The wine park

Oh Vino! Oh Australia!

May 20, 2013 12:45:26 PM

If you think snobbery exists in knowing your wines – you better get your arse down to Australia – they will change ya! Nowhere I have seen a bunch of wine makers with such a fantastic attitude and approach towards life and wine making. Their fun, feel good and simplicity approach towards life and everything surrounding them reflects in their terrific Vino.

 

During my recent trip to Australia, I got to visit 3 different wine regions in south Australia. Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. Each region makes wonderful Shiraz with very different styles. In Barossa (North of Adelaide) the Shiraz is full bodied, muscular & ripe. In McLaren Vale (South of Adelaide) they are more on the chocolate and sweet fruit with a touch of mint, while in Clare Valley (a cool climate region) they are fresh, lean, minty with eucalyptus nose - a total opposite from Barossa.

 

Apart from the Shiraz wine, there is a range of wines grown in these regions. Clare Valley is known for its terrific Rieslings. These are dry style (opposite of sweet) with lemon and citrus nose and the good ones are designed to age for 10 years or more. I got to try a Polish Hill Riesling from 2006 vintage – one of the best vineyards in Clare Valley. It showed kerosene and slate/mineral aromas - 2 characteristics that distinguishes a good Rieslings from a great one! Other must try wines are Cabernet from McLaren Vale, Grenache and Mouvedre from Barossa Valley – known as GSM (Grenache-Shiraz-Mouvedre) blends which are to die for!

 

There is always a special incident that defines your trip – for me it was in Clare Valley. Late evening in one of the city pubs, I accidentally bumped into the mayor of Clare Valley. On knowing that I have traveled from India to try wines from Clare the floodgates opened. The next thing I know, I am being introduced to every one in the pub, bottles are being opened, and I even got a nickname! I toured the entire Clare valley the next day in mayor’s car meeting with close to 8 wine makers – now if this is not hospitality - then what is!

 

For guys who have had Yellow Tail, Hardy’s and Jacobs Creek – it’s a fabulous way to get introduced to Aussie wines. However most of them are more commercial styles and are suited for the mass appeal. I would suggest that you experiment with the more boutique wineries from the above regions and the styles. The quality that you will find will blow you away – just like their attitude!

 

Cheers,
Vishal

 

Winery I have been trying/must try

Clare Valley
-Crabtree
-Paulette’s
-Pikes
-Tim Adams
-Jim Barry
-Kilakanoon

 

Barossa
-Rolf Binder
-Teusner
-Willows
-Rockford
-Charles Melton
-Hobbs
-Spiniflex
-Langmeil

 

McLaren Vale
-Tapestry
-Mitolo