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.
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.
Becoming the Chief Winemaker for Mount Pleasant Wines – one of the most important and historic vineyard/winery operations in Australia – is no mean feat. Being only the fourth chief winemaker since Maurice O’Shea is even more impressive. With incredible and diverse winemaking experience behind him, Jim Chatto did this a few years ago. He also manage to find time to produce some outstanding wines in Tasmania under the Chatto Wines label, where he has also recently been appointed Chief Winemaker of Kreglinger Estates.
In 2016 one of the top wines I tasted here on Let’s Taste was the Stefano Lubiana Late Disgorged 1996 sparkling wine. I picked up the bottle when I visited their winery in the Derwent Valley just outside of Hobart in Tasmania. They generously (very) sent me some samples of their top two wines, and I was absolutely thrilled to share my impressions here. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!
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.
Joe Holyman is an incredibly well-respected winemaker based in Tasmania, producing outstanding pinot noir and chardonnay under his Holyman and Stoney Rise labels. The respect he has garnered has not only come from his years of varied experience in many facets of the industry, but also from the fact that he is one of the loveliest guys you’re likely to meet. Joe joined me on this episode of Australia’s only podcast dedicated to wine, to share his journey and his passion for Tasmania.
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).
When I finally visited Two Metre Tall Brewhouse in the Derwent Valley Tasmania, I was totally seduced. Not only by the scenery, nor the product. But by Ashley Huntington in particular. I couldn’t resist in bringing home a bottle of something home with me, and that something was the Snakebite. Here are my impressions of this unique product, let me know what you think in the comments!
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.
Would you believe it if I told you that in spite of being born in New Zealand and having extensive winemaking experience, Sam Connew has never had a vintage across the Tasman Sea! She has however worked in some of Australia’s most famous and historic regions, including the McLaren Vale and the Hunter Valley. More recently it has been in Tasmania where she has started carving out her own identity under the Stargazer brand, and she joined me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about how her journey informed her passion for cool-climate expressions.
One of the most authentic voices about great restaurants and natural wine comes from somewhere you may least expect; Hobart, Tasmania. This is where for many years Sue Dyson and Roger McShane have been based, travelling and writing about the best places to eat and drink not only on the Apple Isle, but also across Australia and France, for their website Food Tourist. It is also from here that they import some of the most delicious natural wine produced in France for their Living Wines business. We had a fantastic chat about a number of topics on this episode of The Vincast.
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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