There aren’t many people who call Steve Lubiana Stefano, and you merely need to spend a few minutes with him to understand why. He is one of the most affable and soft-spoken Australian vignerons you’ll find, very much a product of having grown up in the Riverland, the product of Italian migrants. In spite of his very generous and gregarious nature, he is a philosophical wine grower with a deep passion for not only biodynamic farming but the history of these practices. His imprint on the island state of Tasmania is immeasurable, and has been producing outstanding wines from the Derwent Valley for several decades.
When Marie Doyard says that “Champagne is running through her blood”, she’s not kidding. Not only was she born in Reims and raised in the region, but her great-grandfather Maurice Doyard was one of the founders of the Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Champagne (C.I.V.C.) during World War II. Her parents brought the Jacquart and Doyard estates together – all based in the Côte des Blancs – and when she took over in 2004 she had some dynamic ideas of how to take Champagne Andre Jacquart into the new millennium. On a recent visit to Melbourne I was able to find out more about her journey and about grower-champagne.
John Harris – winemaker for Mitchell Harris Wines – was my guest on Episode 122 of The Vincast wine podcast. We chatted about his journey and all the exciting things he and his in-laws have been doing with their wine brand and wine bar in Ballarat. He generously brought a long a few bottles of his wine, and I was glad to open and share my experiences here on the Intrepid Wino channel!
Growing up in Ballarat, John Harris graduated from Charles Sturt University with a degree in oenology in 1999, and soon took up a position at Domaine Chandon. Over the next seven years he gained much experience and by the end of his tenure was in charge of sparkling production for the Yarra Valley-based operation. In 2008, along with his wife’s extended family, he began the Mitchell Harris brand that would eventually be based in their mutual home town of Ballarat.
Deviation Road is an artisan producer based in the Adelaide Hills region. Last year I opened two of their sparkling wines here on Let’s Taste, and I’ve again been sent some samples to share my impressions. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below, don’t forget to like share and subscribe to the channel!
Ed Carr is unquestionably Australia’s finest sparkling winemaker, but you may not be aware that he has pretty much always had that focus on Australian bubbles. Initially entering the wine industry as a microbiologist (from the milk industry in fact), he found a real interest in the science and process of winemaking. In 1986 he was appointed the sparkling winemaker for Seaview based in the Barossa Valley, where he remained until being offered a position to oversee all sparkling production for BRL Hardy (now Accolade Wines). This was when Arras was conceived of, and through his tireless efforts and a close relationship with Tasmania, he has built it to be one of the finest sparkling producers in the world.
Tyson Stelzer should be a name familiar to any wine lover in Australia, as he is one of the most prolific and celebrated wine communicators in the country. A visit to the Barossa Valley in 1998 started him on a trajectory of wine enthusiasm, which he explored both online and in print. Throughout his wine career he has been associated with a number of passions; an affinity with screw-cap closures on red wines; the great Australian blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz; and more recently a close relationship with Champagne. He joined me on this episode to talk about his journey and some of his current projects.
To win one of these gorgeous Wines and Makers Yarra Valley Maps, simply leave a review on the iTunes page, letting me know which was your favourite episode of the podcast. Make sure to email me to let me know which is your review! The first ten reviews will receive this lovely map (only in Australia please).
I recently visited the Derwent Valley in Tasmania for the first time since I was a baby visiting family, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Tasmanian wine legend Steve Lubiana. After an awesome tour through the winery, vineyards & cellars with Steve, a tasting of some of the wines, and a wonderful Italian Osteria style lunch, I bought a bottle of the Late Disgorged 1996 to take away with me. Here I open and share my impressions of this amazing wine, let me know what you think of Tassie sparkling in the comments below.
When I was still discovering more about wine, about one year into my tenure at Chandon, I was running some little wine dinners with family members. One of these started with a sparkling wine made by Bindi Winegrowers. It was an extended lees-contact methode traditionelle, that I believe had spent seven years on lees. I’m not sure when, but at some point they stopped making this wine, but perhaps still have wine still sitting on lees which is periodically disgorged.
I spotted this 2003 vintage which spend ten years on lees in my local bottle shop, and couldn’t resist toasting the new year with it. Here are my impressions, what do you think? Have you tasted this wine?
The guys from the Wingara Wine Group sent me a few bottles of bubbles in the lead up to the Spring Racing Carnival to see what I thought of them. Unfortunately I couldn’t taste them until I got back from Italy, which happened to be DURING the Spring Racing Carnival. The wines were the Azahara Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV (RRP $15.00) and the Katnook Estate Founder’s Block Sparkling Shiraz 2013 (RRP $25.00). Check out my impressions!
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