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V is for Viura – 5 Spanish whites you should try!

Luis-canas-rioja-wmOne of the Spanish native white grape trio that contributes to the blend used for Spain’s sparkling wine, Cava, is the grape Macabeo. One of Spain’s popular, and versatile, white grape varieties which has also found a home in Southern France. In the premium wine region of Rioja, a region better known for some of Spain’s best red wines, Macabeo is also known as Viura. It is in this region, with access to fruit from older vines, that the grape can produce some of its finest expressions.

A decade ago, I would have said that you would have almost needed an insider’s knowledge on where to buy a white Rioja as I found they were few and far between outside of Spain. And sometimes when you did find a white Rioja, they lacked interest or worse, they were out of condition. With the availability of investment for Spanish wine producers, the white wines of Rioja are shining bright.  Read More

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Prosecco – Italian for refreshment in a glass

fizzThere is very little that Australian wine growers & winemakers will not try their hand at. Partly, this is due to the ‘patchwork quilt’ flow of settlers, each bringing knowledge of their own traditional grapes with them if not the vines themselves. More recently, it has been increasingly driven by the Australian love of exploration as much as any other reason.

Prosecco is but one of these newer arrivals that have found a home in Australia. It was adopted by the vignerons Read More

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Piggs Peake revisited!

 

pp-wiggly-tail-wmEarlier this year, I visited Piggs Peake cellar door to catch up with the latest happenings there. And there is always something happening!… Cellar door changes & new landscaping cap it off … It is just a sign really that the team are well settled in and the welcome is as warm as ever at this Hunter Valley winery for visitors looking for the quirky side of wine. Read More

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Winery Spotlight: Champagne Prat

Rock’n’Roll, Albert Einstein and a passion for bubbles…….

champagne-yveline-prat-wide-sourcedIn the past decade, the rest of the world has finally caught up with what the French have seemingly always known. A large proportion of the coveted fizz sold in France are ‘Grower’ Champagnes rather than from the large, sophisticated Champagne Houses. They put much credence in the Champagnes that have the term ‘recoltant-manipulant’ on the label, for here are the wines that often offer better value and more personality. Read More

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A new Hunter home for Andrew Thomas…. and that 2014 vintage!

thomas-kiss14-wmThere is always something worth discovering under the eponymous Andrew Thomas label and if you have not heard, recently Andrew Thomas has opened a place of his own in the Hunter Valley. This is just one of Thomas’ big moments in 2016 and on the professional front, it might be the most important.

For a label that has previously shared the limelight with other great Hunter wines at The Small Winemaker’s Centre this is a milestone moment. A sign that this label, specializing in the best expressions of semillon and shiraz that Australia’s Hunter Valley can produce (occasionally with some support from other regions), is ready to stand on its own. While you can still find his wines at the centre, there is now another reason to take that left at Broke Road.

It is a timely move too as his, and the much lauded Hunter Valley 2014 red vintage in general, will fill cellar doors throughout the region with wine lovers eager to get their lips around these wines. Read More

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