Some post Rootstock thoughts on naturalness in wine

[This post was written immediately after the authentic/natural wine festival Rootstock that I attended a month ago. I've held off publishing it until now.]

The subject of natural wine is still controversial. Rootstock, which is pretty much a natural wine fair, has many friends, but also its critics, and I feel caught in the middle, slightly. [...]

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 [...]

Video: Rootstock Sydney 2015

So here’s a short film from last week’s Rootstock, a natural/artisan wine fair held in Sydney, Australia. It was quite an event, and in this video I just tried to capture a bit of its flavour. The venue, Carriageworks – in the sketchy but now gentrified suburb of Redfern – was just perfect. The clip [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The remarkable Cortez 2014 from Testalonga

I’ve admired Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga wines for a while now. They are just so brave. And delicious. [See here, here and here for reviews.] This is his Chenin that’s made without skin contact. It’s fully beautiful, and has no additions at any point: it’s a truly natural wine. Just 10.5% alcohol, too!

Testalonga ‘Cortez’ [...]

Some nice wines at The Remedy - Don Chisciotte Fiano, Salvaje Blanco, Vin Nu, Oliveras Verdelho 12

Popped into The Remedy a few days ago for a drink with Mr Primack. We had some interesting things, as you’d expect. Here are my notes.

Barranco Oscuro Salvaje Blanco 2014 Spain
This comes from Europes highest vineyards. Barranco Oscuro have 12 hectares in the Sierra de Contraviesa near Granada in the south of Spain. This wine [...]