In a way, Ben Ranken’s wine career has come full circle. He grew up on a vineyard in Tumbarumba, a region in New South Wales famed for the quality of its chardonnay. Recently he and his wife purchased the Wilimee Vineyard in Macedon, another cool-climate region ideal for chardonnay. In the intervening years he gained considerable vintage experience in Australia and the northern hemisphere, and since 2007 has been making wine at Galli Estate, an incredible Sunbury-based producer that also has a vineyard in Heathcote. We chatted about his winemaking journey, his many influences, and also how important the Lorenzo Galli Scholarship is for educating the wine industry on the nuances of Italian grapes that they work extensively with.
I’m thrilled to be hosting the first ever edition of The Vincast Live in conjunction with the Ear Buds Podcast Network. Joining me as co-host will be wine enthusiast, activist and fellow podcaster (Quickie) Nevena Spirovska (who is also the person that invited to me to be a member of the network).
For the first edition of this new and exciting concept, we will be discussing the topic – “What are the ‘right’ grape varieties for Australian wine?” Not only is the Australian wine industry rapidly evolving with new grape varieties and alternative techniques, but so are the tastes of Australian wine consumers. With so many different options for planting in a multitude of different regions, what are the right choices to keep up with developments and trends when it comes to vitis vinifera?
Joining us will be winemakers and former guests of The Vincast; Dan Buckle from Chandon Australia and Circe Wines and guest on Episode 67 (and Episode 117) of The Vincast; and Ben Ranken from Galli Estate and Wilimee Wines, guest on this week’s episode of the podcast. There will be wines for tasting that will be relevant to the topic and hopefully fuel further discussion. I’m thrilled that we will be holding this event at Noisy Ritual in Brunswick East, owned and operated by another former guest – Alex Byrne from Episode 80 – where I also made my first Vino Intrepido wine.
Doors open at 6:30pm so you can grab a drink and introduce yourself, with the discussion beginning at 7:30pm. The show will of course be recorded for the podcast, but it will also be streamed live for those who can’t make it in person! Head to iWannaTicket to secure your spot, and feel free to invite some family and/or friends as there is a group discount for four or more!
I can’t wait to meet many of you in person and thank you for your support and listening to the show. Please let me know if you have any questions about the event!
Hill-Smith Family Vineyards is one of Australia’s largest family owned wine business, incorporating some legendary historic brands and many new ones as well. Oxford Landing is an entry-level brand that has a sustainable focus, and I was interested to look at these samples submitted by the company to see what they could do with wine for people on a budget. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Recently I was in Geelong and paid a visit to the amiable Andy and Lewis at Union Street Wine. While showing my now available Vino Intrepido wines, we chatted about the incredible work being down by Ricca Terra Farms in the Riverland region. The mentioned that they had bought some montepulciano fruit in the 2016 vintage, and offered me a bottle of the wine they made. Here are my impressions!
Monte by Bodega Montepulciano 2016 – $23.00 at Union Street Wine
I was super thrilled to recently sit down for my wine podcast The Vincast with Matt Holmes, winemaker for Bannockburn Vineyards.When I mentioned that I hadn’t tasted any wine from Bannockburn that he’d made, he very generously brought along a few bottles for me to taste. Here are my impressions!
Matt Holmes’ winemaking career has come full circle. His first short experience as a chief winemaker was at Bannockburn Vineyards, stepping into a role that was vacated just before vintage, but in effect was a caretaker position until the new winemaker was appointed. Following that he gained experience all over the world, before recently returning to Bannockburn to become the permanent chief winemaker. We spoke on this episode about his amazing journey, and what excited him about the new opportunities that Bannockburn and Melbourne offer.
If you haven’t listened to it already, on Episode 123 of The Vincast podcast I chatted with winemaker Mac Forbes, who has been working for over 10 years to change perceptions of sub-regional Yarra Valley. He generously gave me a bottle of his 2015 Coldstream Pinot Noir and I was thrilled to share my impressions of the wine here on Let’s Taste. I was particularly thrilled to share the experience with my six-month-old son Ollie!
Mac Forbes Coldstream Pinot Noir 2015 – RRP $50.00
Having worked in the Yarra Valley and spent plenty of time driving around it, I’m amazed at how geographically large and diverse it is. Mac Forbes has been one of the most important wine producers that has attempted to show how different each part of the region can be. He does this through the medium of grape variety, having released a number of sub-regional wines every vintage since 2004. I was thrilled to sit down with him and hear more about his journey and what led him to take such a serious risk in choosing this approach.
John Harris – winemaker for Mitchell Harris Wines – was my guest on Episode 122 of The Vincast wine podcast. We chatted about his journey and all the exciting things he and his in-laws have been doing with their wine brand and wine bar in Ballarat. He generously brought a long a few bottles of his wine, and I was glad to open and share my experiences here on the Intrepid Wino channel!
Growing up in Ballarat, John Harris graduated from Charles Sturt University with a degree in oenology in 1999, and soon took up a position at Domaine Chandon. Over the next seven years he gained much experience and by the end of his tenure was in charge of sparkling production for the Yarra Valley-based operation. In 2008, along with his wife’s extended family, he began the Mitchell Harris brand that would eventually be based in their mutual home town of Ballarat.
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