People

Olivier Krug : The Champagne house of Krug

Olivier Krug : The Champagne house of Krug

I enjoyed a ‘Butcher’ of bubbles with Olivier Krug in the front bar of ‘The Exeter’ hotel recently. As Nick Ryan wrote in the intro of his column in ‘The Australian’, “It is said there is champagne and then there is Krug.  The house founded by Joseph Krug in 1843…
Jane Thomson : Australian Women In Wine Awards

Jane Thomson : Australian Women In Wine Awards

The recent ‘Barossa Wine Auction’ was hosted by the founder and chair of the ‘Australian Women In Wine Awards‘ Jane Thomson, and auctioned by Langton’s Head of Auctions, Tamara Grischy with Baron of Barossa, Andrew Caillard MW. The day was a great success, cumulative total sales from the live auction…
Tim Dolan : Peter Lehmann Wines

Tim Dolan : Peter Lehmann Wines

The ‘Len Evans Tutorial’ is mentioned quite often in these interviews. Dux of the most recent, the 18th tutorial was Tim Dolan. Tim is senior wine maker at Peter Lehmann Wines, and the third generation of his family to make wine in the Barossa, following his father Nigel and grandfather…
Richard Smart  : ‘The flying vine-doctor’

Richard Smart : ‘The flying vine-doctor’

I first heard of Dr Richard Smart one day in New Zealand’s Awatere Valley, in the mid 1990’s. He was then the New Zealand Government viticultural scientist and had been for many years, since 1981. Wikipedia refers to him as a leading global consultant on viticulture methods, who is often…
Philip White : Wine Writer

Philip White : Wine Writer

Philip White : Wine writer. Stephen Pannell,  our last interviewee,  reckons “If you ask most winemakers who is the best wine writer in Australia, the answer is Philip White ” Philip was diagnosed with cancer late last year. He’s had major surgery,  is currently having more radiotherapy and about to…
Stephen Pannell : S.C. Pannell McLaren Vale

Stephen Pannell : S.C. Pannell McLaren Vale

A few years ago most Tuesday nights were  ‘Movie night’ at the local Palace Nova for myself and a couple of mates. After the movie we’d go to the Amalfi Pizzeria Ristorante, for me the best Pizza in town. One night Nick who often looked after us suggested a wine…
Dheeraj Bhatia : Head Sommelier Est Sydney

Dheeraj Bhatia : Head Sommelier Est Sydney

I first met Bhatia at our friends Kaaren and Kevin Palmer’s home in late 2016. Kaaren had recently published her award winning book ‘Champagne a Tasting Journey‘. Bhatia was then the head Sommelier at the Penfolds Magill Estate restaurant and was doing some research into Growers Champagne. He went on to…
Sarah Crowe : Yarra Yering

Sarah Crowe : Yarra Yering

Yarra Yering was established in the Yarra Valley by Dr Bailey Carrodus a botanist in 1969. The vineyard is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the Yarra Valley vineyards. Sarah Crowe has made wine from these vineyards since 2013. In 2017 Sarah was awarded the Wine Companion ‘Winemaker…
Tamara Grischy : Langton’s Head of Auctions

Tamara Grischy : Langton’s Head of Auctions

Langton has recently launched it’s seventh Classification of Australian Wine. The classification has been around for 30 years, and Langton’s Head of Auctions, Tamara Grischy, has been involved with it for the last 20. Tamara lives in the Macedon Ranges, a cool to cold wine region about an hours drive north from Melbourne.…
Bryan Martin : Ravensworth, Canberra

Bryan Martin : Ravensworth, Canberra

Max Allen once emailed me and suggested if I was in Canberra, I should talk with Bryan Martin, Clonakilla’s Winery Manager, saying Bryan’s a very interesting guy – softly spoken, but quirky polymath, a chef, writer, winemaker, forager and a farmer. The first Riesling he made under his own small…
Chris Ringland : Flying Winemaker

Chris Ringland : Flying Winemaker

I’d have to agree with Nick Ryan when he described the masterclass featuring two of Australia’s most reclusive but collectable winemakers, Chris Ringland and Drew Noon, as evidence of the bespoke nature of Tasting Australia’s wine master classes. I met up with Drew not long after this event, and I…
Ken Helm AM : Helm  Wines,  Canberra

Ken Helm AM : Helm Wines, Canberra

In a previous interview, Kerri Thomson suggested if I ever got to Canberra I should talk to Ken Helm. I really enjoy KT’s  riesling so I thought, if she recommends Ken, why not. I was there recently and caught up with him. Ken is of German descent, his great-great grandparents…
Drew Noon MW : Noon Winery

Drew Noon MW : Noon Winery

Nick Ryan described the masterclass featuring two of Australia’s most reclusive but collectable winemakers, Chris Ringland and Drew Noon, as evidence of the bespoke nature of Tasting Australia’s wine master classes. I attended a few of the ‘East End Cellars’ master classes, enjoyed them all but for me the Ringland…
Phillip Broderick : Basket Range Wine.

Phillip Broderick : Basket Range Wine.

Just after I posted the interview with Xavier Bizot, Phil Broderick rang me and commented how much he enjoyed Xavier’s interview. One of the things I love about wine is getting to know the diverse people that are involved in the wine trade. Xavier is from a well established wine…
Xavier Bizot : Terre à Terre

Xavier Bizot : Terre à Terre

Xavier Bizot once said in an interview that the finest wine he had ever tasted was an Australian wine, a bottle of Penfolds 1962 Bin 60A. This interested me as many of my favourite Australian wines are cabernet shiraz blends. Xavier is part of the extended Bollinger family and I’m…
Rick Burge : Burge Family Winemakers

Rick Burge : Burge Family Winemakers

If you read the local wine press you’d be aware that leading Barossa winemaker, Rick Burge, is putting his business, Burge Family Winemakers, on the market. Rick was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. He got the all clear a year or so ago. Unfortunately the cancer has returned. He says…
Peter Dredge : Dr Edge Tasmania

Peter Dredge : Dr Edge Tasmania

The Adelaide Review ‘Hot 100 Wines’ were judged recently at the Regency Park TAFE in Adelaide. These awards are a bit different from others. Judges are not all wine makers, they are wine boffins from diverse fields. Wines are judged on style, and drinkability or what some might say, wines…
William Downie : West Gippsland Pinot Noir

William Downie : West Gippsland Pinot Noir

A few years ago a friend from Melbourne who knew we had an interest in Pinot brought us over a bottle to try. The wine was very good and the label memorable. I’d heard about William Downie, but never tried any of his wines. He was the Gourmet Traveller Young…
Peter Gago : Penfolds Chief Winemaker

Peter Gago : Penfolds Chief Winemaker

The 2017 Penfolds Collection has just been released. I’ve tried the wines, and thought they were great, but to quote James Halliday, someone who knows a thing or two about these things, they are “Exceptional”. I’d have to agree. One wine that stood out was a wine we could not…
Charlie Seppelt : Adelaide Wine Show panel chair

Charlie Seppelt : Adelaide Wine Show panel chair

The Royal Adelaide Wine Show is one of the oldest wine shows in Australia, the 140th was judged recently. Andrew Hardy is committee chair and from over the ditch Michael Brajkovich the Chair of Judges. They are supported by six panel chairs, twelve judges including International judge Yoshiji Sato plus ten associate judges. In…
Dave Gartelmann : Master Viniculturer

Dave Gartelmann : Master Viniculturer

In his piece on the recent sale of Mclaren Vale vineyard ’Connor’s Farm’ entitled ‘Best geologies getting record prices’, Philip White referred to the vineyard being tended by master viniculturer, David Gartelmann. A week or so later at a Hickinbotham Wines tasting at Edinburgh Cellars, winemaker Chris Carpenter commented on the…
Kim West  : Melbourne Radio Wine Host

Kim West : Melbourne Radio Wine Host

One of my favourite shots in the Grange Book is of Kim West trying to give a thank you speech at the 50th anniversary dinner of the Mirrabooka Beefsteak and Burgundy club. It was at Jacques Reymond’s restaurant in Melbourne. Westy was doing his best to thank everyone. Right in…
Ed Carr : House of Arras

Ed Carr : House of Arras

Ed Carr is widely regarded as Australia’s pre-eminent sparkling winemaker. His winemaking career spans over thirty-five years, the last twenty-three with Hardys (now Accolade), where he is the chief Sparkling winemaker looking after Arras, and many other brands such as Bay of Fires, Yarra Burn and Hardys’ Sir James. Australian…
Rob Mack : Aphelion Wine Company

Rob Mack : Aphelion Wine Company

In an earlier interview Dr Liz Thach MW suggested the Australian wine trade would do well to focus on ‘Old Vine Grenache’ in promoting Australian wine in the US. At a recent Grenache tasting of our wine group ’The Old Duffers’ we looked at some of Michael Twelftree’s Grenache and…
Brian ‘Prof’ Lynn : Majella Wines

Brian ‘Prof’ Lynn : Majella Wines

In an earlier interview with David Lloyd, winemaker at Eldridge Estate on the Mornington Peninsular he suggested if I ever got down to Coonawarra I should catch up with the ‘Prof’. I have enjoyed Majella wines for years but did not know much about them or that the ‘Prof ‘…
Alison Jane Hodder : De Vinosalvo wines, Tuscany

Alison Jane Hodder : De Vinosalvo wines, Tuscany

I often find the people who make wine as interesting as the wine they make, it’s one of the reasons I started this web site. Every now and again you come across a really interesting and inspiring story. One such story is Alison Jane Hodder’s  journey in the world of…
Tony Brady : Wendouree, Clare Valley

Tony Brady : Wendouree, Clare Valley

Wendouree is considered by many wine lovers to be among the most beautiful and distinctive wines this country has to offer. Years ago we gathered for a weekend in Mildura, with a group of our friends from the eastern states, mainly to have a night at Stefano de Pieri’s restaurant,…
Sue Bell : Bellwether, Coonawarra

Sue Bell : Bellwether, Coonawarra

A recent  article by Huon Hooke on Sue Bell reminded me that Sue had been on my list of people to interview for quite some time. Huon’s ‘The Real Review’ piece was about how Sue’s winery Bellwether was crowdfunding to go off grid. Sue’s worked for many years for both Penfolds…