Negociants Lunch with Armagh, Contours, Nautilus Pinot and others

I’ve kind of got out of the habit of lunching well. You know: old school wine trade lunches where you leave your desk before noon and write off the rest of the day. So it was nice to have a chance to lunch properly, and in good company, at 8 Hoxton Square with Negociants. Their [...]

In Gippsland with Bill Downie and Patrick Sullivan

Bill Downie

The flight from Adelaide to Melbourne is a short one, and before I knew it I was at the arrivals hall, being greeted by Bill Downie. We headed off to the city for a spot of lunch and to meet with Adi Badenhorst, who was to be joining me for the rest of [...]

Revisiting the Barossa

Australia’s Barossa Valley. This was the first wine region I visited, back in 1996. I revisited as a professional in 2004 and 2005 to see some of the new young(-ish) producers who were making waves here. And now, a decade on, I was back to spend a day seeing the new new Barossa.

I began at [...]

Dinner at Taras and Amber's with the Basket Range crew

After our tour of the Basket Range it was off to dinner at Taras and Amber’s place, which is secluded and fringed with green. This is not what you’d expect from, Australia in late November. We arrive to find quite a crowd gathered, all relaxed, happy and engaged with each other. This is pretty much [...]

The Manon Wild Nature wines, made from abandoned vineyards

At my dinner with the Adelaide Hills Basket Range guys, it was great to meet Monique Millton (daughter of Gisborne, NZ’s James and Annie Millton) and Tim Webber. They are making wine together under the Manon label. One thing they are doing that is, as far as I know, pretty unique, is to make wines [...]

The Klopper Basket Range Tour

Visit finished, Ben and I hopped into Anton’s Land Rover Defender. All aboard for a tour of the Basket Range.

The Basket Range is a beautiful corner of the Adelaide Hills, and it is the epicentre for the new wave of interesting, naturally made Australian wine. There’s a fabulous critical mass of winegrowers who are working [...]

In the Adelaide Hills (1) Ngeringa and Anton van Klopper

The Monday morning after Rootstock. I threw all my belongings into a bag, and headed off to Sydney airport on the train. At the gate I bumped into a tired band of Rootstock survivors: Anton van Klopper, Tom Shobbrook, Monique and Annie Millton, and Tim Webber. They are cheerful but deeply weary. Most have had [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights, 3

More Rootstock highlights.

Christian Tschida’s wines, from Burgenland, in Austria, are full of nervous detail and intensity.

Shashi and Devendra Singh have a 4 hectare dry grown Syrah vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula and their Avani Syrah is very fresh and elegant. The 2014 is delightful, and just 11.6% alcohol.

Herzog are not your typical Marlborough (NZ) producer. I [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (2)

Yes, there were a lot of highlights at Rootstock. It feels entirely unfair to pick out individual wines or producers. After all I didn’t taste everything, despite my best intentions. And I’d have to write dozens of blog posts to give all the interesting wines justice. Despite these reservations, I will share some more of [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (1)

So Rootstock is half way through. Yesterday was a great day. The energy and enthusiasm for wine shown by all the people who flocked to the Carriageworks was quite electric. And it was fun, too. I can’t understand people who moan about how doomed the wine industry is, and how it needs to produce fruit [...]