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Wine glut, vintage reports, lower shipping costs.
May 20, 2006

In this issue

1. The glut and varietal change
2. Vintage 2006
3. New Items on the Vinodiversity Site
4. Shipping charges reduced on Emerging Varietal Wines Book
5. Wine club
6. Buy a gift for someone special, or for your yourself if you're special
7. Ridgemill Estate and the Granite Belt
8. A couple of requests

1. The glut
Even Blind Freddy is aware of the the current oversupply of wine grapes (call it a glut if you don't like euphemisms.)

But the problem is not uniform across all varieties; in fact there is a shortage in some varieties, especially pinot gris. According to a recent article in the Age Epicure on 16/05/06, some growers are busy grafting over less popular varieties such as merlot. If done correctly top grafting can produce a crop of the new variety by the following year.

As we have said all along, the wine industry has aways been in a state of flux. As consumers we can expect to see more 'alternative' varietal wines around and plenty of bargains. See my blog article and a link to Jeni Port's article at

2. Vintage 2006
I have begun compiling reports for the 2006 vintage from winemakers using alternative varieties. Once again most Australian regions have had a good year with favourable conditions, but a few are reporting lower yields than 2005. As the reports come in over the next month or so I will post them at

3. New on the Vinodiversity Site
I have been busy renewing some of the pages and building new ones. Few recently created or updated include varietal pages on Albarino, Aglianico, Montepulciano, Chambourcin, Barbera and Arneis. I have also given the regional pages on King Valley and Rutherglen a bit of a workover. You can always check out the latest at

A tip: On the navbar on Vinodiversity you will see some info about setting up an RSS Feed. If you are not into RSS then I suggest you check it out. You can set up a system in a few minutes to keep yourself informed about updates to all of your favourite sites, not just Vinodiversity.

4. Shipping Charges on Emerging Varietal Wines Book
I have made some changes in the shipping charges and arrangements for my book Emerging Varietal Wines of Australia. Unfortunately the distributor was charging excess postage, then a 'software issue' made it even more expensive. Thank you to Richard for pointing out the problem.

I have now altered the basis of distribution for readers in Australia. You can now get your copy mailed to an Australian address for just AU$22.00. I am working on making better arrangements for delivery to overseas addresses. See the full details at

5. Vinodiversity Wine Club
Don't forget you can buy some alternative varietal wine from the Wine Club. You can now get all reds or all whites from the Aldinga Bay range. Some discerning buyers are starting to put in repeat orders, so it's not just me who thinks these wines are value for money. There is also a Tempranillo, from Ridgemill Estate in the Granite Belt. See details at the Vinodiversity Wine Club page at

6. Don't forget you can get some interesting stuff at the Wine gift shop at

7. Ridgemill Estate Ridgemill Estate is the new name of the Emerald Hill Winery in the Granite Belt Wine Region. Since taking over in 2004 the new team have had show and critical success with their wines; gold for their cahrdonnay at the International Chardonnay challenge and a high ranking for their Tempranillo in Winestate's Italian and Spanish wines feature.

The Granite Belt is the coolest region in Queensland. I'm going there next week so I'll tell you how cool. Although there has been wine in the region for well over a century, new developments have gathered apace only in the past decade or so. A great deal of varietal experimentation is happening so you can expect to hear more about this region in the future.

Ridgemill Estate recently opened some new 'cabins in the vineyard' as a quality accommodation option for those touring the region. See their website at

8. A couple of requests
I'd love to hear your feedback about anything in this newsletter or Vinodiversity generally. Just hit the reply button on your email service. You may have a friend. If you do and she or he is interested in wine you can forward this newsletter on, just hit the forward button.

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