Master Class Australian Wines by Nancy Kerestedjian

Master Class Australian Wines by Nancy Kerestedjian

Les Rencontres Vinicoles Palm Beach in Cannes March 27, 2018

South World Wines Gaëtan Turner, Founder

Master Class South World Wine Australian Wines


 Australia vs France12x larger than France

Australian Wine Production

Australian Varietals

Australia’s main vineyard produce is Shiraz followed by Chardonnay. The two varieties make up 44% of the total wine production. What the production totals don’t say is that Australia is trying to diversify. Many of the Chardonnay and Shiraz plantings are being ripped out in favor of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

Australian Wine Regions

The largest wine production region by far is South Australia.

One major city in South Australia is home to the Australian Wine Research Institute (awri). AWRI is responsible for much of the world’s research on dry farming techniques and commercial wine operation. Besides South Australia, keep your eyes peeled for the two up-and-coming wine regions: Western Australia and Victoria.

Regions and Varietals

The three major wine regions in Australia by shear volume are South Australia (50 % of all the country’s production), New South Wales and Victoria. South Australia and NSW tend to be more famous for their warm climate varieties such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon whereas Victoria is known for cool climate-loving Pinot Noir.

Australian Wine Regions South Australia

  • Adelaide is the hub of the largest wine growing region in Australia. A few miles from Adelaide is Barossa Valley, South Australia’s most prestigious growing area.
  • Barossa Valley–oldest living vineyards in the world!
  • 45 minutes from Adelaide are the rolling hills of Barossa Valley. The region is unique because of its isolation from the rest of the world. Phylloxera hasn’t yet infected vineyard soils in Barossa, which means it’s home to some of the oldest living vineyards in the world.

Australian Wine Regions New South Wales

  • The major production in New South Wales comes from the inland Big Rivers Zone. This area has historically produced much of the commercial Chardonnay and Shiraz from Australia. However, because of severe drought in recent years, more wine grape growers are experimenting with drought-friendly varieties like Tempranillo and Verdelho.

Australian Wine Regions Victoria

  • Commercial winemaking in North West Victoria makes up the majority of wine production in the entire region. However, the growing areas of interest are cooler and closer to Melbourne such as Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The cool climate areas in Victoria have received a lot of praise for their Pinot Noir.

Wines presented

Wine 1

  • Region: At Auburn in the Clare Valley – north eastern corner
  • Type : Riesling
  • Name : Mount Horrocks Watervale (clic)
  • Winemaker: Stephanie Toole
  • Soil: Red soil over limestone
  • Vintage : 2016
  • One of the best – organic – lemon – grapefuit – linear – slately – brilliant acid – delicate – heavy petroleum – green apples.
  • Just came out with a Rosé in 2017
  • Pairing: Pork, Crustaceans – Poultry – Seasoned Meat

Mount Horrocks

  • Each of the six wines from Mount Horrocks originates from a single vineyard.
  • Strikingly beautiful and isolated, the Alexander Vineyard is located at the extreme North-eastern corner of the Watervale sub-region of the Clare Valley and where all but one of the wines originates.
  • Riesling, shiraz, semillon, nero d’avola and (since 2016) cabernet sauvignon are grown here at a cool 475 metre altitude. Vines cover 16 acres (6.3ha) of this 80 acre (32ha) property; the three sections of vineyard separated by rocky outcrops and ridges.
  • The Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Vineyard is located at Auburn, close to the Mount Horrocks Cellar Door (formerly the Auburn Railway Station) and is planted to riesling. At an elevation of 340 metres it is a warmer site and ideal for producing this richer, more concentrated wine.

Stephanie Toole Mount Horrocks Watervale

  • In 2007 Stephanie Toole became one of just 120 or so Australian Winemakers in the history of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine to be nominated for the Australian Winemaker of the Year Award

Wine 2

  • Region: Yarra Valley – Victoria
  • Type : 100% Chardonnay
  • Name : Giant Steps (clic)
  • Producer : Tarraford Vineyard
  • Vintage : 2014
  • Notes : Cool Climate – floral – citrus – rose – chompy complexity – lime – nectarine – silky cream – hint of mineral – tangy stone fruit
  • Pairing: Salmon – Tuna – Pork – Poultry

Phil Sexton – Giant Steps

  • History
  • It was Phil Sexton’s desire to grow and produce classical cool climate single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah that inspired him to move from the west coast and acquire land adjoining Yarra Yering in the Yarra Valley. This was the birth of the Giant Steps label.
  • The People
  • Owner, Phil Sexton grew up in Margaret River during the early years of the Margaret River wine industry. Phil was captivated by the idea that wine growing offered an opportunity to engage in agriculture, the ether, art and science. Phil is a Science graduate of the University of Western Australia and has a Master of Science in Fermentation and Brewing Science from the University of Birmingham. Phil’s career in brewing includes Brewmaster at the Swan Brewing Company in Perth and co-founder of the Matilda Bay Brewing Company and Little Creatures Brewing Company. Phil also founded Devil’s Lair Vineyard and Winery in Margaret River.

Wine 3

  • Region: Piper s Brook/River Tasmania
  • Type : Pinot Noir
  • Name : Dalrymple Vineyard (clic) – Peter Caldwell
  • Created by Berthel and Annie Sundstrup in 1987
  • Vintage : 2013
  • Notes : Cool like in New Zealand – prolonged maturity – lots of acidity – manual harvest – not allowed to chaptalize – 30% whole bunches – cold nights
  • Visual : Ruby Grenat Nose: plums and cherries Mouth: good length
  • NB the Straights of Bass – vines planted on the slopesbetween Tasmania and the Continent

Peter Caldwell

Pinot Noir has always been my passion – the most difficult grape to grow, the most difficult wine to make well. The most satisfying of victories.”

Peter Caldwell Vigneron

Wine 4

  • Region: Margaret River – Wilyabrup in Far western Australia
  • Type : 90% Cabarbet Sauvignon 8% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot
  • Producer : Vasse Felix Winery (clic)
  • Dark cocao and foresty character
  • Vintage : 2014 – Special Vintage
  • Notes : First Red Wine Produced in Margaret Valley in 1972 – well-drained soils
  • Aged: 18 months in 40% new French oak
  • Potential: 10-15 years

VASSE FELIX – Holmes à Court Family

Holmes a Court Family Acquire Vasse Felix

After noticing the estate listed for sale in the classified section of The West Australian newspaper, The Holmes a Court Family acquires Vasse Felix. The Family has remained owners of Vasse Felix since.

The first vintage of Vasse Felix Classic Dry White is made.

Wine 5

  • Region: South Australia – Barossa Valley
  • Type : GSM Medium Bodied
  • Name : The Holy Trinity (clic)
  • Producer : Grant Burge (clic) – makes 47 other wines
  • Vintage : 2012 Clay – Brown sand
  • Notes : Cork Top – red fruits – coffee – chocolate – oak spice and vanilla
  • Serve at 18° Decant: 60 minutes

Wine 6

  • Region: South Australia – Barossa Valley
  • Type : Fortified Wines – Port
  • Name : 10 year Tawny 19% Alcohol content
  • Producer : Grant Burge Wines (clic)
  • Varietals: Grenache Mataro and Shiraz
  • Vintage : 2012 – Best year!!! Cork top
  • Notes : Solera Based System- Fermentation stopped by adding Brandy- topped with younger wines – rancio characters
  • Dessert Wine – Rich and Warming
  • Pairing: Cheese and dessert Chocolate and Caramel

What to remember ……

  • 3 major regions
  • South Australia
  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • Tasmania too
  • Barossa Valley produces supurb wines
  • Some areas never experienced Phylloxera
  • Drought is a big concern

Events in Australia


So far, wine-makers have escaped the worst of the crisis. Their business is so important to the local economy that it has been guaranteed water. But for other inhabitants of the Murray-Darling basin, a vast expanse of land the size of France and Germany combined, the consequences are much more serious.

Nancy Kerestedjian

11 h 56 min , 6 avril 2018 Commentaires fermés sur Master Class Australian Wines by Nancy Kerestedjian