To be an institution in the Melbourne wine trade you need to have been around for at least ten years and retain the elements that made you so amazing in the beginning. After 20 years as the owner-operator of Armadale Cellars, Phil Hude is most certainly an institution. He’s been in wine retail for 30+ years, and has seen a great many wine trends come and go, and supported several Australian icons since they were young winemakers. Phil and I recorded this episode down in the wine catacomb of Armadale Cellars, discuss how Phil got into the business, his unique approach to wine retail over the years, and the exciting events that are being run to commemorate two decades of continuous wine retail on High Street.
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.
Konpira Maru is a new brand based out of Melbourne, producing low-intervention wines from fruit purchased around the state. I bought a bottle of their Gymkata 2015 as I was intrigued by the brand and also the fact that it was a red wine under a crown seal. Let me know what you think in the comments below, don’t forget to like and subscribe!
Lawrence & Tim Scanlon grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland, and it was only due to the fact that Lawrence worked in bottle shops while studying that either of them are in the wine industry today. A desire to study how to be a winemaker brought Lawrence to Melbourne, and after many years working as a tradesman Tim joined him and started working in vineyards just out of the city. Their consumption of and subsequent passion for low-intervention wines led them to start their own brand with their own expressions, under the Dirty Black Denim brand. They shared their story on this episode of Australia’s number one wine podcast.
In August I took some behind-the-scenes footage at a few wine trade tastings here in Melbourne, and I thought I’d share it with you with the idea of showing how portfolio tastings are conducted. The two tastings were for Cellarhand Wines, and combined tasting of World Wine Estates, Enoteca Sydney and Vinous Imports.
After many years of experience in the hospitality industry and thousands of wines tasted, Steve Kimonides – sommelier at Il Bacaro restaurant in Melbourne – and his colleague Raph started their own catering business. Burn City Smokers is dedicated to slow roasted smoked meats, and is already turning heads and tastebuds. On this episode Steve tells me all about how he went from front of house to back, and how he prepares and cooks the meat.
Campbell Burton has a sincere love of and passion for wines of tradition and minimal intervention, and has the opportunity to introduce people to them in his role as the sommelier of the Builders Arms Hotel. On this episode of The Vincast he talks about his path of discovery, how he began importing some wines of his own, and why he decided to launch an event dedicated to sulphur-free wine called Soulfor Wine.
Randall Pollard is a name in Victoria synonymous with independent fine-wine sales, having worked in the industry for almost 20 years before opening his own wine store in Geelong (Randall’s), and then importing a range of outstanding artisan wines from France and Europe (Heart & Soil). His love of wine stems from sneaking glasses of wine from the cask at the age of 15, enjoying it with cheese and bread. He shared more stories from his career on this episode of The Vincast.
Passion was the driving force behind Josh Elias and his desire to breathe new life into drinks with Alquimie Magazine. Much of this was due to the fact that his family have no background in wine, deciding to pursue a career in the industry rather than follow one in law which he has a degree in, or in textiles which is the family business. Josh joined me on this episode to talk about how he came to work in some of the best restaurants in Melbourne, furthered his wine knowledge and appreciation through study, and created one of the most exciting beverage publications in the world.
Many Melbourne-based wine lovers would be familiar with the name Boccaccio Cellars, as they have regularly advertised in the Epicure lift-out of The Age every Tuesday. The Balwyn-based retailer has been selling wines for nearly 40 years, specialising in Italian wines. Anthony D’Anna, second generation Italo-Australian, has been heavily involved in the family business for many years, not only with Boccaccio but also their winery in the Yarra Valley (Hoddles Creek Estate) and more recently, Mondo Imports working with some outstanding small producers from Italy. He joined me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about his upbringing and work in the family business, and his perspective on Italian wines in Australia.
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