When James Audas became part of the sommelier team at Noma (one of the top restaurants in the world) it caused a bit of a stir back home in Australia, particularly as he was then only 24 years old. In fact he had already earned his stripes working for Tetsuya Wakuda both in Sydney and Singapore, before taking a position at Ezard by Black. Upon returning home from Denmark he launched an imports company with fellow sommelier Tom Sheer named Lo-Fi Wines, that tapped into a small but growing market for low-intervention wines. In the years since they have grown the business to include both Australian and imported wines, as well as their own range called Das Juice. James and his family now live in Gippsland where they are behind their own project called A.R.C. Wines.
Though not born in Australia, Dave Bicknells family most certainly embraced their Australian life when they brought him here as a child. He is a self-professed lover of a good time, so after initially starting a career as an EMT it’s perhaps unsurprising that he ended up working in the wine industry. Formative years as a winemaker working with Steve Webber at De Bortoli clearly had a lasting impact, as he has been Yarra Valley based since then, for most of it as the Chief Winemaker at Oakridge based in Coldstream.
For the past 30 years the Pizzini family have been at the forefront of Italian grape variety based wines, not only in the King Valley where they are based, but for the whole country. Working with respected viticulturist Mark Walpole and Tuscan consultant Alberto Antonini, they established a stronghold and pedigree for varieties like sangiovese and nebbiolo. Much of the success of Pizzini Wines is owed to Fred Pizzini, who not only converted the family property to viticulture, but also saw the potential of embracing his Italian heritage by planting then unknown and untested varieties. They are today considered not only one of the largest but also most experienced producers of wines made from Italian varieties, now made by Fred’s son Joel.
After being politely asked to leave his university degree in Adelaide, Nick Ryan found himself living in Sydney in need of a vocation. He spent many years in wine retail where he cultivated a passion for communication. Since then he has become one of Australia’s foremost freelance wine writers, bringing an acerbic wit and a personal flair to his craft.
Mark Walpole has been one of the most influential people in the alternative variety scene in Australia, particularly Italian varieties, mostly stemming from his time working for the Brown Family, the Pizzini family, and then the Greenstone project in Heathcote. He has consulted to many growers and producers over the years, and been heavily involved with the importation of new varieties and better clones as well. His focus now is on his own vineyard and winery in Beechworth, Fighting Gully Road.
Nick James-Martin had a long and varied career in wine before ending up in the Margaret River in 2017, freshly relocated with his family from Adelaide. Due to unforeseen circumstances Nick found himself with an opportunity to launch his own project, which he did under the Wines of Merritt banner. In only a few vintages he and his wife Sarah have gained a cult following and much acclaim for their wines that break the mould of one of Australia’s most prestigious (but also conservative) wine regions. He joins me on this episode to talk about his journey and influences that led to making wine his way.
Recently I was co-host for The Wine Show on Inner FM 96.5 with Phil Smith from The Wine Depository for the second time, sitting in at home via Zoom along with most of the guests. Kelly Pearson, winemaker at Mt Moriac on the Surf Coast, and founder of Ladygarden Wines was our first guest. Daniel Airoldi from Airoldi Fine Wines reported on this years Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. Michael Zaccaria of Quelvino Imports talked about his new initiative to promote small producers and merchants through Wines To You. Nick James-Martin from Wines of Merritt talked about his relocating to the Margaret River and turning chaos into opportunity.
For the 150th release of The Vincast I thought it might be interesting for the listeners to find out more about the host of the podcast, James Scarcebrook aka The Intrepid Wino from Vino Intrepido. Recently I caught up with Marc Malouf from Wine Worth Writing About via Zoom, as he was keen to interview me. With his permission this is the audio from that interview, touching on my own background, influences and my recent exploits in winemaking. I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions yourself!
After a very long hiatus, I’m thrilled to finally be able to release this interview with Jane Lopes recorded last year, who at the time was the sommelier at Attica restaurant in Melbourne. In the time since we recorded this chat, Jane’s book Vignette has been released to much acclaim, but she has returned to the United States of America with her husband Jon. It was fantastic to listen back to our conversation about her journey, particularly having read her book and knowing more about her.
Based in the Hilltops region of New South Wales, Freeman Vineyards has been on my radar for some time, mostly because they are working with Italian varieties that you don’t see very much planted in Australia. When they reached out with the offer of some samples I was thrilled, and I really appreciated the opportunity. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
The Vincast - a Wine Podcast with The Intrepid Wino
Wine - Wine People - Wine Culture
A podcast about wine, wine culture and wine people. Every week a different guest from the wine industry joins host The Intrepid Wino (aka James Scarcebrook) for a casual chat about the world of wine.
All content on this podcast remains the sole property of the author unless otherwise acknowledged and appropriately credited. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of content without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Content may be used for reproduction provided that full and clear credit is given to James Scarcebrook and/or The Intrepid Wino with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
All content on this website, including text, images, audio and video, remains the sole property of the author unless otherwise acknowledged and appropriately credited. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of content without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Content may be used for reproduction provided that full and clear credit is given to James Scarcebrook and/or The Intrepid Wino with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.