Though not born in Australia, Dave Bicknells family most certainly embraced their Australian life when they brought him here as a child. He is a self-professed lover of a good time, so after initially starting a career as an EMT it’s perhaps unsurprising that he ended up working in the wine industry. Formative years as a winemaker working with Steve Webber at De Bortoli clearly had a lasting impact, as he has been Yarra Valley based since then, for most of it as the Chief Winemaker at Oakridge based in Coldstream.
For the past 30 years the Pizzini family have been at the forefront of Italian grape variety based wines, not only in the King Valley where they are based, but for the whole country. Working with respected viticulturist Mark Walpole and Tuscan consultant Alberto Antonini, they established a stronghold and pedigree for varieties like sangiovese and nebbiolo. Much of the success of Pizzini Wines is owed to Fred Pizzini, who not only converted the family property to viticulture, but also saw the potential of embracing his Italian heritage by planting then unknown and untested varieties. They are today considered not only one of the largest but also most experienced producers of wines made from Italian varieties, now made by Fred’s son Joel.
I’ve only recently been introduced to the wines of Mandala in the Victorian region of the Yarra Valley, and I was thrilled to have a chance to look at the 2017 vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Dalfarras is a sub-brand of Tahbilk, a producer that I am a bid supporter of having tasted numerous wines here on Let’s Taste, and having interviewed CEO Alister Purbrick on The Vincast wine podcast. I was intrigued with these wines as they are made from Italian varieties. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Without knowing it Rory Lane was about ten years ahead of the modern era of the Garage Winemaker in Australia with The Story Wines. In 2004, with only a few vintages experience mostly working in wineries in the United States, he took a punt on starting his own wine project, working out of a rented warehouse in suburban Melbourne. Fortunately he was able to purchase some outstanding Grampians fruit, and capture it in a bottle in an elegant expression that almost immediately began to turn heads. He is now considered to be one of the most exciting winemakers in Australia, and is an important representative for small ‘virtual’ wineries both here and overseas.
In a way, Ben Ranken’s wine career has come full circle. He grew up on a vineyard in Tumbarumba, a region in New South Wales famed for the quality of its chardonnay. Recently he and his wife purchased the Wilimee Vineyard in Macedon, another cool-climate region ideal for chardonnay. In the intervening years he gained considerable vintage experience in Australia and the northern hemisphere, and since 2007 has been making wine at Galli Estate, an incredible Sunbury-based producer that also has a vineyard in Heathcote. We chatted about his winemaking journey, his many influences, and also how important the Lorenzo Galli Scholarship is for educating the wine industry on the nuances of Italian grapes that they work extensively with.
Last year I was helping out at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Masterclass sessions at The Glasshouse, and I met Alisha Begbie, undoubtedly one of the biggest wine enthusiasts I’ve ever encountered. Alisha has spent the last few years volunteering at every wine event and wine show she can, attending every tasting possible, and being involved in consumer-oriented winemaking opportunities. She even helped hand bottle the inaugural vintage of my Vino Intrepido! During the 2016 vintage she was part of the Curious Winemaker program that Mitchell Harris run in Ballarat, and she was involved with this Curio Syrah 2016 she kindly gave me a bottle of.
Eliza and Angela Brown were born into Australian Wine History, being fourth-generation members of the Brown Family of Milawa. Their father Peter discovered a particular passion for fortified wines and the Rutherglen region, convincing the rest of the family to purchase All Saints Estate. He bought his siblings out of that part of the business, and focused all his energy into revitalising this historic brand. His untimely passing resulted in his three children taking over the business, and they have continued his legacy of innovation balanced with respect for tradition and heritage. Peter’s two daughters both joined me on this episode to talk not only about the family and the estate, but also their own experiences and perspectives on the business.
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!
A bottle from the cellar, in celebration for my beloved Western Bulldogs being in the Grand Final (recorded before the game), my bottle of the Yeringberg Chardonnay 2004. As mentioned on this and other episodes, Guill de Pury from Yeringberg was my very special guest on Episode 100 of The Vincast wine podcast. Unfortunately this bottle had experienced premature oxidation (cork fault that lets air into the bottle and rapidly increases the ageing), so it wasn’t in the best shape. But I hope to taste some more recent releases of Yeringberg here very soon!
Please visit the Yeringberg website to find out more about this historic producer, and follow me on social media!
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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All content on this website, including text, images, audio and video, remains the sole property of the author unless otherwise acknowledged and appropriately credited. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of content without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Content may be used for reproduction provided that full and clear credit is given to James Scarcebrook and/or The Intrepid Wino with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.