Gembrook Hill was established back in 1983 in the most southern part of the Yarra Valley, and over the past 31 years has built a reputation for producing some of the finest cool-climate expressions in Australia, whilst maintaining an artisan cult status. The second of three children Andrew was the one to follow a career in the wine industry which has led to him working for wineries large and small all around the world. Although he is now very involved in Gembrook Hill with his parents he has more recently started his own winemaking project under The Wanderer moniker and also started producing a gin, which all tie together with his own philosophy influenced by his upbringing and experiences.
Burch Family Wines although new in name originates back in the mid 1980s, when Howard Park was first established in the Denmark area of Great Southern in Western Australia. In the last 30 years or so it has gone from strength to strength, expanding to the Margaret River and recently becoming a member of Australia’s First Families of Wine, an initiative designed to highlight the unique regions and families behind some of the countries best loved producers. Richard Burch is one of the ‘next gen’ of the group, and he joins me to talk about what this means to him as well as some of the exciting initiatives the group is engaging in to get the message out to the world.
Cellaring wine is often a time and money-consuming enterprise but at the same time can be indescribably pleasurable and personal. Unfortunately very few people cellar wines these days and subsequently very few wines are designed to be cellared. On this episode I talk with Luke Campbell from Vinified Wine Services about the benefits of cellaring, the ideal methods to keep wine, how to serve mature wines and also which ones are ideal for those special anniversaries.
Sommeliers Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that is designed to support, educate and provide a network for working sommeliers and other wine professionals around the country. They offer a scholarship that provides an opportunity to benchmark world-class wines and wine professionals and teach scholars how to assess wines in blind conditions. The dux of the scholarship Harry Hunter joins me on this episode to talk about his background and how he made the most of the program.
Several important wine critics have indicated that the Austrian white grape variety gruner veltliner presents amazing potential for cultivation in Australia. My sommelier friend James Dossan and I sit down to chat about the origin of the grape, the classic styles made in Austria, and then proceed to taste through a range of different wines from Austria, New Zealand and Australia.
The Jimmy Watson Trophy is one of the most coveted and prestigious prizes in Australian winemaking, and for the first time since the 1950s a Pinot Noir has recently taken it out. On this episode I welcome the trophy-winning winemaker from Yabby Lake Tom Carson, who over the past 20 years has established a place in the industry not only for his exceptional skills as a vigneron but also his innovative business insights. We cover his origins, his studies and his path in the industry that has led him to putting pinot noir back on the map.
This month I got the opportunity to pick the theme, and for obvious reasons I chose an Italian theme. Considering many of the members of the Bentleigh Tasting Group are very experienced sommeliers, some of which are studying either WEST or Court of Master Sommelier courses, I thought the most beneficial topic would be nebbiolo from Piedmont. Considering how revered wines from this variety and region are, and the complicated nature of the DOC and DOCG systems, it would be interesting to look at how vintage, producer and site variations effect the wines.