I was super thrilled to recently sit down for my wine podcast The Vincast with Matt Holmes, winemaker for Bannockburn Vineyards.When I mentioned that I hadn’t tasted any wine from Bannockburn that he’d made, he very generously brought along a few bottles for me to taste. Here are my impressions!
Matt Holmes’ winemaking career has come full circle. His first short experience as a chief winemaker was at Bannockburn Vineyards, stepping into a role that was vacated just before vintage, but in effect was a caretaker position until the new winemaker was appointed. Following that he gained experience all over the world, before recently returning to Bannockburn to become the permanent chief winemaker. We spoke on this episode about his amazing journey, and what excited him about the new opportunities that Bannockburn and Melbourne offer.
Having worked in the Yarra Valley and spent plenty of time driving around it, I’m amazed at how geographically large and diverse it is. Mac Forbes has been one of the most important wine producers that has attempted to show how different each part of the region can be. He does this through the medium of grape variety, having released a number of sub-regional wines every vintage since 2004. I was thrilled to sit down with him and hear more about his journey and what led him to take such a serious risk in choosing this approach.
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.
I love looking at wines from Glenguin Estate, mostly as I don’t often have the opportunity to taste Hunter Valley wines. To have the chance to look at the three most important styles of Semillon (the region’s champion variety) was incredible, so thanks to the Phil for sending me some samples. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
To suggest that Elaine Chukan Brown has led an incredibly diverse life is a massive understatement. In fact she’s lived several of them. Growing up in Alaska taught her an appreciation for the artisanal and the value of hard work, but it is her love of travel and discovery that eventually led to her becoming one of the most sought after voices in the global wine scene. She is probably most famous for pioneering the illustrated tasting note, something that some wineries have asked her to recreate on their wine labels!
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.
Whilst the D’Aloisio family have been involved with agriculture in the Yarra Valley since the 1960s, it wasn’t until 1994 that they planted their own vineyards. Starting with the most important varieties for the region (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc), they have since diversified with alternative varieties. Barbera is one of those grapes, and I was excited to try a bottle of their 2013 vintage. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
It was a distinct honour and a privilege to be named the third fellow for the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. What an incredible insight into one of the most forward-thinking initiatives in the Australian wine scene today! Here are some of the amazing experiences that came with such an honoured award, I was truly humbled. Many thanks to the AAVWS for the opportunity to attend as the 2016 Fellow, I heartily encourage everyone to consider applying for this years show!
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