Monday 13 April 2015

Far Ago Hill Pinot Gris - Voyager Estate Chenin Blanc


David Ellis

PERFECT with shellfish or
pepper-sprinkled Tasmanian salmon,
from NSW Southern Highlands and
good enough for the Governor's table.
ON week days you'll find Katrina Hill running a busy interior design and colour consultancy in Sydney, but come weekends she ditches high fashion for jeans, a tractor, bobcat or slasher and becomes vigneron on her Far Ago Hill vineyard at Canyonleigh, in the Southern Highlands half-way between Sydney and Canberra.

And that latter role rewards her with a ripper Pinot Gris – a variety for which the Southern Highlands is earning a fast-growing reputation – and whose story began in 2003 after Katrina and then-husband, Ricardo Farago had toured Europe tasting as many Pinot Gris as they could, and coming home to search for the ideal site from which to produce their own that would be equal to the best they'd tasted in Europe.

It was at Canyonleigh they found their perfect combination of soil, climate and the elements, and now Katrina tends it at weekends under advice from consultant Ben Brazenor, and with her wine made by Chris Carpenter at Lark Hill in Bungendore.

Since 2011 Katrina's Pinot Gris' been labelled Far Ago Hill, a play on ex-husband Ricardo's surname Farago and her own maiden name Hill; a current-release 2014 is a great drop of delicate aromatics, lemon-citrus and apple flavours and with a crisp, dry finish – perfect at $30 with seafood, it was served at former NSW State Governor Dame Marie Bashir's Farewell, and at the 2014 Archibald Prize presentations…

FROM one of the best-ever white wine vintages ever,
match this one with mildly spiced Asian dishes.
To purchase or for more details: Katrina on 1300 769 217 or

ONE TO NOTE: VOYAGER Estate in Western Australia's Margaret River has released a 2014 Chenin Blanc whose soft tropical fruit flavours, fresh acidity and a suggestion of sweetness you'll find an ideal match with mildly spiced Asian dishes or fresh seafoods.

2014 gave Voyager Estate one of its best white wine vintages ever, with fruit that Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture, Steve James says was "absolutely outstanding," and which came off three separate vineyards including one whose Chenin Blanc was part of the company's first plantings of the variety in 1978.

An early-drinking style, this is a beautiful $20 drop to buy now and enjoy now.

for week beginning 13 April 2015

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