Tuesday, September 21, 2010

McWilliam’s Vineyard

It comes as no surprise that McWilliam’s is offering its Yarra Valley vineyard, restaurant and cellar door for sale, but not the Lillydale Estate brand. Winemaking has long since been transferred to the Riverina, so the sale makes sense. The asking price for the 16-hectare property (over two titles) and improvements is $3 million. For details contact Mark Gunther (email mark@markgunther.com.au; A/H 0448 623 030).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2011 Wine Companion

Blowing my own trumpet, which is something I should not do, I cannot help but report that the 2011 Wine Companion has this year sold more copies week for week than any previous edition: the sales of 4345 books in the week before Father’s Day was 781 copies more than the previous record set in 2008. There’s life left in the printed word yet, it seems.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Margaret River coal mine

It seems incredible, but an American/Australian syndicate is assessing the feasibility of an underground coal mine 15 km from the town of Margaret River. It leaves Premier Colin Barnett in a difficult situation, as he candidly admitted his government was pro-mining and pro-development, but recognised there was a conflict of interest between a mine and the character of Margaret River. Needless to say, the worthy vignerons of the region, never slow to protect their turf, are up in arms about the suggestion. So would I be if I had any interest in tourism in the region, and in particular, wine tourism. It is an appalling prospect.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I was interested to read the blog that follows on biodynamics written by a Napa Valley winemaker, Stuart Smith.


Courtesy of Brian Miller

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The discussion around corks usually focuses on TCA and/or oxidation. This leaves aside the mechanical properties of cork, ie what is its quality, and how well has it been inserted into the bottle? The four corks illustrated were all removed from their respective bottles on the same day, all from ultra-premium/icon wines costing between a low of $80 and a high of $500+. Only the cork on the righthand side gives me as much confidence as one could ever have with a cork. The one on the left is a certain harbinger of problems to come, wine having travelled (some time ago) halfway up the cork on all sides. The two in the middle are FAQ (fair-average quality) and may or may not outlive the wine in the bottle.