An absolute honour to hang out all day with Brad Rowe from Boireann Winery. You see, Brad’s got some pretty big shoes to fill, as he’s taken over as winemaker from the original owner, Peter Stark since his retirement in 2017.
Today we’re back in the Granite Belt with Tobin Wines and their new 2018 Elliot Reserve Merlot. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this one progress from barrel to bottle over the last 18 months, and a beautiful end result.
One of France’s newest wine regions, the Alsace was granted AOC status only in 1962, due to its rich in geopolitical history. The region borders on Germany along the Rhine River, and changed hands between Germany and France several times over the past few centuries.
Really excited about getting into this Grüner Veltliner, one of the Granite Belt’s newest alternative varieties, or “Strangebirds” as they call them here. Once thought to be Riesling’s poorer sibling, Grüner tops many restaurant lists being a very food friendly wine. So Queensland restaurants now have no excuse not to stock local. It’s also got an umlaut in its name, so it’s also instantly cool.
Adrian Tobin is one of the many I see who epitomise Granite Belt wine country. Easy going, loves a friendly chin-wag and nuts about what he does. Passion over profits and hectolitres, he crafts with meticulous detail, eagle-eyed and in tune with his vines, the terroir, the weather…all for only couple of precious barrels.
Why are roses planted at the end of rows of grape vines? A few theories exist.
One of my favourite alternative varieties from the Granite Belt (or “Strangebirds” in local parlance) has to be Saperavi. Normally a native of Georgia, this grape has really found a second home in here in the high altitude granitic soils. While an alternative variety in Australia, it’s definitely no stranger to the spotlight, holding their own in collecting awards back in the homeland in Georgia!
Tonnellerie de Champagne, where the oak barrels are still made by hand. Here, only a tiny number of barrels are crafted compared to the larger automated coopers in Burgundy and Bordeaux. Demand for oak barrels for both fermentation and maturation is increasing as Champagne houses experiment and move towards more oaked styles.
Do you have a minute? In today’s One Minute Wine Tour, I’m here in Henschke’s iconic Hill Of Grace vineyard in the Eden Valley, and thanks to South Australia being phylloxera-free, home to some of the oldest productive Shiraz vines in the world, dating back to 1860.
While traditional English Sparkling has come a long way in recent years, one can’t help but notice at the Wine GB tasting the sea of Chardonnay/Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier blends on show, and one can often overhear tasters ruminating inevitably the parallels and comparisons with Champagne, in quality, winemaking and crucially, price.