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 Jean-Jacques Morel made the decision to move his family from Paris to Burgundy, it in fact wasn’t for wine, his entry into the wine industry was merely to earn a living once he moved to the region. It was his previous influences and experience that not doubt led to him finding a true passion for viticulture, and the decision was made to follow a path of wine farming. His incredible journey in life has not only influenced his approach to his wines, but also his approach to life, as his enthusiasm and affability his hard to deny. The fact that he limits interference with his wines is but a small part in his mystique and acclaim, and spending a short amount of time it’s hard not to find his love of life infectious.
Alice Feiring is without question one of the most passionate and controversial voices in wine today, having spent many years delving into her own love of authentic and natural wine. Through countless articles, blog and newsletter pieces, and several books, Alice has carved a path to not only find but also bring to light some of the rarest gems in the wine world. Whilst her opinions are far from universally welcomed, her integrity is hard to question. She joined me via Skype on this episode to talk about her path and her newest book, The Dirty Guide to Wine.
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.
I’ve been friends with Sam Jorgensen (aka Old Mate Wine) on social media for a few years, and was thrilled to finally meet him in person over in Perth two years ago. He’s been working in the industry for a while and gave me a bottle of his first wine to taste. Two years later his approach to riesling has changed a bit, and while he and his partner were over for dinner I thought I would open his 2016 riesling with him, to discuss how he made it last year. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
Like so many in the industry, Brian Walsh got into the wine business almost by accident. As a teenager from the McLaren Vale, he was more interested in surfing that wine, but needing a job he took what was intended as a temporary position with Chateau Reynalla. He spent 20 years working in the McLaren Vale before accepting the position of chief winemaker at Yalumba in the Barossa in 1988. After an incredible 26 years he stepped away from full-time winemaking, and now sits on a number of industry boards, including the chair of Wine Australia.
After many years of experience in the hospitality industry and thousands of wines tasted, Steve Kimonides – sommelier at Il Bacaro restaurant in Melbourne – and his colleague Raph started their own catering business. Burn City Smokers is dedicated to slow roasted smoked meats, and is already turning heads and tastebuds. On this episode Steve tells me all about how he went from front of house to back, and how he prepares and cooks the meat.
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