Category

Wine

Category

If you admire fine rieslings from Europe then the award-winning Whistle and Hope label from Central Victorian winemaker Matt Kilby is one to watch. We spoke to him about his time working a vintage in Germany, and where he thinks the Aussie market is headed. We hear you worked a vintage in Mosel, Germany a few years back? I worked the vintage in Germany in 2015 for Zimmermann-Graeff & Müller. As an avid drinker and…

The Buds have burst in the high altitude wine region of Orange, NSW and to celebrate the region’s winemakers and foodies have launched the 2019 Orange Wine Festival program; and it looks to be packed with adventure. Running from Friday, October 18 through to Sunday, October 27, events include behind-the-scenes access to wineries, meet-the-maker opportunities, a range of quality culinary experiences paired with the region’s award-winning wines and wine education sessions across a 10-day a…

From Mansfield to Beechworth these are some of the best places to eat and drink  in Victoria’s High Country. Eldorado Road Cellar Door, Beechworth, Victoria Visiting Eldorado Road’s newly expanded Beechworth cellar door and cantina is a destination to underline on your High Country itinerary’s list. A tasting of their ultra premium wines, local and imported artisan cheeses and charcuterie presents a gourmand’s dream, all delivered effortlessly in a relaxed and somewhat micro storefront tastings…

Celebrating the launch of the new Aussie online retailer Epic Wines Online, Essentials spoke to founder Trevor Knaggs about which wine pack makes Epic Wines Online a good choice for premium red wine lovers. Why Epic Wines Online? ‘At Epic Wines Online we only sell organic, biodynamic or sustainable wines. These wines are produced in ways that respect the planet and as they’re chemical free, are not harmful your body. We curate these premium wines…

There’s a new force for change happening in the Australian wine industry and the South Australian regions of Mclaren Vale and Adelaide Hills are leading the way. The positive new direction is the production of certified organic and biodynamic wines – wines that are sustainably grown and made with minimal intervention – meaning an all natural, chemical and additive free process. In terms of industry sales both down under and the world over, the organic…

The mid-winter sun exudes relaxation, with the outside temperature reaching at a pleasant 17 degrees. A crowd is gathering inside the private dining room – an extended group of family friends, many familiar faces, some new. I’ve arrived at Chrismont’s Cellar Door, Restaurant and Larder to celebrate a birthday, and while I’ve visited many times in the past, my eyes are still drawn outside to admire the children’s storybook forested hill that meets the valley…

In terms of wineries with a view, premium soils and brilliant cellar doors, Tallis Wine in Dookie, Victoria is one of my personal all time favourites. The modernist corrugated iron-clad cellar door architecture features sweeping views from its interior floor-to-ceiling glass, with the simplicity of the layout and sleek furnishings only adding to the wonderful feeling of calm. Perched in the rolling hills of Dookie and with around 30km of cropping and grazing land between…

To get a true taste of luxury, visiting Eldorado Road’s newly expanded Beechworth cellar door and cantina is a destination to underline on your itinerary’s list. A tasting of their ultra premium wines, local and imported artisan cheeses and charcuterie presents a gourmand’s dream, all delivered effortlessly in a relaxed and somewhat micro storefront tastings room and courtyard eatery complete with charcoal grill. While Beechworth is well known for its granitic soils, steep hillsides and…

When it comes to rieslings, Australia has some fantastic regions now producing wines that in their own style match the quality and finesse of some of the most renowned wines from the Rhine River and Alsace regions of Europe. Aussies are also spoiled for choice, with winemakers experimenting with a wide variety of differing styles, some featuring youthful clean acidity with floral characteristics bursting from the glass, and others that present with a more layered…

Port Macquarie Hastings River might not be a region that most would associate with grape growing; however it’s a little known fact that the French-American hybrid grape varietal chambourcin began its successful history exactly there, under the Cassegrain family, owners of Cassegrain Wines. Senior winemaker Alex Cassegrain explains that their family’s land had grown chambourcin vines beside the Hastings River from the early 1980s, chambourcin being chosen specifically for its resistance to fungal disease due…

Howard Smith Wharves, the historic shipping precinct directly under the northern end of the iconic Story Bridge is a dramatic new destination that offers a magical 80 percent waterside public space as-well-as the new Art Series Hotel – The Fantauzzo. The district’s new river boardwalk now extends to New Farm ferry terminal. 5 Boundary St, Brisbane; artserieshotels.com.au/fantauzzo/ Directly under Story Bridge, and just metres from the hotel is Mr Percival’s. This is a magnificent realisation…

Twenty years ago the team behind Indigo Vineyard saw Beechworth not only as great area to make quality wine but as a place to make wines at a price point where they can be poured with family meals, at BBQs with friends and to share over a plate of appetisers. This puts wines the region produces within the reach of people who want quality without the big spend. Indigo Vineyard in Everton Upper sits on…

In terms of making its mark on the Australian wine market, things have come a long way for the King Valley over the past twenty years. Today the valley boasts some of the most spectacular cellar doors and restaurants and produces a fantastic range of Italian varietal wines, most notably including: Dal Zotto Prosecco – the very first prosecco produced in Australia. In recent years the Dal Zotto family have seen a huge response to…

In late 2018 Mansfield winemaker Ros Ritchie opened a new Cellar Door and Function Centre within the historic Magnolia House – a late 1800s American Victorian-era kit home that was shipped to Melbourne as ballast, and on to the High Country via steam train by then owner Harry Amor of the Mansfield Courier. Constructed in 1908, the venue is a fascinating place for sampling Ros’ premium cool climate wines. Essentials dropped in to explore a handful of…

Some of the best names in the business share similar terroir – famous free-draining granite and loamy soils that produce top wines that are celebrated around the world – welcome to Beechworth, Australia. Savaterre Keppell Smith is a very entertaining host. He is also an incredibly serious winemaker. One of the best. He also makes exceptionally good prosciutto, but just for his friends and family. We sit in the late spring sun looking out over…

It is one of the best oysters I have had in a long time. Fat and flinty, it sits on the half shell brimming with salty brine. ‘I grew up with oysters,’ says Jones Winery Restaurant chef Briony Bradford. Raised in Albury, but spending years living on the oyster-rich Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, the globetrotting chef recently achieved a long-term desire to cook in a beautiful winery restaurant. She worked under Claude Bosi…

Some of the best wines made in Australia are produced by vineyards in faraway places with limited staff and often no cellar door. For these select few, time is purely focused on producing the best possible wines and often it is only the most dedicated sommelier that manages to get their hands on the small allocation of wines offered. One such winery, Souter’s Rosewhite Vineyard in the foothills of the Victorian alps, is owned and…

Veteran Mansfield winemaker Ros Ritchie has opened a new Cellar Door and Function Centre at historic Magnolia House in Victoria’s High Country, and it’s a summer  season must-visit destination. Offering a unique venue for sampling her premium cool climate wines which include the James Halliday 96 point 2015 Gewürztraminer and 93 point 2015 Riesling. After a ten year wait, finally fans of Ros’ wines can enjoy this spring and summer season in a centrally located…

The aroma of citrus fills the air in the small factory in Melbourne’s west. Boxes of thick-skinned lemons are piled up on the floor. Jon Caneva smiles as he carefully takes to the lemons with a small, sharp knife. ‘You have to remove the outside of the skin without taking any of the white pith, otherwise the limoncello will become bitter,’ says Jon. He’s a man who wears a happy demeanour like a well-fitting jacket.…

Billy Button Fiano is a spring/summer stunner: its bright gold colour simply glistens in the glass. It’s the perfect pair to our soft prawn taco recipe (below). This fiano from Victoria‘s Alpine Valleys region is hand-crafted by the energetically talented alternative-varietals ‘queen’, winemaker Jo Marsh, formerly of Seppelt Great Western. A few years back she wisely packed her bags and headed for the sub-alpine hills of Porepunkah. Though she was not then a vineyard owner,…

Winemaker Jo Marsh is quiet achiever who is passionate about her craft and Victoria’s Alpine Valleys wine region. In recent years she has firmly planted her feet in the district, building a new home in Porepunkah and launching Billy Button wines, a label firmly focused on alternative varietal wines using fruit sourced from a range of growers who share her interest in cool climate fruit. In late 2014 Jo opened a cellar door and in…

Back in 1999, Italian-born Otto Dal Zotto planted a few rows of prosecco grapes in Victoria’s King Valley. He had no idea, when planning then with his sons Michael and Christian to produce their very own Italian-style sparkling wine, just what an influence their project would have on the Australian wine industry. For Otto, the first L’Immigrante Prosecco, released five years later in 2004, was the obvious way of connecting their Australian cellar door and…

Souters 2009 Cabernet – Alpine Valleys Allan Souter’s 2009 Cabernet is a truly remarkable wine – rich, full flavoured, generous on nose and palate with its ripe and lush fruit and decadently soft tannins. It’s harvested from a steep, well-draining north facing vineyard in Victoria’s Happy Valley where fruit ripening is slowed but well paced due to cooler bright summer days and moderately cool nights. This promotes more savoury notes: mint, clove, star anise. That’s…

Offering a wide range of aromas, tastes and textures, Australian-made Italian varietal wines are growing in popularity. Sampling a collection of brands – some well-known, some not – Jamie Durrant discovers regional wines of quality and diversity. Brown Brothers 1889 Pinot Grigio – King Valley 2016 (vintage) Unlike many gin-clean pinot grigios, this wine has an elegant blush in the glass. The label notes a pale straw colour, but we saw a slightly warmer touch of golden…

A thirst for European wine in the mid-19th century saw the establishment of Japan’s own wine industry. It continues to grow. A blanket of snow carpets the vineyard. Dark, leafless vines climb high into the trellises, spreading their gnarled arms out along the wires. The sloping hillside is carefully terraced, each small patch of level earth held firm by a small wall of intricately herringboned stone. At the foot of the vineyard runs a small…

I’ve had the pleasure of following the progress of Chrismont Winery as an ever-growing highly creative business dedicated to continued focus and refinement in delivering Australia’s finest Italian varietals under the La Zona label. Thirteen years ago Essentials sang the praises of their beautiful marzemino and sangiovese releases. Today Chrismont’s expanded list of Italian varietals presents the visitor with a compelling cellar door tasting experience. The Chrismont label featuring classic French grape varieties could be…

The Dal Zotto family, known for pioneering Australia’s very first prosecco in Victoria’s King Valley, love nothing more than to share their love of food, wine, and friendship. Extending the family’s Italian heritage and keen hospitality, the winery hosted its very first harvest, winemaking and winemaker’s lunch event early this autumn titled Pick Your Own Prosecco. Pick Your Own Prosecco is a masterclass of sorts that begins with an in-vineyard sampling of premium Dal Zotto…

Andrew Peace 2015 Shiraz Methode Ripasso 3.5 stars – $24 [view wine ratings info] Andrew Peace Wines is one of Australia’s largest family-owned wineries, though it’s virtually unknown among Aussies, which is a great shame. Why? Well, since first vintage in 1996, the company has focused on a highly successful export program, selling about 95 per cent of its product into Europe, the UK, the US and Asia. It’s become a household name to British…

Melbourne’s MoVida crew launches their latest venture in true Spanish style – welcome to Bar Tini. The greatest bars in Spain are very simple affairs. There’s a bar, someone behind it to pour the drinks and one person out back making very tasty morsels. Sometimes they don’t even have a cook – just the barman slicing off little morsels of jamón and aged cheese, perhaps opening a tin of exceptionally good mussels. That is the…

Chef Julian Hills looks out of the window of the dining room at Paringa Estate Winery. He shares the same view through the kitchen pass of the winery restaurant, perched on the eastern slopes of the Mornington Peninsula 60 kilometres south of Melbourne. It has been a warm, dry autumn. The rains are yet to come. Julian is keen to get out into the native stringybark and plantation pine forests of the central peninsula for…