Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Petit verdot hot to trot!

Petit verdot: a new role in Australian winemaking

Petit verdot is the subject of an article in a recent issue of Australian Gourmet Traveler Wine. In its native Bordeaux the variety is used as a minor component in some blends. In fact it is one of only five varieties permitted in the Bordeaux Appellation. But Petit verdot has a problem ripening in such a moderate climate. In many areas of Australia there is no such problem. Some great wines are being produced and enthusiasts see it as the ideal variety in those areas that are a bit warm for Cabernet sauvignon. See for yourself. On the Petit verdot page on the Vinodiversity site you will find more about this new variety and a list of some of the wineries who are producing Petit verdot wine.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Mid-range Australian producers squeezed - - story

Mid-range Australian producers squeezed - - the route to all good wine

This story reports that medium sized wineries (revenue between $1M and $20M have been hardest hit by the oversupply of red wine since the plantings of the 1990s. No doubt the effect of the exchange rate on export earnings has also been a factor. The pressure on medium sized producers could mean more bargains for consumers, but it could also lead to a flurry of mergers and takeovers.

Monday, June 21, 2004

James Joyce's favourite tipple

The centenary of Bloomsday, 16th June 1904, bought about an odd twist for Vinodiversity. While celebrating the event in downtown Sandycove Ireland, I discovered a red and a white wine for sale (It being Ireland there was a drop of the black stuff about as well.) Joyce's grandson Stephen is jealously and litigiously guarding the family name and copyright, but an enterprising Swiss maker is marketing the wines Fendant de Sion (white)and Dole de Sion red emblazoned with the title Cuvee James Joyce. Joyce's views on the white are certainly recorded, he is reported as saying that the Fendant was his favourite wine.

The story goes that Joyce was sharing a drop of Fendant with his friend he dubbed the wine Archduchess piss.

The wine as served to the revelers on 16 June 2004 was a light bodied and pleasant drop with subtle flavours, ideal for a sunny afternoon. And the variety - the out of fashion Chasselas, now sadly all but disappeared from the Australian winemaking scene.