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Wine

Mudgee - nest in the hills

There’s a zest for life, a sense of passion and purpose, among the winemakers, restaurateurs and providores of this Central Western NSW region.

Friday night, with the sun setting and the moon rising, is a fine time to arrive at Lowe Wines, high on a hill-rise, with its vista of vines and cerulean blue hills beyond. There’s time enough for a quick catch-up with the very busy winemaker David Lowe, just before hundreds of guests are seated at tables in his winery for dinner and a show. Lowe is a sixth-generation descendant of the first Lowes to take up farming on this property, and he’s a passionate convert to organic, indeed biodynamic, farming measures.

"When I took over, the soils here were completely degraded, needing drastic repair, and biodynamics seemed the fastest and best way to fix them,” Lowe says. Biodynamic farming techniques involve burying cow horns with a mixture of fermented manure, minerals and herbs at specific phases in the lunar cycle ‘to harmonise the vital life forces of the farm’, as one authority explains it. While it’s based on belief more than theory, it’s certainly working here. David is famous for his premium, certified organic wines; some made without any preservatives, notably a Shiraz, demand for which is high.

Adjacent to the winery is The Zin House, Mudgee’s only restaurant with a SMH Good Food Guide chef’s hat. Chef Kim Curry is David Lowe’s partner, so naturally, flights of Lowe Wines accompany her degustation menus, which are inspired by what’s fresh and in season – 60 to 70 per cent of the ingredients are sourced locally, many of them grown here on the farm.

PALPABLE PASSION

There is a long tradition of organic winemaking in Mudgee, starting with Australia’s first organic vineyard, Botobolar in 1971. At Vinifera Wines, the McKendry family is celebrating having achieved organic certification for their wines. After Tony and Debbie McKendry recognised climatic similarities between Mudgee and Spain’s Rioja region, they embarked on Spanish varieties like Tempranillo, Graciano and Gran Tinto – all of which have been very popular – however, it’s their Chardonnay that leaves me smitten.

The passion emanating from the winemakers – indeed, from all the Mudgee producers – is palpable. They care deeply about quality, and are continually improvising and experimenting to improve quality and variety. The other striking feature is how collaborative they are – they share advice and ideas, and as winemaker Peter Logan tells me, they have fun together – the winemakers field their own indoor soccer team in a local comp.

A STUNNING OUTLOOK

With over 40 cellar doors in the fairly compact Mudgee wine region, there’s a lot of choice. There’s also plenty to please the eye, like the stunning tasting room and deck at Logan Wines with its sweeping view of Apple Tree Flat and its surrounding pyramidal hills. Peter Logan, celebrating his 20th vintage, is happy to show off his latest range called Ridge of Tears, two very different styles of Shiraz. Each is made from low-yield fruit and treated much the same, but ‘terroir’ is the variable – one comes from Logan’s Orange basalt-based vineyard, the other from Mudgee’s more loamy soils.

The terrace at Moothi Estate has another gorgeous view, especially at sunset. ‘Moothi’ is another version of ‘Mudgee’, meaning ‘nest in the hills’ in the Wiradjuri language, extremely apt for this beautiful place. Jessica and Jason Chrcek now run Moothi Estate vineyard, which her parents started. At their cellar door, they serve award-winning platters of cheese, pickles and smallgoods – the lamb pastrami is a great discovery.

At another family enterprise, the Robert Stein Vineyard and Winery, the multitalented, third-generation winemaker Jacob Stein (playing striker in the winemakers’ soccer team), also has responsibility for looking after the ‘old world’ varieties of pig that graze on the property. His brother-in-law, chef Andy Crestani, roasts the resulting free-range pork at the winery’s restaurant Pipeclay Pumphouse, and it appears as one of the dishes in the dinner degustation. (I’m keen to come back for breakfast to try the bacon and egg gnocchi with truffle oil.)

Just about every cellar door will serve you High Valley Wine & Cheese Factory’s handmade soft cheeses, and they return the complement by serving local wines in their tasting room. The couple behind High Valley, Ro and Grovenor Francis, are no slouches. They already had 40 years of farming experience, and 20 years of viticulture behind them before venturing into dairy manufacture. The walls of their tasting room are plastered with the awards their wines and cheeses have won.

ALL AGES ADVENTURES

I discover local passion isn’t confined to producers when I meet ‘mine host’ of Mudgee’s Getaway Cottages, Elizabeth Etherington, a former mayor of Mudgee. These six holiday dwellings appear to be houses on an ordinary street a few minutes’ walk from the centre of town, but you soon discover that they all back onto a 3.64-hectare farm-stay wonderland on the banks of the Cudgegong River. “I’m a baby boomer,” Etherington explains, “and I grew up with plenty of space to play and roam, and with innocent freedom to explore. When I created Getaway Cottages, I had in mind to provide for today’s children the joy of nature, which many seem to miss out on.”

To this end, Elizabeth Etherington has created a kids’ paradise, complete with an ostrich, a donkey, rabbits, flourishing vegetable gardens to raid for dinner, and plenty of toys and activities, including, for the big kids, a chip’n’putt golf course. In conversation, it transpires that Etherington is a producer as well, of the Orchy brand of fruit juices, which is a “100% Australian family-owned business since 1876.” Mudgee’s food manufacturing history goes way back.

In town, Roth’s Wine Bar, holding the oldest wine bar licence in NSW, is the place to try (and buy) almost all of the district’s wines (due to the peculiarities of the ancient licence, you are also permitted to take away). Here you can dig into pizza, listen to live music, and try Roth’s special in-house drinks, such as the ‘1080’ (named after a poison bait) and ‘Diesel’. Before being licensed in 1923, when Roth’s was a general store, these were code names for the sly grog chalked up on farmers’ accounts.

Also possessing a fine cellar, the recently renovated Oriental Hotel offers an elevated dining/drinking experience (and city views) on its second-storey deck, while at the nearby Wineglass Bar and Grill, owner and chef Scott Tracey serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (and provides chic boutique accommodation) in a restored 1850s former hostelry for mail coaches.

BEER AND BITES

It’s not all about the wine (and food), however, there are very fine craft beers to be sampled at the Mudgee Brewing Company (another live music venue), housed in a historic wool store; and adjacent to Vinifera Wines there’s Baker Williams Distillery, where distillers Nathan Williams and Helen Baker are having a lot of fun coming up with proof concoctions – butterscotch schnapps, anyone?

Good coffee can also be found – at the Wineglass, you can buy the four-shot ‘bucket’, ideal for coping with a bad hangover. One of the most popular breakfast spots in town is the leafy courtyard café at Albie + Esthers, which transforms into a wine bar at night (of course). Tea is not neglected either – exotic varieties (and fresh handmade dumplings) feature on the menu of the delightful 29 nine 99 Yum Cha and Tea House at nearby Rylestone; it’s well worth stopping here for refreshments if you are making the 3.5 to 4 hour drive from Sydney.

There’s lots more to explore – the old gold-mining township of Gulgong, the racehorses of Goree Park, the fine streets and shops of Mudgee itself, and more wineries – but when you eventually have to leave, FlyPelican can make light work of the trip with a 50 minute flight to Sydney. (Speaking of ‘light’, and speaking from experience, the aircraft’s 23kg luggage limit means it may be best to freight your wine purchases beforehand.) It’s good to know, however, that whenever you pine for a taste of more Mudgee magic, it can be quick and easy to return.

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The Best Barossa Valley Wineries & Cellar Doors
Your guide to Barossa Valley’s historic cellar doors and tasting experiences! Only a short drive from Adelaide will get you to one of Australia’s most historic wine regions, the Barossa Valley. The international success of Australian wine has a lot to thank the Barossa for, recognised for the outstanding quality of wine to come out of the region since the first plantings over 160 years ago. Today, there are so many internationally renowned wineries in the Barossa with equally acclaimed cellar doors and restaurants that a visit to the area will definitely reward any person with a love of regional wines, produce, and beauty. Fine, fresh and regional flavours abound; a bold Shiraz, a hearty Cabernet Sauv, classic Chardonnays, fresh Rieslings, and everything else in between are all ready for your enjoyment. So, jump in the car, take in the views, soak up the sunshine and savour everything the Barossa has to offer. The Willows Vineyard    Situated at Light Pass in the Barossa Valley, The Willows Vineyard has roots going back to the beginning of this historic grape growing region – Johann Gottfried Scholz, an early European colonists and previous Prussian Army bonesetter, first settled The Willows Vineyard property in 1845. But it wasn’t until 1936 that fourth generation relatives of Johann planted the property’s first Semillon vines, with Shiraz, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache added over the years. Now home to the ‘Bonesetter’ Shiraz and ‘The Doctor’ Sparkling Shiraz in honour of Johann, the Scholz family are proudly 100% Barossan, sourcing fruit entirely from their Light Pass vineyard. 310 Light Pass Rd, Light Pass Open Wednesday to Monday 10:30am-4:30pm | Closed Tuesday and Public holidays Visit The Willows Vineyard website Schild Estate   Recognised as a Five Star Winery and listed as one of the ‘Ten Dark Horses’ in the 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion, Schild Estate produces highly acclaimed wines including the Moorooroo Shiraz, of which the 2015 vintage was awarded 99 points (James Halliday, 2019 Wine Companion) and the Ben Schild Reserve Shiraz which was awarded ‘Best in Show – Australian Reds’ at Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards 2019. In addition to classic wine tasting experiences, Schild Estate also offers a wine and chocolate pairing experience for $20 per person where guests will be treated to artisan chocolates expertly matched with wines from their collection. Pre-bookings are essential for this unique experience. Lot 1095, Barossa Valley Way, Lyndoch Open Friday to Sunday 10am-4pm or by appointment |Closed public holidays. Visit the Schild Estate website Château Tanunda The majestic bluestone winery and expansive vineyard of Château Tanunda epitomises the Barossa’s colourful history and pioneering spirit. Established in 1890, the grand, meticulously restored buildings and carefully manicured gardens of Château Tanunda are home to the Barossa's earliest vines with the winery now proudly producing wines with fruit from 150-year-old vines. For visitors to this historic property, booking the ‘Discover the Château’ tour is a must, plus there are a host of wines to taste in the Grand Barrel Room, including Old Vine Expression, Terroirs of the Barossa and more. Or, simply enjoy a game of croquet on the lawn and take in the sunshine. 9 Basedow Rd, Tanunda Open daily 10am-5pm Visit the Château Tanunda website Bethany Wines Bethany Wines’ first vineyard was planted in 1852 with a wine cellar built on the site. Despite the winery’s pioneer, Johann Schrapel, having a good reputation as an early colonial winemaker, the Schrapel family made the decision to focus on viticulture instead of winemaking for the next four generations. However, it was this early insight into maintaining their early plantings – even through the wine glut years when the government encouraged wineries to pull up their vines – that has allowed the now fifth and sixth generations of the Schrapel family to continue working this prized Barossan plot to produce luscious old vine wines alongside their new and alternate varieties. Visit Bethany Wines’ cellar door to enjoy a fresh and delicious picnic platter, taste estate made wines, take in the views, or even take a historic walk. 378 Bethany Rd, Tanunda From Adelaide, travelling North away from the city on the Sturt Highway, take the Gomersal Road to Tanunda and then Bethany Road to the foothills. Open Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm | Sundays 1pm-5pm Visit the Bethany Hills website Elderton Wines Neil and Lorraine Ashmead moved to the Barossa in 1979 after Lorraine’s father told them about a home with great potential. The homestead in the heart of the township of Nuriootpa was surrounded by extremely old Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which offered great appeal, but their move to the region was at a time when demand for Australian table wine was negligible, and the vineyard had become derelict since the vine pull to address the wine glut in the region. So, after years of no interest, the real estate agent eventually offered the Ashmeads the 72acre vineyard as a bonus, as part of the sale of the homestead. Three years later, after restoring the vineyard, Elderton Wines was born. Visit this quintessentially Barossan cellar door, complete with stunning views, fantastic wines and friendly staff. 3-5 Tanunda Rd, Nuriootpa Open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm | weekends 11am-4pm Visit the Elderton Wines website Z Wine Z WINE is seriously dedicated to making some of the Barossa Valley’s best wine. The Z in the name stands for Zerk, a pioneering settler family who came to the Barossa in 1846. Today, Janelle and Kristen Zerk, the famed Barossa Valley sister duo, are the passionate owners of Z Wine who are dedicated to creating regional, small batch wines using grapes from 10 different vignerons in the Barossa area, honouring their connection to the region which began five generations ago. Z Wines proudly stand alongside many well-known wines – recently winning third to Penfold’s Grange in the 2018 WINESTATE International Shiraz Challenge and topping the Barossa Valley Grenache entries in the recent 2018 James Halliday national Grenache challenge. A visit to their cellar door will reward you with the chance to taste wines from four different Z Wine labels, including 17 highly-awarded wines. Their new cellar door and wine bar in the main street of Tanunda is very popular, offering regional produce and local live music to accompany the selection of distinct wines.  SHOP 3, 109-111 Murray Street Tanunda The corner of Basedow Road and Murray Street Open Monday to Wednesday 10am-5pm | Thursday and Sunday 10am-8pm | Friday and Saturday 10am-late with LIVE music Visit the Z Wine website Pindarie Wines The old grain room and heritage stables make up the Pindarie cellar door that were hand restored over a period of 20 years by vigneron and winemaker couple Wendy Allan and Tony Brooks. A winner of multiple tourism awards, the cellar door is home to Pindarie’s Western Ridge estate grown wines, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and unique range of Mediterranean varietals such as Montepulciano, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese with the cellar door also offering a genuine paddock to plate experience with their range of seasonal lunches featuring local produce. It’s the perfect place to relax, take in the views and enjoy regional flavours. 946 Rosedale Rd, Gomersal Open Monday to Friday 11am-4pm | Weekends 11am-5pm Visit the Pindarie Wines website Henschke Wines Visiting the historic Henschke cellar door, built in the 1860s by Johann Christian Henschke, is said to be one of the most captivating wine experiences in the Barossa. The intimate and charming space is a showcase and celebration of the Henschke family’s winemaking prowess and ability to continually produce internationally renowned wines. Drawing on select vineyards from the Eden, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley regions, the Henschke cellar door is the perfect place to sample the unique terroir expressed in their premium single-vineyard wines. VIP tours and private tastings are also available, or you can always book yourself a table at the famed Hill of Grace Restaurant. 1428 Keyneton Rd, Keyneton Open Monday to Saturday 9am-4:30pm |Public holidays 10am-3pm | Closed Sundays, Good Friday, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day Visit the Henschke website Seppeltsfield Seppeltsfield is one of Australia’s most historic wineries with a history forged by the pioneering vision of Joseph and Joanna Seppelt in 1851. Seppeltfield’s grand complex of heritage buildings is the perfect place to sample their unique 100-year-old fortified wines and to taste wine from the year of your birth. Seppelt is also credited with paving the way for progressive cool climate styles, particularly for producing Australia’s first Sparkling wine, as well as pioneering Sparkling Shiraz. The winery has enjoyed many accolades over their extensive history, including being recognised as Australia's most awarded Sparkling producer, as well as winning the highly sought-after Jimmy Watson Trophy, three times. Stop by for free wine tastings, or book a private tour to take in the winery’s full historic charm. 730 Seppeltsfield Rd, Barossa Valley Open daily 10am-5pm Visit the Seppeltsfield website Thorn-Clarke   The name Thorn-Clarke honours the coming together of two Barossa Valley wine and agricultural families, the Thorns and the Clarkes; the Thorns with six generations of Barossan winemaking in their blood and the Clarkes providing vigneron and geology expertise. While a relatively young winery in terms of some of their Barossa neighbours, Thorn-Clarke was established in 2001 and has gone from strength to strength since then. Today, they boast one of the largest private vineyard holdings in the Barossa, which provides the basis for exceptional Barossa and Eden Valley wines. Their relaxed Barossa cellar door is the perfect place to unwind during your visit to the region – sample local produce platters as you sit in their winery garden, or sample their Eden Valley whites and Barossa Valley reds, sourced from their four estate-owned vineyards. 226 Gawler Park Rd, Angaston Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and 11am-4pm on weekends Visit the Thorn-Clarke website Two Hands Wines The idea for Two Hands came about when founders, Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz, decided to make the best possible Shiraz-based wines from prized growing regions throughout Australia. They had a drive to shake up the Shiraz styles of the time and instead focus on the unique regional and vineyard characteristics that can be expressed in a good Australian Shiraz. They soon built their state-of-the-art winery, crafted their first wines, and then the accolades began to reward them for their passion and dedication to Australian wine. Stop by for a structured yet relaxed tasting that takes guests through their range of innovative wines in an intimate and informative setting out on the tasting deck with views across Marananga. 273 Neldner Rd, Marananga Open daily 10am-5pm Visit the Two Hands website Yalumba Established in 1849, Yalumba is one of Australia’s most iconic and important wine labels. The impressive wine room, built inside the original brandy store is the perfect place to sample the wide range of wines on offer from everyday table drops through to their exquisite reserve collections. A visit to their historic grounds and cellar door during the week may reward you with seeing the cooperage in action while you experience the fragrant sweet spice of their handmade barrels. And for weekend guests, the landscaped grounds, which are exquisitely framed by the Wine Room and the historic clock tower, are perfect for a relaxing walk or to throw down a picnic rug to enjoy one of Yalumba’s renowened Coopers Boards in the sun. 40 Eden Valley Rd, Angaston Open daily 10am-5pm Visit the Yalumba website Grant Burge Nestled atop of a hill along Krondorf Road, the Grant Burge cellar door in the heart of the Barossa Valley enjoys exquisite views over the valley floor in one direction and rolling lawns and manicured gardens in the other. The tasting team at the cellar door will lead you through Grant Burge’s extensive range of wines, including refreshing Sparklings, crisp Rieslings to full-flavoured Chardonnay. And in keeping with Grant Burge’s great reputation for bold Barossan red, guests can also enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and of course, powerful Shiraz. Take in the views, savour a bottle of your favourite wine, and enjoy a meal at their cafe featuring local produce. Group tastings are available by appointment.  Krondorf Rd, Tanunda Open daily 10am-5pm Visit the Grant Burge website More information For more information on visiting the Barossa be sure to visit the official Barossa website or stop by the Visitors Center  in Tanunda when you're in the area. But, if you’d like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit – explore our wide selection of Barossa wines and find out more about the wineries listed in this guide in our Meet the Makers section. With our Wine Selectors Regional Releases , you'll experience a different wine region each release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel , plus you’ll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our Regional Releases page to find out more!
Wine
Great Cellar Doors of South Australia
Words by Louise Radman on 13 Sep 2016
South Australia is renowned for its fantastic wine country. If you are planning to explore the regions around Adelaide here are some top cellar doors that make worthwhile stops on the itinerary. Murray Street Vineyards – Barossa Valley Ranked as the number one locale in Barossa by Trip Advisor for the past two years running, Murray Street Vineyards has earned a reputation as a must-visit destination. Situated in the quiet village of Greenock, this cellar door offers a relaxed and personal experience on the Western ridge. With no tasting bar to separate you from the team, you can try a seated tasting of six wines that honour the rich winemaking tradition of the Barossa in elegant Riedel stemware. Experience the tasting room or the view from the shady pergola on the deck overlooking a typical Barossa setting of manicured vines. You might like to graze on regional cheese and charcuterie platters while enjoying Murray Street’s classic ‘The Barossa’ blend of Shiraz , Grenache and Mataro. Recently awarded the Barossa trust mark, the grapes for this wine represent the best of the season and hail from some of the world’s oldest soils. This is the perfect location for a day out with family and friends. Why not while away the afternoon on beanbags in the garden playing lawn games like quoits and bocce. Barossa is calling. murraystreet.com.au d’Arenberg – McLaren Vale Don’t be fooled by the traditional exterior of the 19th century homestead at this landmark cellar door, a visit to d’Arenberg is a journey into new and inspiring territory. Boasting a range of over seventy wonderful and wackily named wines, there’s always plenty to taste while enjoying views of McLaren Vale , Willunga Hills and Gulf St Vincent. Highlights include a behind the scenes vintage tour and blending bench sessions where you can create and bottle your favourite style. The luxury reds flight dives deeper into the region to uncover single vineyard wines that showcase the personality of individual patches of earth. Just $20 buys you an exclusive look at the flagship Dead Arm and two Amazing Sites Shiraz, each valued over $200 per bottle. Think The Athazagoraphobic Cat Sagrantino Cinsault or The Old Bloke and Three Young Blondes, starring Shiraz from the oldest and best vines together with young whites; Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne. Adventure seekers can explore the region in a four-wheel drive or take to the skies for a scenic flight in a Waco plane before settling into epicurean heaven at the award winning d'Arry's Verandah Restaurant. Soon to be housed in a 13 million dollar Rubik’s Cube complex, this legendary cellar door has perfected the art of being different. We can’t wait to see what’s next. darenberg.com.au Skillogalee – Clare Valley Nestled in the contours of the Skilly Hills, Skillogalee has held the title of first and best winery restaurant in Clare Valley for over twenty-six years. Built in 1851, the heritage cellar door is housed in a charming miner’s cottage consisting of tasting and dining rooms with a long verandah overlooking three tiers of cottage garden. The famous vine pruner’s lunch can be enjoyed from prime position under the shade of a large olive tree, while early risers will love the breakfast of potted trout, baked eggs and taleggio. Spend an afternoon on the lawn amid the heirloom roses with a bottle of iconic Skillogalee Riesling and some chicken liver parfait, and duck rillettes. You can taste the full range of estate grown wines including the exceptional single contour Trevarrick series and delicious liqueur Muscat. Don’t forget to pick up house made quince paste, pickled figs, chutney and other goodies from great old trees on the property to stock the larder. This cosy and authentic experience is a longtime favourite of locals and visitors alike. skillogalee.com.au The Lane Vineyard – Adelaide Hills The Lane sets one of the country’s highest standards in cellar doors. The modern tasting space, light filled dining room and sun drenched deck float above the heart of the vineyard with sweeping views of the Onkaparinga Valley and Mount Lofty Ranges. Casual and structured experiences include guided vineyard and winery tours, interactive blending sessions, twilight masterclasses and exquisite luncheons. Estate grown tastings of the Block Series, Occasion and Heritage wine ranges are guaranteed to thrill your senses and soften the edges of daily life. Food and wine are woven together in a paired tasting served in stunning varietal specific stemware with delicate morsels from the kitchen. You can also select from dishes such as spiced almonds, house made chicken liver parfait and ocean trout ceviche to design your own tasting platter. Friendly and professional staff are a fount of local knowledge, walking you through the history and geography of the domaine, farming traditions of the Hills and region’s bid for world heritage status. This is an immersive Australian experience founded on love of place and irrepressible family passion for good food, great wine and friendship. Time moves a little slower at The Lane, why not linger? thelane.com.au
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Following the Prosecco Road - Your Guide to Australian Prosecco
Australian Prosecco   is a vibrant sparkling wine style taking over Australia from the Prosecco Road in Victoria’s King Valley to the Adelaide Hills . Internationally, it is now the world's most popular Sparkling wine, overtaking Champagne in sales. Learn more about its long history, how it’s made and where to find the best Australian Prosecco with this helpful guide and infographic.   Firstly, what is Prosecco? Prosecco is a style of Sparkling wine made from the Glera grape variety. This historic variety is believed to hail from the ancient Slovenian village of Prosek, now part of Italy. There are records of  Julia Augusta drinking wine from the Prosek region as early as 79 AD . But, what we now know as Prosecco hails from the North-east Italian province of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia near Treviso enshrined in the Prosecco DOC, or the designated production zone. The characteristic ‘fizz’ of Prosecco is classed as either Spumante, the most exuberant, as a more moderate Frizzante or with no fizz at all as a Tranquillo. Prosecco is a late-ripening variety and is harvested once the varietal flavours of white peach, white pear and lemon peak and the acidity has softened. Cool climate and high altitude regions like  King Valley     or the  Adelaide Hills  are well suited to this variety. Prosecco vs Champagne and Sparkling Wines  Apart from featuring different grapes, it’s the way Prosecco is made that plays a large role in the difference between Prosecco,  Champagne  and  Sparkling Wines . Whereas Champagne is fermented in its bottle using Methode Champenoise, Prosecco is fermented pressurised steel tanks in a process known by much of the world as the “Charmat” method. However, mention the word Charmat to an Italian winemaker and there might be trouble. In Italy, it’s known as the “Martinotti Method”, invented and patented in 1885 by Fedricco Martinotti, seven years before the French winemaker Eugène Charmat filed for his take on the method. The Martinotti method involves conducting the second fermentation in large autoclave steel tanks before clarification and cooling. This forgoes the need for fermentation, riddling and disgorgement inside individual bottles required in the Champagne method. This method is a very efficient process lowering the resources required by the winemaker. However, it shouldn’t be viewed as an inferior process, as it allows for increased control, scale, filtration and the ability to lower the required yeast lees contact during the winemaking process. This is the key difference. Methode Champenoise wines have complex and rich autolytic textures from this process with restrained fruits. Martinotti method Prosecco wines are all about lightness, freshness and fruit, designed to be enjoyed at any occasion. Joy in a bottle. A further, often neglected fact is that  we owe the Bellini cocktail to Prosecco , invented by Giuseppe Cipriani when he combined white peach puree with Prosecco in Harry’s Bar Venice close to the Prosecco DOC, or designated production zone. Dal Zotto brings Prosecco to Australia Victoria’s King Valley can lay claim to planting the first Glera vines in Australia.  The wine history of the King Valley  starts in the 1880s in the regions’ tobacco plantations, established by Chinese settlers seeking new opportunities as the Victorian gold rush stagnated. By the 1940s Italian migrants had arrived to the region working on the tobacco farms. Yet, in the 1960s, the local tobacco industry was starting to decline. Otto Dal Zotto, born in the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOCG region, where Prosecco vines carpet the hillsides, came to Australia in the late 1960s. Like many Italian migrants before him, Otto was drawn to the region to work in the tobacco fields. But, as the work dried up he moved into the region's emerging wine industry planting Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Gradually, the region began to plant classic Italian varieties, expressing the passion of the winemaker’s collective Italian heritage. Then, in 2000 Otto planted the first Glera grapes and the rest, as they say, is history. The Rise of King Valley and the Prosecco Road
The road that traverses the valley from  Milawa’s Brown Brothers  to Chrismont in Cheshunt is known as the Prosecco Road. Along the way, visitors pass Dal Zotto Wines , Pizzini Wines and Sam Miranda Wines. These five wineries are among the best wineries in the region, all famous for this variety. As a result, the King Valley, long known for Italian and other alternative varieties such as Arneis, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, is now most famous as the home of Australian Prosecco. We recently caught up with Ross Brown from Brown Brothers to talk Prosecco and Christmas  in this recent article. Sam Miranda is the third generation of a prominent winemaking family who moved from Italy to Australia in the 1930s. Since making the King Valley home in 1996, and drawing on a proud Italian heritage and a love for innovative winemaking, Sam Miranda Wines have been instrumental in the rise and collective promotion of King Valley Prosecco into the legend it is today. The Adelaide Hills and other Prosecco Regions
Glera vines are starting to gain momentum in other cool climate regions such as the Adelaide Hills and Yarra Valley. With wineries including Innocent Bystander, Tempus Two and Coriole Vineyards leading the charge. As consumer demand continues to increase for Australian Prosecco this will only continue. Tasting Notes Prosecco is a light, fresh, creamy and fruit focused Sparkling wine.  Tasting Panellist Adam Walls  notes that Prossecco generally presents with a “pale lemon colour and a fine bead collar. Abundant in pear, apple and citrus fruits with creamy soft texture, it’s little wonder that Prosecco is proving to be a favourite with drinkers across the country”. Prosecco Food Pairings
Prosecco is a style that’s wonderful to enjoy on its own as the party’s getting started or with appetisers such as savoury canapes of cured meats or fresh fruit such as  Lyndey Milan’s stuffed figs wrapped in bastourmar . This Italian-style Sparkling is also the perfect match for light seafood or Mediterranean dishes. As the temperature rises it’s ideal with fresh, zesty Asian inspired salads like this  Vietnamese summer salad recipe . Explore more of our  recipe ideas now. Try Prosecco Today At its heart, Prosecco is designed to be enjoyed with friends. This light refreshing style has no pretence, and is made to be served immediately and not saved for a special occasion like Champagne. Instead, all moments are celebrations. With this ethos, it’s little wonder that it’s taking over the world.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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