Whilst I’m yet to find a bad wine region in Australia there are a few that make my favourite’s list….and McLaren Vale is definitely one of those.
From that full bodied ripe Shiraz to the more savoury Grenache and Sangiovese, the region offers great diversity. If you need a full mouth feel Aussie Shiraz then travel no further than down South Rd from Adelaide. And then when I think of a ploughman’s lunch or a slow cooked lamb shoulder the Grenache or a Sangiovese is a winner.
I had the pleasure of meeting the winemakers recently and the cool mornings, beautiful full sun days and the then cooler evenings were sublime; as Nick Haselgrove told me ‘it’s like putting the grapes in the fridge overnight which allows us to keep them on the vine longer to achieve optimum ripening’. This cool breeze comes from the Fleurieu Peninsula, or locally known as Maslin Beach.
They have some serious winemaking talent down there but what struck me, apart from one, was none was bigger than the rest; their camaraderie was a stand out for what is ostensible a competition for the consumer’s dollar. But they, apart from one, are smart enough to realise that if they each have X% of the pie, it’s far better to make it a family sized pie rather than the one you get at the footy.
Long Live The Vale.
Courtesy of The Weekly Times’
Wine exports for the 12 months to March broke through $2 billion and last week Australia scored the second highest number of medals at the International Wine Challenge.
According to Wine Australia, the value of Australian wine exports has grown 13 per cent to $2.1 billion and volume increased by 3 per cent to 731 million litres.
Bottled exports grew 16 per cent to $1.7 billion, the highest value in five years.
Exports were destined for 119 countries and value increased to 79 of these, including the biggest five.
The US remained Australia’s top export destination by value, increasing by 4 per cent to $442 million.
There are many guidelines when it comes to cellaring wine and the following are certainly important:
Don’t be afraid to call the winery for advice and don’t believe everything you read on a back label- I’ve seen wines change vintages 3 times over and the back label for each remains the same.
However, my best advice is the quantity you purchase.
If you have the budget, set yourself a minimum of 6 bottles of each wine you want to cellar. The advantage you get from cellaring wine is trying a bottle now, having a look at another bottle in say 3 months then 6 and then 12. It’s the best way to appreciate what is essentially a living thing inside a bottle, and being a part of its maturation.
Wine Australia has revealed that the Chinese wine market has now taken over the US wine market in total turnover after a 66 per cent rise over the last year.
Wine Australia general manager of marketing, Stuart Barclay, told TheShout that the 66 per cent growth in the Chinese market represented both volume and value sales.
“The Chinese market is still very strong, and when you combine this with the Hong Kong market it is worth over $500 million. The growth is coming from across China at lots of different price points, including very strong growth for sales above $10," Barclay said.
“By comparison, the US market is one of our toughest markets. This used to be a $1 billion market and we are now doing around $440 million.