Like so many in the industry, Brian Walsh got into the wine business almost by accident. As a teenager from the McLaren Vale, he was more interested in surfing that wine, but needing a job he took what was intended as a temporary position with Chateau Reynalla. He spent 20 years working in the McLaren Vale before accepting the position of chief winemaker at Yalumba in the Barossa in 1988. After an incredible 26 years he stepped away from full-time winemaking, and now sits on a number of industry boards, including the chair of Wine Australia.
I love fortified wines, but like pretty much every wine drinker in the world, I don’t drink them anywhere near as often as I should. Australia has a rich tradition of producing high quality fortified wines, and the Barossa region in South Australia is only second to the Rutherglen region as far as acclaim. Yalumba have been around more than long enough to build up a library of wine to blend an outstanding tawny, which they have in this Museum Reserve Antique Tawny. I was thrilled to share my impressions of this wine on the YouTube channel, and I’m very interested to hear what you think in the comments below!
Yalumba Museum Reserve Antique Tawny – RRP $25.00 (375ml)
As a teenager, Fiona Donald sent a letter to Len Evans after reading an article he wrote, asking him how one might enter the wine industry. He encouraged her to study to be a winemaker at the best place in the country at the time; Roseworthy College. Since graduating in 1990 Fiona has worked for some of Australia’s most important wine companies in many of Australia’s finest regions. Her work since 2009 as the chief winemaker of Seppeltsfield has brought her the most joy and the most acclaim, and has revitalised one of the country’s most historic wineries.
For the past fourteen years, Ashley Ratcliff has worked for arguably Australia’s most important family-owned wine business, Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. Over those years he worked in many different elements of the business, from viticulture to marketing, operations to running one of the wineries. More recently he has established a vineyard in the Riverland – considered one of the warm-hot irrigated regions known for large volume grape production – and has been planting more alternative varieties to show the potential for these grapes in the region, particularly for high quality fruit. He has now thrown himself 100% into Ricca Terra Farms, and even has other plans for the future.
I’m always happy to receive samples from wineries, particularly from wineries in the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards portfolio. I’m also always thrilled to be re-acquainted with a producer from my past, extra special when they are as historic as Eden valley-based Pewsey Vale. With such an incredible pedigree for riesling wines, I opened all three rieslings from Pewsey Vale on this edition of Let’s Taste, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
In this the final of three parts, I taste the Rogers & Rufus Rosé 2016 from the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards portfolio. This is a rosé made from Grenache from the Barossa region of South Australia. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
On part two of three, I taste another rosé wine from the Hill-Smith Family Vineyards portfolio, this time the La Maschera Rosé of Granaxia 2016. This is a blend of Grenache and a splash of Sangiovese, and came from the Barossa Valley. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
I was thrilled to sit down with Sierra Reed Milne for Episode 101 of my wine podcast, The Vincast! Originally from California, Sierra has had an incredible and diverse journey that has led her to making her own wines her in Australia. She gave me a bottle of one of her already sold out Reed Wines from the 2015 vintage, and I thought I would share my impressions here on the IntrepidWino YouTube channel, let me know what you think! Stay tuned for Episode 101 of The Vincast with Sierra!
The final in a series looking at wines from Yalumba thanks to a box of samples sent by Pippa Merrett from Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. The Scribbler is a classic Australian blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, and is a great wine for the price. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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