Australian wine is at a crossroads?

Australian wine is at a crossroads?

I am a great believer and supporter of Australian wines and wine makers and have been for years, so despite the fact that I am an importer and supplier of anything hut Australian wines they will always have a special place at our table. I was fortunate enough to attend the RAS/WCA Wine Communicators Of Australia 2014 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine show on Friday at the Four Seasons here in Sydney. A special highlight to me was able to hear what some the wine worlds leading thinkers have to say about the current and future state of the Australian wine industry and I must admit I loved the openness and honesty that was expressed. Of special intérest to me was the insights that Ian Riggs the Chairman of Judges for the RAS.  Ian was very definitive in is belief...

What has Harry Potter got to do with the Austrian wine classification system?

What has Harry Potter got to do with the Austrian wine classification system?

I am not sure if you have had the time and well indeed interest to follow what has been happening in Austria of late? It would appear that JK Rowlings and the whole cast of Harry Potter have been engaged to help in the creation of some pretty interesting new wine apellation and region names. Austria being one of the worlds greatest wine democracies, it stands as one of the few wine making countries in Europe to challenge the existing codifcation of wine that were originally created back in the 1930′s. There are 2 key classification systems in place  and they appear to happily co-exist side by side without much issue and or concern maybe it is because no one really understands them outside of Austria. Firstly there is the Germanic, or the old way as leading...

Portugal the forgotten European Wine Producer

Portugal the forgotten European Wine Producer

We continue our series about Wines of the World. In this post we are going to focus on the wonderfully colorful country of Portugal, which for many of us remains a real mystery, as many of us have not simply had the opportunity to visit. When people speak of Portugal it is often referred to as the poor cousin of Spain, but we can tell you that it is anything but that. When it comes to wine did you know that Portugal is one of the oldest demarcated  & regulated wine regions in the world and most of this started well before the French and the rest of the world jumped on the AOC, IGT, DOCG, VDP and what ever other TLA (Three Letter Acronym) I can find was implemented. Portugal produces the most stunning array of diverse wines and these are quickly gaining...

Great surprises from the Hunter Valley

Great surprises from the Hunter Valley

I get the pleasure of sampling and tastings some really great wines. I know someone has to do the dirty work! Many of these I have never had the opportunity to try so I do not know what to expect so keeping an open mind is really important. It is all too easy to stereotype wines as we do with people but pleasantly and thankfully I am constantly surprised but what we taste. Now I have to declare my hand as I am a great lover of Gewurztraminer and have been for many years, so when I was given the opportunity to try a great Australian example of this wine I jumped at it I was given a few bottles of The Hunter Vineyards 2012 Reserve Press Gewurztraminer to sample & taste. The Hunter Vineyards winery is located in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales just a few...

Europe’s 2012 Vintage is in full swing

The 2012 Vintage is well under way in Europe and by all accounts despite a pretty damp and wet winter we are going to see some stunning examples of great European wines being made. I just received a number of great pictures of the harvest in full swing at one of our favourite wine makers and partners Weingut Ziereisen, where Hanspeter and his wife Edel (pictured below) have been in full swing with preparing their fruit from the harvest. What I love about Hanspeter and indeed many of our wine making partners is that the bulk if not all of their fruit is hand picked, which allows the wine maker to be ultra selective in the fruit that he finally crushes and converts into his wines. this attention to detail and care really does come through when you get to taste the...

Switzerland the Land of Vines & Wines

  Switzerland is usually associated with banks, watches, great skiing, resorts, cheeses, alpine walks, cows & chocolate. But for hundred of years local wine makers & farmers have been keeping their wines secret, often only sold locally within the village or occasionally making their way across the Italian, French and German borders …but not   that often I Iove the look I get when I  mention to people here in Australia that we import Swiss wines….” do the Swiss actually makes wines” they say, well yes they do & normally my stock standard answer is that there 4 good reasons why- they are called Italy, Germany, Austria & France, so why should the Swiss miss out becuase they are surrounded by these great wine growing...