Monday 30 April 2012

NSW Government Asks For It

(L to R)  Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner,
NSWWIA President David Lowe – at the 2012 Royal Sydney Easter Show

Media Release: Monday 30 April 2012

The NSW government is investing $40,000 in a new social media campaign called 'Ask For It', aimed at boosting the sales of locally produced wine.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner helped launch the initiative at the new Food and Wine Garden at the Royal Sydney Easter Show.

The campaign which is jointly funded by the NSW Wine Industry Association is designed to encourage consumers to be loyal to locally produced wines.

NSW winemakers produce 38 per cent of the nation's wine but account for only seven per cent of those on restaurant wine lists.

Mr Stoner said consumers needed to ask for NSW wine. "If you go along to your local restaurants and they've got South Australian wines or they've got Victorian wines, just have a word to the proprietor or the sommelier and say I want NSW wines," he said.

Mr Stoner said the industry was already heading in the right direction, domestic sales within NSW increased from $52 million in 2008 to $86 million this year.

You can find out more at           @WineNSW   #nswwine   #askforit



David Ellis

DOING it right, family-owned Dopff au Moulin
has been making wines since 1574.
WHEN the family's been making wine since 1574 and today 13th generation members are at the helm, you know you must be doing something right, and certainly that's the case with Dopff au Moulin in France's Alsace region.

Headed by Pierre-Etienne Dopff and with Pascal Batot leading the winemaking team, the wines of this oldest family-owned and run winery in Alsace are now exported worldwide, including to Australia where for the past four decades they've been imported exclusively by the Dan Murphy liquor store chain.

The 2010 vintage in Alsace was an exceptional one, and one resultant wine in particular, the 2010 Dopff au Moulin Pinot Blanc is nicely fresh, light and dry with a mild acidity and with nice melon and pear flavours. Fruit was hand-selected off some 70 hectares of vineyards stretching across Alsace, and remarkably this interesting and excellent drop sells here for just $12.99.

At this price grab a couple of bottles and enjoy with what other than Quiche Lorraine – considered a classic French dish today, but actually originating some centuries ago in Germany's old kingdom of Lothringen, that was later re-named Lorraine when it came under French control.

PAYING tribute to the
Barossa Valley's German heritage.
ONE FOR LUNCH: Kym Teusner and Corey Ryan, the winemaking power behind Zeppelin in the Barossa Valley, choose to use fruit from vines 60 to 80 years old, to pay homage they say to the Valley's rich German heritage.

Kym's 2009 Zeppelin Barossa Valley Shiraz came off a single vineyard he owns in the Angaston Hills, the fruit being hand-harvested, crushed in small open fermenters, fermentation then finished in-tank and the wine matured in older oak for 18 months.

The result is a great drop with forward blackberry and plum flavours and nice tannins, and ideal with most grilled meats or a meat-lovers pizza; pay $18.


Friday 27 April 2012


With two of Italy’s most celebrated national holidays just around the corner – National Republic Day of Italy (2 June 2012) and Ferragosto (15 August 2012) – many an epicure’s thoughts turn to the delicious dishes and drops that the Italians have created over the centuries, with the wines made from the Pinot Grigio grape being amongst the highlights.

Two wines inspired by Italy’s national white grape and the country’s effervescent style, are the:

Lerida Estate 2011 Pinot Grigio, Canberra District ($25)

Lerida Estate 2011 Zenzi rosato frizzanti, Canberra District ($13.50)

Owner Jim Lumbers has Italian ancestry so when planting the vines on their Lake George vineyard site back in 1997 he was keen to plant Pinot Grigio alongside his (now award-winning) flagship Pinot Noir.

Jim says, “It has taken hard work and patience but I believe the new vintage Lerida Estate 2011 Pinot Grigio is our first really authentic Italian-styled Pinot Grigio, as opposed to the more Alsatian-styled Pinot Gris we have produced in the past – hence the subtle name change on the label. It was something worth striving for as I am a big fan of the style’s mineral and herb fruit characters, and especially its savoury mouth feel which makes it an ultra-friendly food wine. The key contributors to achieving this were many years of careful vineyard management, vines that are now fully mature and a cool - slightly wet - summer. This combination has allowed the grapes to ripen the fruit tannins without too much sugar, and maintain good acid. Our winemaker Malcolm Burdett also encouraged the natural savoury characters with 5% barrel fermentation.”

Within a few months of bottling, the quality of this wine was recognised at Australia’s premier regional wine show, The Cowra Wine Show, where it was awarded top of its class.

The Lerida Estate 2011 Zenzi rosato frizzanti also reflects a clear Italian inspiration and has made a big impact on Lerida Estate’s customers, being the new best seller at their Cellar Door and café. With Pinot Grigio at its core, it also includes Viognier (another variety planted on the 40 acre Lake George site, alongside Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Franc), and a splash of their premier Pinot Noir - to create a unique blend.

Jim explains, “The three varieties in this wine work exceptionally well together. The Viognier brings its distinctive perfume of peaches and blossom to the Pinot Grigio’s fashionable, crisp and refreshing fruits, and the Pinot Noir creates the beautiful pink hue. We make it in a delicately frizzanti style, reminiscent of a classic Italian Moscato. The clean, crisp palate of this wine matches brilliantly with creamy or cheesy pasta dishes, or as an accompaniment to a palate cleansing sorbet after a rich winter dish” says Jim, “but judging by comments from our customers, it goes pretty well with most things, any time!”

For further inormation: Jim Lumbers & Anne Caine, Lerida Estate P: 02 6295 6640 E: W:


Both wines can be purchased directly at the cellar door or via the online store at
Lerida Estate 2011 Pinot Grigio, Canberra District – RRP $25, 750ml bottle under screwcap
Stocked in ACT, Qld, NSW and Vic at Vintage Cellars and good independent liquor stores.
Distributed by Vino Bambino (VIC), Macro Vintner Partners (NSW and QLD) and Lerida Estate (ACT).
Lerida Estate 2011 Zenzi rosato frizzanti, Canberra District – RRP $13.50, 500ml bottle under screwcap
Stocked at selected independent liquor stores in ACT & NSW. Distributed by Lerida Estate (P: 02 6295 6640)

Monday 23 April 2012


A CLARE Valley specialty, Cabernet Malbec
to enjoy with osso bucco

David Ellis

TIM Adams isn't a bloke who normally makes spur-of-the-moment decisions, but he did just that in 2008 and now he – and his many fans – are enjoying the rewards with an exceptional just-released 2008 Reserve Cabernet Malbec.

Tim says he was standing by the crusher at his Clare Valley winery when just a tonne and a half of Malbec fruit came in from his Sheoak Vineyard, fruit he says was an immediate stand-out, bursting with violet, mulberry and blueberry aromas, virtually black in colour and incredibly concentrated.

"We knew there was also some exceptional Cabernet coming in that afternoon from a neighbouring vineyard, and decided on the spot that the two would go just so well together, and ended up blending 60 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon with 40% Malbec – albeit just 2400 litres.

"Cabernet Malbec is very much a Clare specialty, one I first experienced at the Stanley Wine Company where the late Mick Knappstein created Leasingham Bin 56 Cabernet Malbec, that's widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest reds."

Tim's 2008 Cabernet Malbec has fresh blackcurrant, capsicum and violet flower aromas and flavours and will go marvellously with a hearty osso bucco; available in limited quantities online only through at $35.

EXCELLENT match with Asian
seafoods or Italian pastas
ONE FOR LUNCH: Senior Winemaker at Rymill Coonawarra, Sandrine Gimon enjoys creating blends, wines she says that bring together the best attributes of each variety in a tasty, textured and full-flavoured drop – and with the bonus of the flavours of more than one variety to match differing food choice.

Her 2011 Rymill Coonawarra sbs is a lovely blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, one that has typical herbaceous, grassy and tropical fruit lushness with a zesty lemon finish and sweet spiciness; at $19.95 it's one to really enjoy with Asian seafood or poultry dishes, or Italian pastas.



Monday 16 April 2012


SLIGHTLY sweet Tramillon marvellous
match with spicy Asian dishes


David Ellis

WE don't know if many others make it, and would be interested to hear of any who do, but Lillypilly Estate's Robert Fiumara has an interesting blend that he's trademarked as Tramillon – a medium dry white created from Gewurztraminer and Semillon.

He's been making it since 1982 at his winery at Leeton in the Riverina, and is seeing it enjoy healthy sales both here and overseas, especially he says in the UK. By bringing together the spicy and fragrant Gewurztraminer and the crisp, dry freshness of Semillon he's crafted a wine from the 2010 vintage that's got a slightly sweet edge to it, rockmelon flavours with subtle lime and a hint of sherbert, and is a marvellous match for spicy Asian dishes.

You can order it direct from the winery at $13.50 (plus freight) on And ask also about their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc that at $14.50 is one of those easy-drinking, zippy dry whites that goes ideally with all kinds of casual dining from crab cakes to Mexican-style chicken and grilled seafoods.

ENJOY this one with pork cutlets
and an apple and date relish
ONE FOR LUNCH: THE Margaret River's Voyager Estate had one of their best-ever growing seasons in 2010, followed by an outstanding vintage for their red wines, especially their interesting Girt by Sea Cabernet Merlot blend.

Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture, Steve James says Margaret River has been "incredibly lucky" in recent years with a string of great vintages, the 2010 giving exceptional fruit purity, elegance and fine silky tannins for reds that have been some of the region's best to date.

The 2010 Girt by Sea Cabernet Merlot is only Voyager's second such blend, and actually includes a 1% touch of Petit Verdot and 1% Shiraz to the 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot. It's resulted in a medium-bodied wine with delightful summer berry, cherry and plum fruit flavours, together with softer hints of vanilla, spice and nougat. Pay $24 and enjoy with pork cutlets and apple and date relish.


Monday 9 April 2012


GOOD buying if you want
to impress at the table.

David Ellis

CUMULUS Estate Wines has released a really grand 2009 Shiraz made from fruit from its interesting vineyards high on the slopes of Mount Canobolas outside Orange in the NSW Central West.

Here, 600-plus metres above sea level on ancient volcanic soils overlaid with deep clay loam, Cumulus produces Shiraz of such excellence that it's 2008 made it into the World's Top 10 at the 2011 Syrah du Monde.

For the 2009, Winemaker Debbie Lauritz used handpicked fruit that had enjoyed an ideal growing season, conditions she said that had resulted in a moderate crop with real generosity of flavour.

These flavours in turn have come through in the wine as dark chocolate, cherry, plum and warm exotic spices on the palate, and with the finish lingering and spicy. It's a wine to enjoy now with red meat or game dishes, or hard or blue cheeses, or to tuck away in the cellar for another 10 or 15 years.

Good buying at $30 if you want to impress at the table.

VALUE partying with this Aussie fizz.
ONE FOR LUNCH: DEAKIN Estate in North Western Victoria has an interesting drop in a well-priced celebratory fizz that's a blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, labelling it Azahara, which is Spanish for "orange blossom" and a dedication to the orange orchards adjacent to the vineyards.

Winemaker Phil Spillman each year folds the best wines from the vintage into a modified Solera system, which cross-blends at least six past vintages so that fresh, new wine flavours are blended with progressively older and more complex flavours.

Azahara Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is a great drop at $12 for partying, or simply to enjoy with crusty Italian bread and olive oil, or Camembert or Havarti.


Wednesday 4 April 2012

Hunter Valley Launches Innovative App Giving Travellers Their Own 'Hunter Valley Personality'

The Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest and most revered wine region has today launched the Hunter Valley iPhone and iPad apps. The apps, both varying in functionality and structure, offer users unprecedented access to the most up to date information on experiences, places of interest, wineries, accommodation, restaurants and more with exceptional user experience.

The iPhone app has all the functionality of a top travel app including 'near me' navigation, itinerary generation and bookmarking. The app is one of the only travel apps in Australia that offers a "lifestyle concierge interface" allowing users to discover their 'wine personality' and from this, be presented with a tailor made itinerary. Personalities include:

·         The Educated Palate – the self-confessed wine buff

·         The Food Fanatic – lover of all things gourmet, be it local fresh produce or award winning restaurants, with a little wine thrown in for good measure.

·         The City Slicker – the discerning traveller who likes to indulge

·         The Trusty Friend – lover of active relaxation and no fuss indulgence

Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism (HVWCT) Executive Manager, Dean Gorddard said   "We're really excited to launch this innovative iPhone app to the market. These days people rarely travel anywhere without having consulted the internet or an app for advice on where to stay, eat, drink etc. We wanted to make this process even simpler for visitors to the region. We've taken the hard work out of it by introducing the concierge interface meaning users can plan their entire personalised trip in just a couple of taps on the screen."

The Hunter Valley iPad app also launches today and brings to life the Hunter Valley Visitors guide with integrated multimedia and the opportunity to share details via social media channels.

Users of this app can access detailed information on the Hunter Valley wineries, tours, experiences, restaurants, accommodation, upcoming events, such as Wine and Food Month in June, and more. The information on the region is brought to life with imbedded movies and slideshows allowing users to really engage with the content.

"There's a lot going on in the Hunter Valley and we know that different visitors will require varying information when they plan a trip or indeed visit. This app is intended to give users a feel for what the region has to offer and the opportunity to search for information that will enhance their experience of the Hunter Valley. It brings the whole region to life," said Mr. Gorddard.

The apps have been developed by Hardie Grant who have a successfully published a range of iPhone and iPad apps including Foodies Guide to Sydney and Melbourne, Rockwiz and Wine Regions of Victoria.

The apps are available to download for free at the App Store from today. They can also be found through the Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism website at

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Murray's Top East Coast Brewer in this Year's Top 100 Beers

Media Release

Port Stephens-based brewer, Murray's Craft Brewing Co, has been recognized by the Australian beer industry's latest ranking as the east coast's top brewer - with 8 of its beers included in this year's "The Critic's Choice Top 100 Beers of 2011" list.

"This is an excellent result for our little brewery," says Murray's Head Brewer, Shawn Sherlock. "For the second year in a row, we've had among the highest representation of any brewery on this list. It's rewarding to have the quality of Murray's range recognized in this way."

"Across various industry and consumer ratings, Murray's is consistently brewing many of the highest rated beers brewed in Australia," he added.

The top-rating Murray's beers were:

- Murray's Angry Man Pale Ale (a 'top 10' beer)
- Murray's Punch & Judy's Ale
- Murray's Grand Cru
- Murray's Icon 2IPA
- Shawn's Fault India Black Ale
- Murray's Anniversary Ale 5
- Murray's Heart of Darkness Oak Aged Belgio Imperial Stout
- Murray's Angry Man Brown Ale

A panel of 39 of Australia's beer connoisseurs voted for their favourite beers of 2011 to create a list of 100 best beers. The Critics Choice Top 100 list aims to promote and celebrate good beer brewed in Australia.

Murray's full range of beers can be sampled at Murray's At Manly. Be sure to visit this Easter and try the Easter Ale - a beer inspired by hot cross buns.

Murray's At Manly also has a great line up of Easter Holiday entertainment, with live blues, roots and folk music every weekend.

About Murray's Craft Brewing Co.

Port Stephens-based Murray's Craft Brewing Co. is Australia's most extreme craft brewer. From humble beginning in Taylors Arm (population 50) on the NSW North Coast just over six years ago, Murray's Brewery relocated to larger premises at Port Stephens in 2009 where today it runs a micro brewery, Cellar Door and one of the region's best restaurants. The Australian consumer's demand for craft beer has seen Murray's significantly increase its beer sales over the past two years. Murray's has recently opened its first Sydney venue, at Manly. Murray's

Where: Murray's Brewery Restaurant and Bar - 49 North Steyne, Manly

Bookings: 9977 0999 or

Murray's at Manly is the first Sydney venue of Australia's most extreme brewer, Murray's Craft Brewing Co.

From humble beginnings in Taylors Arm (population 50) on the NSW North Coast six years ago, Murray's relocated its brewery to Port Stephens in 2009.

With craft beer among the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage segments in Australia and globally, Murray's beers are available nationally, and some internationally. Murray's Craft Brewing Co has the highest number of beers in this year's The Critics Choice Australia's Top 100 Best Beers.

Murray's at Manly offers the brewer's full range of craft beers for the first time at a major capital city location, companioning a 250 seat restaurant. Beer and food matching are an integral part of the experience.

Monday 2 April 2012


WITH its Italian heritage, enjoy with
meaty lasagne or beef stroganoff.


David Ellis

MARGAN Family Winemakers' latest Limited Release wines are now available, an exceptional half-dozen from a number of Hunter Valley vintages, all in small quantities only and available through Cellar Door, online or at select restaurants.

The range includes a 2011 White Label Chardonnay, 2007 Semillon, 2009 Reserve Ripasso, 2009 White Label Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2007 Shiraz.

And one of the most interesting, a 2010 White Label Limited Release Barbera, made from fruit off the first-ever Barbera plantings in the Hunter and derived from canes planted in Mudgee from original Italian stock.

Winemaker Andrew Margan has created a great food wine in this 2010, a drop that's medium-bodied with earthy beetroot, bitter cherries and spice dominating the nose and palate – enjoy it, naturally, with a meaty lasagne or beef stroganoff.

PERFECT match with creamy
chicken dishes or crab cakes.
Or at $30 put it away for anything up to ten years to develop further. To order phone (02) 6579 1317 or get onto; save 10% by the case.

ONE FOR LUNCH: McWILLIAM'S Senior Winemaker, Andrew Higgins calls them "the one percenters," tiny parcels of fruit from diverse regions that go into the company's Hanwood Estate Chardonnay to give it that extra dimension, and make it one of Australia's most popular Chardonnays.

The bulk of fruit for the just-released 2009 came from the NSW Riverina and ten percent from the State's Tumbarumba (one of Australia's flagship Chardonnay regions,) Andrew and his team then adding individual under-two-percent parcels from such widespread regions as the Alpine Way, Margaret River, the Hunter Valley and Hilltops to get that "extra something."

At just $12 this is a wine that over-delivers in all aspects, with nice white peach, citrus and rockmelon flavours to enjoy with creamy chicken dishes or crab cakes.


Yarra Valley Producers Prepare for Inaugural Food & Wine Festival

Media Release
The Yarra Valley's top winemakers, chefs and producers are gearing up for next months' inaugural Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival - April 26-29, 2012 - which will showcase the best of the Yarra Valley's wineries, restaurants and local produce.

The four-day festival will provide plenty of hands-on experiences and opportunities to learn from the experts - whether it's a master class, cider session, greenhouse tour, chocolate experience or wine tasting - there is something to bring out the inner foodie in everyone!

"The festival features three amazing dinner events with top Yarra Valley chefs and winemakers, a host of intimate events and experiences with local producers, all culminating in a Sunday Garden Party at the Healesville Racecourse on April 29," said Yarra Ranges Regional Marketing Business Development Manager Troy Hughes.

"Tickets can be booked through the website - don't miss out on securing your place at these amazing, one-off festival events celebrating the Yarra Valley's regional produce and producers."

The festival's Grand Opening Degustation Dinner will be held on Thursday April 26, 2012 at Stones of the Yarra Valley with a collaborative menu from Stones' head chef Hugh Davison and Melbourne restaurant Sarti's head chef Riccardo Momesso.

An Avant Garde Producers Dinner will be held on Friday April 27, 2012 with Yarra Valley winemakers who like to 'buck the norm' - Luke Lambert from Luke Lambert Wines, Andrew Marks from The Wanderer, Gary Damon Mills from Jamsheed and award winning Sommelier Christian Maier.

On Saturday April 28, 2012 guests can join De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate's chief wine maker Steve Webber and special guest James Halliday for an Autumn Harvest Dinner with canapés and sparkling in the Estate gardens followed by a sensational six course dinner with matched wine.

A range of smaller events take place over the four days including Hop Addiction Masterclasses at the Hargreaves Hill Brewery, a Locavores Breakfast at Oakridge Wines, Bubbles & Brunch at Domaine Chandon and a Pinot Party Luncheon at Yering Station.

The festival culminates on Sunday April 29, 2012 with a Sunday Garden Party at the Healesville Racecourse where you can sip artisan beers and ales, sample farm house cheese, try award winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, marvel at demonstrations and take home plenty of regional produce.

For more informationand to book tickets visit :