Oodnadatta, you would have picked up on the fact that natural and ethical winemaking are the buzz wine trends of the moment. Grow your grapes organically, biodynamically or at least with minimal inputs, and in an environmentally responsible manner. Then add little or nothing to the juice during winemaking (maybe some sulfur to protect it from gross oxidation), and take nothing away (no fining or filtration).