Wine writer Jeni Port provides us with three important lessons in Australian wine, including its spirit of innovation, diversity of styles and rapid adaption.
Australian wine has its foundation in the soil and, contrary to what some overseas pundits believe, our soils exist not only in warm, but also cool regions and sub-regions.
Lesson One: Australian wine is not homogenous. Enough of the ‘sunshine in a bottle’ branding – it’s so 1980s. Australian wine also has its foundation in the mind of the producer. There are makers who uphold what little tradition we have built in this country (Morris), and makers who believe that wine should be good and affordable to everyone (Yalumba). There are those who embrace exploration and a challenge (Holm Oak), those who seek perfection (Grosset), and some who are seekers of restraint and complexity (Coldstream Hills).
Lesson Two: Don’t pigeonhole grapes or regional styles, because there will always be someone doing it differently. The individual abides. The second foundation of Australian wine is a little looser, a little freer. It’s innovation and adaption. It’s always there. Today it’s to be seen in the move to alternative grape varieties, those suited to a drier, hotter future, and wines made with less intervention, represented by the so-called ‘natural wine’ movement.
Lesson Three: The Australian wine industry is in constant evolution. Just don’t blink!
Jeni Port's ultimate Aussie six-pack
1. 2016 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling
RRP $60 | Clare Valley | Grosset
2. 2012 Coldstream Hills
RRP $60 | Yarra Valley | Coldstream Hills
3. 2014 Holm Oak Wizard Pinot Noir
RRP $60 | Tasmania | Holm Oak
4. 2013 Yalumba The Scribbler
RRP $20 | Eden Valley | Yalumba
5. 2015 Moppity Vineyards Escallier Shiraz
RRP $120 | Hilltops | Moppity Vineyards
6. Morris Old Premium Rare
RRP $75 | Rutherglen | Morris Wines
The Defining Australian Wine series is produced with thanks to our brand partner Winery Lane, an online marketplace designed to unite wine lovers with independent winemakers. Click here to watch Winery Lane’s Stephen Mobbs tackle the topic of what makes an archetypally Aussie wine.
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