jamie goode's wine blog: Sustainability and cheese

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sustainability and cheese

Had lunch today with Dr Cecil Camilleri of Yalumba, who was keen to talk about the pioneering work he has initiated on sustainability. It's important, because this will be increasingly important in the wine industry. Also present was Valerie Lewis of Negociants (Yalumba's UK arm), and we ate at Black and Blue, an upmarket steak joint in Borough Market. Borough Market is a buzzy sort of place, and I like it.

I got there a little early, so I nipped into Neal's Yard to buy some cheese. Rather predictably, I walked out with a small chunk of Montgomery's, supplemented with a small chunk of Keen's. Both are fantastic. Keen's is a bit creamier, and while it has that spicy bite I really enjoy in cheddar, it's a little tamer (with a grassy, buttery mildness), than Montgomery's, which is so spicy and expressive it's a bit of an acquired taste. I'm not going to let RTL anywhere near these. To pair with these you are best off with a white wine: I don't think a red would work. I'm drinking a Henry Pelle Menetou Salon Morogues 2005, which doesn't quite have the richness to make a great match, but which does the job adequately well.

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At 2:16 AM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

Sustainability is a hot topic around these parts as well, with plenty of nervous Kiwi winemakers worried about the 'air miles' issue. Our industry recently committed to a program to go to 100% sustainable viticulture by 2012.

It is great to see Yalumba taking a stand in South Australia.

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous D said...

Yes - I would go on the Yalumba web-site and read the several pages devoted to sustainability. It is a raft of good intentions and doubtless laudable but it is written in quasi-corporate gobbledegook of policy initiatives, activity based management, stakeholder groups, environmental citizenship - does this sound eerily familiar to our government's approach to any worthy initiative - just wrap it in techno-jargon and people will think you're doing something.

The thing is it must be easier for growers in smaller wine countries such as Oregon or New Zealand to work together to a common end than in Australia which makes wine on such an industrial scale. Where the vine is a monoculture bad practice often exists; where there is biodiversity then you tend to get environmental sustainability.

Anyway, what Yalumba are doing is praiseworthy, but like so many large companies they need to work on their communication skills. And it would be even nicer if people stopped writing reams of mission statements and got down to the nitty-gritty of practising what they preached.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Agree - don't care much for the corporate jargon, which makes me squirm. It's the action that counts, and I think yalumba are actually doing something. It will take me a while to work out what, but I'm determined to wade through the corporate speak and try to unpack it all...I think it's important for the trade.


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