Dan's Blog


Friday, January 12, 2018

Welcome to the western New Year! We hope that 2018 will be a sensational year for you and yours, a great vintage and a sensational wine sales year.

Here are a few interesting snippets of recent wine news, both local and international, which may be of interest to you:

CHINA:   I knew it had to happen one day! I was 100% confident that it would happen and happen it did. In October 2017, China, for the first time, imported more wine in $value from Australia than from France. The $value of wine they imported from us was USD69.6 million, in October, as opposed to USD63.76 million from France. The best news about this is that they bought less volume of wine from us 8.4 million litres versus 12.9 million from the French. That is to say that the average dollar per litre for our wine imported was HIGHER than for the French!!!!

Yes, we have a long way to go to outsell the French and become No.1 imported wine country in China, but the fact that we have for the first time ever scored this decisive punch is great news. One day, in the not too distant future, we will be No.1 in China – if we don’t entirely run out of wine getting there!!!

By the way, don’t forget that Chinese Lunar New Year is on February 16 this year and we will be going into the “Year of the Dog”.

ADELAIDE:  The sensational CELLAR DOOR FESTIVAL is on in Adelaide again this year. It is going to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from Friday, March 2 through to Sunday, March 4. It includes wineries from every wine growing region of South Australia and usually has over 150 wineries there showing their wines.


It is an unparalleled opportunity to compare the same variety of wine, such as Shiraz from different regions to see the difference in flavours, or different varieties amongst the new Emerging varieties. For example, Durif, Touriga National, Tannat, Nebbiolo, Pinot Blanc, Fiano, Vermentino and so on.

I am also sure that there will be some Grüner Veltliner (a divine Austrian native white wine) there from a number of the 32 different wineries in the Adelaide Hills that produce it. This will give people the opportunity to check out the subtle differences that vineyard site makes to this classy, elegant, white wine.

As if this wasn’t enough for keen wine enthusiasts, they also conduct Masterclasses on Cheese, Coonawarra Wines, making Gin, making Sparkling wine and the opportunity to meet some young, “New Age” winemakers. To cap it off there are the “Long Table Dining” sessions where you can have a fabulous relaxed meal.

To make sure that you don’t miss out go the website and book your tickets now. I’ll be there, will you?

THE WORLD:  Having been to the World Bulk Wine Exhibition in Amsterdam last November, I was aware of how short a vintage 2017 was in general terms, what with the freakish weather in Europe, wild fires in California, Chile and Portugal, etc. Then there was the news that both Argentina and South Africa had very small vintages. Now, I have just read that the volume that Europe lost in vintage 2017, was roughly the equivalent of the total production of South America and South Africa combined!! WOW! That is a serious amount of wine!! So if there was ever a time for Aussie grape growers to get an increase in return, vintage 2018 is THE one, as wine prices creep up around the world.

Cheers and enjoy some of the stunning wines that the world produces during 2018!


Summer is perfect ROSÉ weather. Yes, I know you can drink Rosé all year round, and according to media reports more and more blokes are doing so!! But summer is the perfect time to enjoy a suitably chilled glass of the “pink stuff”.

This week’s wine is a Rosé from the “Merlot Master”, Jim Irvine. Having sold Irvine wines in 2014, Baron Jim (Baron of the Barossa) turned his very accomplished hands to another variety, to lift it out of the doldrums like he did for Merlot all those years ago. The new company which is destined to become very well known by Aussie wine drinkers over the next few years is, MARJICO (Marjorie + Jim + Company). Who else but the “Master” would start up a new wine business at age 84?

This time the lucky emerging variety was Cabernet Franc. Jim has worked with Cab Franc as everybody calls it, for over 20 years before he decided to focus on it. By the way, did you know that Cab Franc is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon? The other being Sauvignon Blanc.


Anyhow, in the making of super-premium red wines they often bleed-off (Saignée) a bit of the early, free-run juice so as to concentrate the depth of colour in the main wine. Rosé made by the Saignée Method is usually fuller bodied and capable of providing the longest lasting of the Rosé.

MARJICO ‘THE HARVESTERS’ 2017 CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ has a beautiful, light salmon-pink colour, lovely floral aromas with violets and strawberries. Being made from later picked grapes, this is a fuller bodied Rosé with greater structure and depth of flavour. AN ABSOLUTE  BLINDER!