For cricketing fans the name Ian Botham should be very familiar as one of the most famous all-rounders in English test cricket history. Not as many know that Sir Ian has long been a passionate wine lover, having taken advantage of both the proximity of European regions from England, and a touring schedule that took him to many new world wine producing countries. I was invited late 2018 to a tasting of his recently released range of wines from a number of premium Australian regions, and I was honoured to have the opportunity to sit down with him to find out more about his love of wine and enthusiasm for crafting his own.
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.
On the 28th of November 2018 I was privileged to join colleague, friend and multiple-time former guest of the podcast Phil Smith from The Wine Depository on The Wine Show, a weekly program broadcast on 96.5 Inner FM here in Melbourne. Phil has become a regular host of the show which focuses on wine topics and features a co-host as well as several guests via telephone. Our guests on this edition were;
When the Donaldson family established their Pegasus Bay winery in the early 1970s, they were pioneers in the New Zealand region of North Canterbury. Over the past 40 years they have evolved and got better every year, remaining a family-owned and operated business. The second generation of the family are currently at the helm, with all four of their sons in key positions within the business. Paul Donaldson is the General Manager of the winery, making use of his varied experience and expertise in business and finance. I sat down with him when he was in Melbourne recently to hear more about his background and the families endeavours in premium New Zealand wine.
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.
Lucy Kendall has managed to fit in quite a bit of winemaking experience in a relatively short amount of time, both in Australia and overseas. Thanks to her BFF Alice she got the opportunity to not only make wine in Chile, but also import some to Australia via Cultivar Vinos and give trade and consumers the opportunity to see authentic traditional Chilean wines. More recently she and Alice have been making wine closer to home and are about to launch them under the George brand.
Growing up in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand it is not surprising that Michael John Corbett ended up working in the wine industry, even though he doesn’t come from a wine family. After studying winemaking he had the opportunity to work vintages in Europe, which was where he discovered a great love of the grenache variety. After originally meeting in Hawkes Bay, he joined forces with Burgundian Edouard Maurisset-Latour and his Australian wife Ali to launch Vanguardist Wines, producing incredible wines from the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale.
Though Jonathan Ross always had competitive tendencies, it wasn’t until he discovered hospitality and wine that he truly applied himself and found his passion. From growing up in New Jersey to working at one of the top restaurants in the world, his career has always had an upward trajectory. Soon after relocating to Australia with his fiancée Jane Lopes (who is also a top sommelier), he became a Master Sommelier of which there are currently only 249 in the world. He joins me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about his journey, and his new-found love of Australian wine.
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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