Getting better with time

Getting better with time

Meerea Park winemaker Rhys Eather is a man who likes to make you wait. It’s not discourteous, he just wants to give his flagship Alexander Munro wines bottle age, besides not producing them in years when they don’t pass tough quality tests. That philosophy shows in four wines which have just arrived on my tasting bench. We have two first-release Munro wines from the 2011 vintage, which Rhys rates almost as highly as 2014.

April 2016 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now

The April 2016 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month we take a look at the upcoming Irrigation Australia Conference, with a massive feature dedicated to the event including a breakdown of key note speakers and workshops. We also assess the impacts of copper on fermentation and bring you the latest research on the right time to use copper in winemaking.

Vasse Felix replaces Heytesbury with new icon

Margaret River estate, Vasse Felix, has announced it is to replace its top red wine ‘Heytesbury’ with a new ‘icon’ using vines planted by its founder. The ‘Tom Cullity’ – named after the winery’s founder Dr Tom Cullity – is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend, with the fruit coming from the estate’s “home” vineyard which includes the first vines planted by Cullity in 1967.

Rick Burge releases ‘hipster’ wine

Poking fun at hipster culture, Australian wine producer Burge Family Winemakers has launched a red blend called “The Hipster” in a bid to stay on-trend. As reported by Winsor Dobbin in his blog Gourmet on the Road, the wine is the brainchild of Barossa Valley-based winemaker Rick Burge. Shunning the usual hipster cues of a cloudy appearance, minimalist label and a crazy mash-up of grapes, “The Hipster 2013” is a blend of 42% Garnacha, 31% Monastrell and 27% Tempranillo.

Wine industry toasts production, consumption rise

The global wine trade turns in a healthy performance as wine lovers increase consumption. The global wine trade improved last year, with the US and China driving consumption, and New Zealand the star performer on the production side, according to a just-released report. The report, from Dutch-based Rabobank, showed that while the generic end of the market was struggling with oversupply and lower demand, the upper levels of the trade were booming, following on from a light vintage in 2015.

Vintage optimism, but issues seen

The New Zealand wine sector looks set for a bountiful 2016 vintage and growing exports to the US, but the country’s reliance on Sauvignon Blanc production and lack of investment in other grape varieties must be addressed. While the 2016 harvest is expected to better last year’s, analysts are picking the larger export companies will benefit more than smaller businesses struggling with cost pressures and distribution issues.

Rabobank tips export growth for kiwi wines

Rising global demand for New Zealand wine points to further export growth for the industry this year, rural lending specialist Rabobank said. The bank, in its latest quarterly report on the wine sector, said demand growth for New Zealand wine was expected to continue with the country’s cool-climate wine styles and premium positioning remaining in favour in most major export markets.

Mitchell Harris wine: a partnership written in the stars

The Mitchell Harris partnership was written in the stars, but the crucible was Ballarat, where four people of roughly similar age grew up to follow pursuits other than wine. Craig Mitchell became an anaesthetist, and his wife Alicia a physiotherapist, just like Craig’s sister Shannyn, who was to marry John Harris. John began to study immunology and pathology, but decided to abandon that career and enrol in the oenology degree course at Charles Sturt University

South Coast wineries are trying to keep up with demand

Wineries in the Gerringong and Shoalhaven Heads area are already attracting plenty of interest from Sydneysiders wanting to attend the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival on the June long weekend. Wine producers are well advanced in plans to open their cellar doors from June 11 in a three-day extravaganza of wine tasting, local produce and entertainment.

Vinnovate uncorks fresh Vino Cap success

BAROSSA Valley brothers Joshua and Simon Schmidt’s screw cap closure which allows wine drinkers to dictate their own tastes when enjoying a tipple has been judged as the top start-up idea across the Australian and NZ wine industry. The Vinnovate co-founders last week won the Brancott Estate Win-explorer innovation challenge, taking home the $35,000 cash prize.

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