Diversity is a factor which we can claim

Diversity is a factor which we can

I’m writing this as the Australian financial year draws to a close.  Quite a year it has been for Australian wineries exporting their wares to the world. 2021 was for many regions an outstanding vintage but it came hot on the heels of the hammer-blow of punitive tariffs from our largest export market. Australian wine producers need to export; that much is a fact. So, in a world which is awash with wine and there is an abundance of choice what is the compelling argument which will persuade you to buy Australian wine in preference to anything else? That our winemakers are some of the nicest, most entertaining ladies and gentlemen in the vinous universe probably doesn’t cut it. Our wines are certainly up there with the world’s finest on a dollar for dollar basis. But quality is something of a universal given these days too, so that’s hardly compelling as a single, must-buy-Australia, reason.
Diversity is a factor which we can claim. Yes, we have our share of the big-name grape varieties which capture the mainstream consumers’ interest as well as provoking wine writers to reach for the international benchmarks by way of direct comparison. Increasingly we have the not-so-well-known along with the down-right obscure. These wines, the Grillo, the Harslevelu, the Picolit and the Piedirosso will enchant even the most cosmopolitan of wine lovers. Australia’s viticultural founding fathers brought in an unknown number of grape varieties; many duplicates and many as it turned out, mis-named.
Over the years we’ve sorted out the names and focused on a few varieties which have made our vinous reputation.  Since the turn of the century winemakers have been looking for and planting that point of difference.  It will be a while before Grillo becomes a household name but then, before 1980 not many Australians had heard of, let alone drunk, a Chardonnay.
So, besides quality and diversity what has Australia got to offer? Well, how about the spirit of continuous improvement? Most of our winemakers studied oenology at one of two universities.  They are a small, close-knit community. A small close-knit community full of rivalry. Rivalry which makes it all the harder when your erstwhile classmate takes away the trophy for best wine of the show while you take away a medal or two from the wine shows which pepper the industry calendar.  Obviously you’ll share in the victor’s celebration, but you’ll be plotting your way to the top for next year’s wine show. How can I make my wine better? What can I do in the vineyard, what can I do in the winery? What is going to make my wine trophy-worthy?  Australian winemakers are not ones to rest on their laurels.
Quality, diversity and continuous improvement.  Together they do form an utterly compelling argument for Australian wine.
Cheers, and here’s to FY2021/22

Phil Reedman MW

Editor Wine Showcase

Pig in the House Thank a Nurse

This is an initiative developed by Pig in the House wines and has been very successful. They have also develop it to Thank a Teacher and more recently Thank those in Hospitality. It has been getting some really positive comments back from their customers.

Pig in the House wines have launched a ‘Thank a Nurse’ initiative. The new program allows customers to purchase a single bottle of Pig in the House Rosé with the cost of home delivery covered by the winery. “We recently sent a Rosé to a couple of our Nurse friends to say thanks; they loved it!” said Pig in the House vigneron Jason O’Dea. “We then thought we could give all our friends the opportunity to send a Rosé to a Nurse as a Thank You.”

The initiative has been running for a couple of weeks and has been very successful. “We’re thrilled with the response and now looking at a similar initiative for teachers.”




Penfolds’ world-renowned wine maker Peter Gago has been nominated for a prestigious award to be announced later this year in London.

Gago, maker of Penfolds world famous Grange, is on the short list to take home the Golden Vines Innovation and Hall of Fame award when the final decision is announced later this year.

Liquid Icons, a fine-wine research and content production company founded by the late, great Gerard Basset (OBE) and his friend Lewis Chester have announced the nominees for The Golden Vines Hall of Fame award.

“ Liquid Icons creates first-class original content and research about the world’s greatest fine wines and spirits. Our work encompasses motion picture, industry research, recognition and celebration of wine and spirits excellence, charitable and fundraising activities, as well as educational initiatives,” Lewis Chester said.

 The winners, along with other Golden Vines category, will be announced at a fundraising event to be held at Annabel’s, one of London’s pre-eminent private members’ club, in Mayfair.

The not-for-profit Golden Vines Awards recognise and uphold excellence in the fine wine industry and raise funds for The Gerard Basset Wine Education charitable foundation, which aims to fund diversity and inclusion-related wine education programs, including the headline Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship programs.

The Golden Vines Award categories are:

1            Best Fine Wine Producer in Europe

2            Best Fine Wine Producer in the Americas

3            Best Fine Wine Producer in the Rest of the World (Australasia, Africa, Asia & Middle East)

4            World’s Best Fine Wine Producer

5            World’s Best Rising Star

 6           Innovation Award

7            Hall of Fame Award, awarded to a living individual for extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the production of fine wine, or for outstanding service to the world of fine wine

For each award leading members of the fine wine industry nominate who they would like to win. The Golden Vines Hall of Fame and The Golden Vines Innovation awards, five pre-listed nominees have been put forward, but nominations can still be made.

The nominees for The Golden Vines Hall of Fame award are:

Peter Gago, Penfolds (Australia)

Aubert de Villaine, Domaine de la Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (France

 Paul Draper, Former Head Winemaker, Ridge Vineyards (USA)

Richard Geoffroy, Former Chef de Cave, Dom Pérignon (France)

 Roberto Conterno, Giacomo Conterno (Italy)