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.
I was thrilled to have been contacted by the team at The Local Drop recently, who are fans of my podcast The Vincast, and invited me to curate my own wine packs based on things I was excited about. I’m very proud to share my first collection, which probably wouldn’t surprise some of you is all around Australian wines made from Italian varieties. I continue to be blown away by the quality of these wines and their applicability not only to the Australian climate but also the culture around food and wine here. I hope you enjoy my tasting video, please head to The Local Drop website to find out more and to purchase, please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.
I was joined by a very special guest on this edition of Let’s Taste, Piero Fonseca, who as an Italian sommelier and wine wholesaler is an expert in Italian varieties. We looked at a bottle from my cellar, the 2010 Giaconda Nebbiolo. Giaconda is one of Australia’s most cult producers, it’s Beechworth vineyard producing one of the finest chardonnays in the country. I was fascinated to see what their interpretation of the noble nebbiolo grape would be.
Simon Killeen comes with quite the pedigree, being a seventh-generation Rutherglen-born winemaker. Growing up in vineyards and cellars very quickly made an impact, he barely entertained any other career apart from wine. After many years of experience in vineyards and wineries around the world, he made the bold decision to start his own project; Simão & Co. It was his intention to champion the Greater North-East of Victoria, purchasing grapes from growers in multiple regions. He joined me on this episode to talk about his journey and how he hopes to change people’s perceptions of this somewhat misunderstood part of the country.
Iain Riggs is one of the most respected winemakers in Australia, with decades of experience making wine from regions across the country, as well as a wine show judge. He has been at the helm of Brokenwood Wines in the historic Hunter Valley for some time, elevating them to one of the top producers of semillon and shiraz in Australia. Having worked closely with the likes of Len Evans and his incredible tutorial, Iain took the reigns of this illustrious institution when Len passed away. Iain joined me on the podcast while he was recently in Melbourne, and we talked about his background and his views on Australian wine.
I was out for dinner with my girlfriend at one of my favourite locals – Pinotta – and I ordered a bottle off the list that I’ve been eager to try ever since having Tessa Brown as a guest on The Vincast. Here are my very impromptu impressions of the wine, which did open up lovely over the course of dinner. Have a listen back to the episode with Tess here, to hear all about Jeremy and her project in Beechworth.
Vigneron Schmölzer & Brown Brunnen Pinot Noir 2014
Before entering the wine industry, Julian had a successful and diverse career in the film and advertising industries, until he desired a more peaceful life on a vineyard. He scoured Australia for his slice of heaven but “kept coming back to Beechworth” in Victoria, eventually establishing Castagna Vineyard at 500m on granite soils. Due to his fascination with and affinity to biodynamic European wines, he became the first official biodynamic vintner in Australia, and an ambassador for biodynamic agriculture in the country, organising such fantastic events as the Return to Terroir tastings.
Gary Mills from Jamsheed Wines joined me on the 17th of August at 6pm AEST as we tasted his four single-vineyard syrah wines LIVE, allowing viewers to taste along, ask questions and make comments. Listen back to the episode of The Vincast podcast with Gary here. Buy the wines at Different Drop if you would like to taste the wines as well!
Yarra Valley ‘Seville’ Syrah 2013
Great Western ‘Garden Gully’ Syrah 2013
‘Pyren’ Pyrenees Syrah 2013
Beechworth Syrah 2013
Gary Mills didn’t learn how to make wine from any studies or books, he learned by doing. After falling into the wine industry in his home state of Western Australia, he got an opportunity to work in California for one of the most fabled vintners in the state, and his fate was sealed. He eventually returned to Australia and settled in Victoria, where he has become one of the most sought after single-vineyard winemakers in the country.
I’ve been familiar with the work of Tess Brown for a number of years without knowing how extensive her experience in viticulture has been around Australia. As she increased her knowledge and expertise – also as a winemaker – she began to gravitate towards establishing her own vineyard and winery, which she has recently done with her partner in Beechworth, Victoria. Tess joined me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about her experiences and her plans for the new project.
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.
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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.