Ed Merrison has a very unique perspective on wine, particularly Australian wine. Firstly as he is a freelance journalist with an open mind, a thirst for a unique angle, and a desire to tell a story rather than simply the facts. Secondly, he is an Englishman with very little family background in wine. He moved to Melbourne in 2002 with his Australian wife, and through being introduced via the local wine culture and also travelling to a number of wine regions, found Australian wine and the people who work with it to be authentic, vibrant and honest. On this episode of The Vincast he talks about his journey and his passions.
As a complex product, wine – particularly of an artisan nature – is not something that is easy to sell. The role of a wholesale wine merchant is both important and constantly evolving to keep up with a rapidly changing market. National Sales Manager for Cellar Hand Wines Sam Hooper returns to the show, and we discuss the origins, nature, role and complexities of distributing wine in today’s market.
Dan Sims is a great friend to many in the wine industry not only for his skills as a wine educator, communicator and hospitality professional, but also for his enthusiasm and humour. On this episode he joins me to talk about his beginnings in hospitality into working as a sommelier, then as a consultant, winemaker and finally for his unique and fun wine events. Being so well-connected there are a great deal of names dropped, see if you can count how many.
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.