After a very long hiatus, I’m thrilled to finally be able to release this interview with Jane Lopes recorded last year, who at the time was the sommelier at Attica restaurant in Melbourne. In the time since we recorded this chat, Jane’s book Vignette has been released to much acclaim, but she has returned to the United States of America with her husband Jon. It was fantastic to listen back to our conversation about her journey, particularly having read her book and knowing more about her.
On my wine podcast The Vincast I recently interviewed chief winemaker for Brand’s Laira, Peter Weinberg (https://intrepidwino.com/2018/12/20/the-vincast-episode-141-peter-weinberg-from-brands-laira/). Peter spoke a bit about the history of this Coonawarra producer, and something interesting about one of the founders Eric Brand, was that after acquiring the Laira property in 1950 he worked for 16 years as a ‘Blocker’, the Coonawarra name for a grower who sold their fruit and didn’t make wine. This range of wines is named after this period, and I was interested to see how Peter expressed the two most important varieties for the region, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Peter Weinberg has been at the helm of Brand’s Laira in the Coonawarra region for almost twenty years, having relocated from the Hunter Valley with experience at Mount Pleasant. Originally from Newcastle his reason for getting into the wine industry was a love of the outdoors and good hard manual labour. On this episode of The Vincast Peter speaks about his journey to becoming the custodian of one of Coonawarra’s most historic vineyards and cellars, and how he has guided the brand since he joined the team.
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.
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.
I’ve been following the incredible work of Lucy Kendall and Alice L’Estrange recently, particularly their work importing some awesome and authentic wines from the South of Chile. I recently invited them each onto episodes of my wine podcast The Vincast, to chat about their backgrounds, and to talk about the launch of their own locally made wines under the George branding. Here are my pre-release impressions of 80% of the wines now available.
George ‘Lilac Wine’ Gently Sparkling Pinot Noir 2017 – RRP $30.00
George ‘Golden’ Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – RRP $30.00
George ‘Picnic Wine’ Merlot Cinsault 2017 – RRP $32.00
George Mouvedre Cinsault 2017 – RRP $32.00
Alice L’Estrange is undoubtedly a lover of culture and language, so it is unsurprising that she got into wines from Chile. While spending a year living in Mexico improving her Spanish, she gained an appreciation for the purity of farming and natural agricultural produce, but it was her friend Lucy who introduced her to wine. After a fateful evening and a fateful bottle, they decided to do something wine-related, and Cultivar Vinos was that something.
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.
On a recent edition of Let’s Taste I looked at a few wines from the Vanguardist range, made by Michael John Corbett in South Australia. Sanglier is a different brand they make, slightly wilder in style, and he gave me a bottle of the 2016 Shiraz to taste. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
I recently bumped into Michael John Corbett in Melbourne as we happen to share some warehouse space. I’d seen the Vanguardist wines out and about in my travels as a wine rep, and had noticed them not far from mine tucked away in inner Melbourne ready for delivery. Michale mentioned that he would love to be involved with The Vincast, and generously offered me some wines to taste. Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
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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