Monday 17 January 2011


A ZAPPA label Barbera from
NSW's New England
- ideal with pasta dishes.

David Ellis

IT lays claim to being Australia's newest wine region, but in fact grapes were first grown in NSW's New England by Wyndham's as far back as the 1880s.

But its only in recent years that grape-growing and winemaking have been taken seriously in New England, and today this sprawling inland region about half-way between Sydney and Brisbane has 42 vineyards, five wineries, 20 cellar doors and 291ha under grapes.

And it's our only region to embrace both cool and warm climate viticulture, with Chardonnay, Semillon, Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot and Gewurztraminer currently its backbone, while Riesling and Pinot Noir are absolutely thriving.

But it is it's diverse terroir (it spreads 300km north to south and 150km east to west) that could well prove itself the region's goldmine: some lesser-known, but growing in popularity, European varieties like Barbera and Tempranillo are showing huge promise – and buyer interest – with initial plantings.
IN the pink.
French connection for
that special occasion in 2011.

Ask your local bottle-shop about the many interesting wines from this newest wine region, and be prepared for some nice surprises both in quality and price; for more information have a look at

ONE FOR LUNCH: THE festive season may be behind us but we'll all still have those special occasions to celebrate in 2011, and a drop we were delighted to find under our tree at Christmas was one we'll be investing in for our own 2011 very special occasion.

This French Champagne Taittinger Brut Prestige Rose NV is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay fruit, with a small portion of the Pinot Noir first made into red wine and then added to the blend to give it its lovely pink hues. And while delicate on the palate it's got good raspberry, cherry and blackcurrant flavours and a velvety finish. Pay $130 for your special occasion.


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