When the Donaldson family established their Pegasus Bay winery in the early 1970s, they were pioneers in the New Zealand region of North Canterbury. Over the past 40 years they have evolved and got better every year, remaining a family-owned and operated business. The second generation of the family are currently at the helm, with all four of their sons in key positions within the business. Paul Donaldson is the General Manager of the winery, making use of his varied experience and expertise in business and finance. I sat down with him when he was in Melbourne recently to hear more about his background and the families endeavours in premium New Zealand wine.
Completing a series looking at new releases from Topper’s Mountain are two reds that are quite intriguing. I’m excited to look at Topper’s Mountain wines for a number of regions. Firstly they are from a wine region that you don’t see very often. Secondly they are working with some very interesting alternative varieties. Thirdly they are making the wines in sometimes experimental ways, and blending varieties that don’t often get blended together. Let me know what you think of my impressions of these wines below, and please get in contact if you’d like to submit samples.
Petit Manseng is a grape variety that originates in South-West France and is commonly used to make a late harvest sweet wine. The vine has been in Australia for the better part of 40 years, arriving long before many of the new alternative varieties were here. Topper’s Mountain Wines produce one of the more interesting dry Petit Manseng wines, and on this edition of Let’s Taste I look at the 2016 vintage. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I always appreciate a winery that supports what I do and continues to send me samples to open on camera. Topper’s Mountain Wines is one of these wineries; they have continued to send me bottles since I was the Fellow for the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in 2016. Gewürztraminer is an important grape for Topper’s Mountain, as they make several different varietal wines with it. Here are two from the 2016 vintage, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Ashley Huntington is a man on a mission, with great courage of conviction and incredible persistence. Though he has a background as a winemaker and spent many years working in the Languedoc region of France in that field, after purchasing a property in the Derwent Valley perfect for viticulture, he ended up brewing beer. The reason he was so interested in this alternative path was the discovery that the region grew in excess of 80% of the nation’s hops, which can only be used for beer production. In spite of this fact there were no local breweries, and thus he embarked on a mission to take the same approach to beer as he had to wine; using well-grown local raw materials, fermenting naturally and not filtering. It has taken many years but he is now held in high esteem as the craft beer market continues to grow in Australia.
Not for the first time I’m looking at some wines from Glenguin Estate on this edition of Let’s Taste with The Intrepid Wino. For those with good memories, one of theirs was one of my top wines of 2016, so I always look forward to new releases. Shiraz is probably only second to Semillon as far as importance in the Hunter Valley, so the bar is pretty high. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
The impact that husband and wife-team Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy have had on the Mornington Peninsula and Australian wine industries is pretty hard to quantify. They are pioneers in so many respects it’s kind of hard to believe. The wine opened on this edition of Let’s Taste is one of the more pioneering from Quealy Wines as I explain. Let me know what you think in the comments below, don’t forget to subscribe!
Having recently visited Mandala Wines in the Yarra Valley and learning more about it from owner Charles Smedley, I eagerly anticipate samples of new vintages to look at on Let’s Taste. The varieties that made these wines are ubiquitous in Australia, but as always it’s exciting to see what certain regions have to say through the grape. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below, as always many thanks for the samples Mandala.
In 2018 De Bortoli Wines is celebrating 90 years of wine history in Australia, and as a member of the third generation, Leanne De Bortoli has worked tirelessly with her winemaker husband Steve Webber to take the company to new heights. Growing up in Griffith where the business was founded by her grandfather, she and Steve helped establish their Yarra Valley-based facility in the 1980s and was instrumental in evolving the brand image to a more premium one. In a number of ways and at numerous times De Bortoli have been trend-setters in the wine industry, and as a member of Australia’s First Families of Wine they are well placed to continue producing outstanding wines and having a positive influence.
Recently I interviewed both halves of Cultivar Vinos on Episode 137 of The Vincast wine podcast – Lucy Kendall and Alice L’Estrange – and some time ago Alice gave me some bottles they have imported from Chile. Here are my notes on the wines I tasted over a few weeks. Continue reading →
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.