The most vinodiverse wine in Australia? I recently visited Best's cellar door at Great Western in the Grampians wine region of Western Victoria. They maintain a small block of vines called the Nursery block that was planted in the 1860s. The block contains a mixture of red and white grapes in a fairly haphazard way. The block is part of our cultural history and occasionally makes some very good wine.
Red Varieties in the nursery block include: Aubun, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsaut, Dolcetto, Fer, Gamay, Grec Rose, Meunier, Morocain Noir, Olivette Noir, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Tinta Amarella, Plus a few unidentified vines
White Varieties in the nursery block include:
Bourbeouelenc, Calitor blanc, Chasselas, Chenin blanc, Duorado, Gordo, Gouais, Gueche, Fermint, Frankental, Muscadelle, Ondenc, Palomino, Piquepoul, Sauvigonasse, Sauvignon blanc, Troyen and some vines which have defied identification.
Separate wines are made from the nursery block in better years when the yield is high enough to justify the work. In other years the grapes are blended in with other wines. In 2010 a delightful soft red was made, but no white. If you are visiting Best's cellar door they are well worth seeking out.
I've written an article about my take on the obsession with giving numbers to wine. I know it sells wine and that you can become rich if Robert Parker gives you 95, but what does it mean? Even the most basic understanding indicates that wine has more than one dimension. But we have assorted systems which give wine ratings all one dimension but certainly not consistent or logical.
Unfortunately for the foreseeable future we are stuck with a hodgepodge of systems giving points out of 100, or 20, or stars or glasses. None of them are as simple as you might expect.
This article, Wine Ratings, summarises and clarifies some of the systems and has a link to a downloadable guide to a helpful chart that shows the comparison between systems.
1. From Amazon you can buy a hardback version (although it is cheaper to buy direct from me if you're in Australia) or a Kindle version which you can read on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Android, Kindle, and Kindle DX. Vinodiversity on Amazon Read more about Wine Books on Kindle here
2. GuideGecko publish a range of travel guides. You can buy Lonely Planet Guides in hard copy or as Pdf files from them or you can buy specialist niche guides in paper and electronic formats. You can buy an electronic copy of Vinodiversity the Book there. I have a free book called Bacchus and the Bird on GuideGecko. It's about finding your way around the kitchen with a bottle of wine in one hand and a bird in the other. Go to GuideGecko and download your copy. Then tell me what you think.
Vinodiversity readers who have purchased the De Long Wine Map of Spain or the De Long Wine Map of Italy will know just how much care and research goes into preparing these beautiful products. So no wonder the production schedule gets a little behind at times.
I have plenty of wine varietal tables available at the moment as well.
For more details you can see fill in the form on the bottom of this page and then check out.
The program for the Fed Square Victorian Regional Wine Showcase has changed slightly after the event in March had to be cancelled. In my view the new program looks much stronger with each of the next five showcases having something interesting to offer.
The new program for the next few months is
I usually have a stall there at which I show and sell my books, maps and charts, but mainly I enjoy chatting to winemakers and winelovers.
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For more details you can fill in the form on the bottom of this page or see this page about Silvestro's wine school and cooking school
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They have an excellent range of alternative varietal wines from small winemakers in less known regions, as well as some from the superstars of the alternative wine scene. Prices are fair and freight is reasonable, it is even waived on larger orders.