jamie goode's wine blog: Meeting Dr Pirie

Monday, September 24, 2007

Meeting Dr Pirie

It has been an odd sort of day. Left home this morning in driving rain; returned this evening under blue skies.

I spent some time at a portfolio tasting for large agency Stratfords. Had a nice chat with Adam Eggins, chief winemaker at Taylors in the Clare Valley (known over here as Wakefield). Adam's a smart, tecchie sort of guy who makes some really nice wines.

Then I met with Dr Andrew Pirie (pictured), someone I'd wanted to speak to for a while. Many years ago, Pirie did a really interesting PhD on viticulture, and then founded Piper's Brook in Tasmania. After a break, he's now back in Tasmania working on his own venture, and also as chief executive of Tamar Ridge.

Pirie is currently working on a book about terroir. It sounds like it will be a really serious effort - if not the last word on what we know about the science of what makes grapes grow best, then something pretty close. I'm looking forward to it, but he doesn't think it will be finished for a couple of years yet.
For more on Pirie and his wines, see www.pirietasmania.com.au

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At 12:32 AM, Blogger Michael Pollard said...

I believe that Andrew Pirie obtained the first PhD in viticulture in Australia. And that the information from his thesis work led to his purchase of land for the Piper's Brook winery in Tasmania. Somewhere in a relative's house back in Australia I have a bunch of notes that he gave out as the basis of a wine appreciation course he ran in the 1970's in Sydney. At that time I think all of us in the class knew he was a serious wine geek, but I don't think too many would have predicted just how much influence he would have on wine in Australia and especially in Tassie. A book from him is long overdue.


At 5:03 AM, Blogger Salil said...

Quite look forward to the book.

Re. Andrew Pirie's wines, I had the opportunity to sample a few of the Pirie Estate wines while in Tasmania in January and was very impressed by the Riesling and Gewurztraminer there (and was quite blown away by most of the whites I sampled at Tamar Ridge). Certainly hope he can put Tasmania on the wine map - I've only had a brief experience with the wines there, but I think there's a lot of potential there.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Shon said...

I've also tried his 2005 Riesling -it is subtler and more nuanced than many Aussie samples. I would not be surprised to see prices for Pirie wines shoot up when they become more well-known.


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