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Champagne? Yes, please! It’s International Champagne DAY ….

Bored with the usual mainstream brands of Champagne?

champagne-sea-wmNow that is a phrase that I cannot ever, in any future breath, conceivably imagine myself ever saying. I can never imagine a time when I will have had too much Champagne of any kind…. That said, I can assure you that now, more than anytime in recent decades, there is plenty of choice when looking for your next bottle of Champagne.

The Champagne region has always worked very hard to be synonymous with celebrations, so much that the popping of a cork generally brings smiles all round. With more Champagne vineyards being planted to be able to keep up supply, there has been an increase in these grape growers producing their own Champagnes instead of just selling their grapes to the large Champagne houses.

You can identify a ‘grower’ Champagne by the code 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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Wine of the Month: Champagne Georges de la Chapelle Brut Millesime 2006

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The Prat family are a ‘hands on’ Champagne family and this wine is a testament to their passion for their work. Read More

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When nothing but Champagne will do ….the wines of JL Vergnon

Vergnon-Murmure-wmThe Champagnes from the house of JL Vernon have much to offer by way of delight and the cellar door in the centre of the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is well worth a visit. Being Cote des Blancs fruit, most of these wines are sourced from Grand Cru vineyards. All bar the rose are 100% Chardonnay, blanc de blancs wines made by Christophe Constant.

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When the English win at making Champagne….

Nyetimber1-wmThe first vintage of Nyetimber sparkling wine was the 1992 vintage which immediately won acclaim. It first came to my notice when the 1997 caused tongues to wag, hitting the vinous headlines and ‘announcing its arrival’ as a serious competitor for Champagne producers. It had been identified as a fine Champagne in a blind tasting and then went on to win a Gold medal at the International Wine & Spirit Challenge. This was ground breaking stuff! Not only was there a wine that brought the competition to the traditional elite of sparkling wine instead of chasing them…. It was… wait for it… English!

This then brought on the typical ribbing of ‘Do the Brits even know how to make wine?’ And of course the answer is, yes! And they have a rich history in making wine. Even from grapes grown in England. In fact, it may be a surprise to note that in 1662, an Englishman called Christopher Merret wrote a paper describing the method of making sparkling wine, including Champagne, that has produced the finest bubbles in the world ever since. Read More

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