Sunday, May 27, 2012

Random Aussie Thoughts

As Boo and I say farewell to our Aussie Wine Tour, I figured I should put to post some random thoughts that popped into my head along the way.

1) There's a great discrepancy between the wines and wineries that Aussies take note of versus the best known brands that we see in the Vancouver market.

2) Indeed, some of the most visible brands and labels that we see in Vancouver never seem to see a bottle shop shelf in Oz.

3) An Aussie's sense of "old vines" sure puts to shame any reference to the same that you might see regarding Okanagan wines. Contrast their 150 year old vines to our 25 (or maybe) 30.

4) Those old vines have noticeable "personalities." Two 80 year old vines will be as different as two 80 year old folks. Some are going to be robust, others close to packing it in.

5) Who knew that kangaroos cause havoc in the actual vineyards?

6) Most Aussie wines - both red and white - are bottled under screwcap for the domestic market. For the most part, corks are only used for the European and Asian markets.

7) There's a helluva glut of grapes currently being grown Down Under.

8) They can actually have bad weather and so-so vintages in Australia. Not everything is a multi-regional blend to ensure consistency from year to year.

9) There's a lot more emphasis on regionality - and even sub-regionality - to highlight soil and climate variation than you'd ever guess by the wines that make it out of the country.

10) There wasn't nearly as much organic viticulture in the vineyard as I'd expected. It seemed to be particularly sparse in the Barossa.

Our little tour was great for giving us a connection with the various regions that we were lucky enough to visit - and there's no doubt that we barely scratched the surface. If nothing else, the visit definitely whet our whistle to make our way back Down Under again sooner than later. You know there'll have to be some wine time as central part of any return. Here's hoping....

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