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.
Though initially interested in the study of horticulture, after being introduced to wine, Jim White very quickly transferred to viticulture. After a few years he gained employment near where he grew up, managing the vineyard on the headquarters of Chandon Australia in the Yarra Valley. His next step was to take the Viticulturist position at sister winery Cape Mentelle, on the opposite side of the country no less, in Margaret River. Finally Jim relocated to Cloudy Bay in New Zealand, where he now has the position of Technical Director.
Having recently visited Mandala Wines in the Yarra Valley and learning more about it from owner Charles Smedley, I eagerly anticipate samples of new vintages to look at on Let’s Taste. The varieties that made these wines are ubiquitous in Australia, but as always it’s exciting to see what certain regions have to say through the grape. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below, as always many thanks for the samples Mandala.
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 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!
Another wine from a producer new to Let’s Taste – Yarra Valley’s Mandala Wines – this time a sparkling, the Blanc de Blancs 2015. Blanc de Blancs are white wines made from white grapes, in this case 100% Chardonnay. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Mandala Blanc de Blancs 2015 – RRP $35.00
Another new producer for the Let’s Taste series, this time from a very familiar region. Mandala Wines are a Yarra Valley based producer that focuses on classic varieties for the region. I was thrilled to have a chance to look at their premium reds across three varieties, unfortunately there was a technical problem with the initial record and I lost one of the wines. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
If you haven’t listened to it already, on Episode 123 of The Vincast podcast I chatted with winemaker Mac Forbes, who has been working for over 10 years to change perceptions of sub-regional Yarra Valley. He generously gave me a bottle of his 2015 Coldstream Pinot Noir and I was thrilled to share my impressions of the wine here on Let’s Taste. I was particularly thrilled to share the experience with my six-month-old son Ollie!
Mac Forbes Coldstream Pinot Noir 2015 – RRP $50.00
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.
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.
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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