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.
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Julian Castagna (image courtesy The Wine Idealist)
Something that surprised me on my trip was when I met people who had been to Australia had not been to my hometown of Melbourne. Of course I am biased but I couldn’t understand why, considering it is consistently voted as the most livable city in the world, has a rich and diverse culture and history, is the home of sport, nightlife parks, and most importantly cuisine. When I thought about it I realised that Melbourne doesn’t have astounding attractions like Sydney, beaches like Perth or the Gold Coast, opals like Cairns or Uluru. It is hard to know what to do in Melbourne if you aren’t familiar with it and you are unlikely to find those hidden gems that are the hallmark of Melbourne. It is also quite spread-out and not easy to get around without a car. The best thing to do is to know someone there. The real problem though is that the climate is very different this far south and the weather can be a bit disappointing and certainly not what you expect of Australia.
Beechworth post office
Adams Rib The Red 2010 Nebbiolo Shiraz
Rich yet soft, dark red fruits but some earthy savoury notes, very delicate sweet spice. Mouth filling rich, good middling palate weight, nice extension, round yet focused with good acids. Very slight spice pepper notes.
Un Segreto 2010 Sang Shiraz
Very subtle cured meat earthy savoury notes. Brightness freshness lively raspberry zing and sweetness, exceptional balance.
La Chiava 2010
Super intense nose, almost sharp red fruits and soy. Bright and intense yet complex nose. Fresh fresh yet concentrated and dark, wonderful acid savoury components, length and carry-through yet still eminently approachable.
Julian Castagna opens some bottles to taste