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Dan's Blog

Interesting Bits Of News

Friday, August 02, 2019

We are back on track after an absence of two weeks due to being flat out with our main business – helping smaller Australian wine companies exporting to the world (mainly Asia, especially China). This is one of the two rush/chaos periods with wine shipments to China as the importers push to get wines in before the Lunar Festival. The other even bigger more chaotic period is in the lead up to Chinese New Year – THE biggest event in all of Asia. Anyhow, here is some news that may interest you:

Treasury Wine Estates: has just launched its successful (in Australia) “Squealing Pig” wine range in the UK as a multi-national range. The range consists of: Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ~ Padthaway Chardonnay ~ Mendoza Malbec ~ Puglia Primitivo ~ Picpoul de Pinet (the perfect white wine for oysters) from Languedoc ~ Grenache Syrah Carignan blend also from Languedoc.

It will be interesting to see how this range fares, as the previous attempt at international wines under the Lindemans Range in the late 1990s or early 2000s met with a lot of resistance and eventually was discontinued. Will this be a case of “second time lucky”?


The world’s most expensive wine:  The team at Indian Wine Academy recently reported on the world’s most expensive wine, the Bordeaux Liber Pater 2015.  Only 550 bottles were produced and it has a price tag of €30,000 a bottle. It is made from the pre-phylloxera varieties of Tarney Coulant, Castet, Saint Macaire and Pardotte. Of these varieties, (outside minute smatterings in Bordeaux) the only other place that St Macaire is grown that I am aware of, is in the Riverina where Calabria make the only straight varietal St Macaire from it – A ripper wine by the way and well worth seeking out!

Castet has been rescued from potential extinction and is now shooting to fame as one of the new varieties approved for planting in Bordeaux, in their attempt to mitigate global warming. See my July 5 Blog, A Grape By Any Other Name.

Recently, I had an enquiry from a Victorian grape grower trying to ascertain if there is any Castet being grown in Australia.

Check out the article on this link https://www.indianwineacademy.com/item_3_815.aspx   It is an interesting read and see how something old/ancient is becoming new again.

Bye-bye Prosecco (Australian):  It was recently announced that UNESCO had added the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiandene in Italy, to its World Heritage Register.


The drive to achieve this was led by the Consortium for the Protection of Conegliano & Valdobbiandene Prosecco DOG. This is the same cunning mob who organised the changing of the grape variety’s name from Prosecco to Glara around 8-10 years ago. Mainly to stop other countries, especially Australia, from making the same popular style of sparkling wine as they do and calling it the same (by the variety’s name).

With this latest step, one could expect it to only be a very short space of time before Australia is ordered to stop using the name/word Prosecco as it is (now/suddenly) a Heritage listed site in Italy. Somehow, I suspect that the name Prosecco di Australia or Australian Prosecco will not be around for very long either as these guys are relentless in their pursuit of destroying their opposition.

So before it is too late, and we lose a “truck load” of sales, we need to start looking for a new name for this exciting sparkling wine. We need to get all our producers “on the same page” and changing over to using the new name, because keeping on with calling it Prosecco is just flogging a dead horse.

How about it Wine Australia? In the national wine interests, how about you take on the task of finding a new name (an industry wide competition perhaps) and encouraging winemakers to switch over before we are forced to do so?

Cheers and enjoy Australian Prosecco while you can!!

THIS WEEK’S WINE REVIEW:

This week I am talking about ATZE’S CORNER in the Barossa, the artisan winery that Andy Kalleske started in 2005 when the family vineyard had surplus grapes after meeting their growing contracts.

While the label is a relative “newbie” in Barossa terms, the Kalleske’s have been growing grapes on their hallowed piece of the Barossa for six generations. They own a number of vineyards spread across the Barossa including in the iconic sub-regions of Koonunga and Ebenezer.

Over the last couple of years I have reviewed some of the ATZE’S CORNER wines and have raved about them, especially “THE GIANT” DURIF which is brilliant and year after year rates as one of the very best South Australian Durif. Right up there alongside the best that Rutherglen has to offer.


I also rave about their “THE MOB” MONTEPULCIANO which is simply superb – a smashing example of what brilliance Aussie Monty can deliver. I also have to mention their “THE BATCHELOR” 2015 SHIRAZ, which is drop dead gorgeous.


As you know, in order to enhance sales, many winery cellar doors around the country get involved with either local artists, local musicians, local potters or even local providores. Well here is a new twist that I think is brilliant. Recently, ATZE’S CORNER has hooked up with uber experienced cheese maker, Erin Jones, from the “Cultured Cheese School” www.culturedcheeseschool.com to offer morning cheese making classes set among the barrels in the winery.

The three hour workshop equips attendees with the skills (and a kit) to make their own cheese at home, like Feta or Haloumi.

Image enjoying a glass (or three) of your favourite ATZE’S CORNER wine with cheese and crackers, especially when you have made the cheese yourself – Bloody brilliant!!! 

So I suggest that you check out their website at www.atzes.com for their great wines and if you are a cheese nut, go to the course and make your own cheese - What a fabulous concept! All I need now is for a winery to conduct sourdough bread making classes and I will be in heaven!! Cheers!