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February 2016

Fine Wine Club

Whilst the vineyards at Yangarra were originally planted in 1946, it was the purchase of the property by the Jackson family (Jackson Family Wines in the USA) that set the winery on its current trajectory. Yangarra is situated in the Blewett Springs region of McLaren Vale, close to the border with the Adelaide Hills. This proximity to the Adelaide Hills, and the associated cooler climatic conditions help explain the finesse and restraint displayed in the wines. Other factors influencing the wines include organic and biodynamic (certified in time for the 2012 vintage) farming as well as careful decisions in the [...]

An Intense but Satisfying Week

One reason among many that this winery is so rad is that Steve is not afraid to experiment. One example of this would be using an “amphora” or ceramic egg tank that we have to ferment a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, on the skins! For those who are not aware, white grapes are not usually fermented on the skins like red. They are typically brought in, cold soaked for a couple days and pressed, or pressed off immediately. This is done for a number of reasons, but the point is that he pushes traditional thought and tries things, [...]

Thinking Drinking

There is a wave of change washing over Martinborough, and Lance Redgwell of Cambridge Road Vineyard is surfing the crest. After crossing the globe working in vineyards, sailing, and building ships, Lance found his way back to New Zealand and settled in Martinborough to start making wines his own way. He clearly respects the history around him: Martinborough is the original hotbed of New Zealand pinot noir steeped in over 4o years of winemaking history. As one of the older regions in New Zealand, the quiet streets of Martinborough swirl in a mist of history, tales, and legends. The infamous [...]

Wine amphorae for the 21st century

“Everyone seems to think the Greeks and Romans used clay as a container to age wines,” John Ullinger says, reflecting on the current amphora fad among winemakers. “They can’t have used clay to age wine, or store it for any great time. It was just too porous. I’m informed by the ancients, but if they were here today, and saw our technology, they’d fire everything at a higher temperature. They couldn’t get their kilns hot enough to get clay to glaze properly and seal. “They probably hated amphora! “This current fascination in amphora intrigues me. If you go and buy [...]

Beat this, Easter Bunny – Nog at Yangarra.

Yangarra winemaker Peter Fraser fills Nog the ceramic egg with Grenache. Marketing manager Selina Kelly says, "Benedicte and Florentine are already full with Roussanne, and Sunny got the rest of the Grenache. We’re trialling some whole-bunch ferment in the eggs – we just haven’t quite figured out how we’re going to get the bunches out yet." Picture by Randy Larcombe. We received this photograph this morning just in time for Easter. Great marketing, guys. Good Friday is a sad day but bloody frickin' shit it's good having a day off, isn't it! Being a good Catholic boy I grew up [...]

The Wine Wankers

Yangarra – McLaren Vale’s ‘it’ winery of the moment When James Halliday recently gave seven 2012 Yangarra Estate wines ratings between 94 and 97 points, Australia took notice and Yangarra’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing!  Such endorsement is very high praise for such a new winery. But that’s only half the fun.  Winemaker Peter Fraser is now using big ceramic eggs fermenters to really twist things up, making unconventional wines to really assault the senses. One of the most impressive aspects of winemaking here is the mechanical sorting bench; and it’s the only one in all of McLaren Vale. “So what?”, [...]

Independent Wine Monthly NZ

Lance Redgwell On to Cambridge Road to meet owner/winemaker Lance Redgwell. Sitting in pride of place in the tiny winery was Cambridge Road’s ceramic egg, newly arrived from Byron Bay, and (prompted by us) Lance gave a rundown of what he thought the egg will contribute to his wines. At one point I did have to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming but actually listening to a winemaker speak.  I remain to be convinced that wines need to be ‘energised’ before bottling, but having tasted the eggless wines (2014 vintage will be the first time the egg is [...]

Wine Making Back to its Roots

Denelle Shemesh The winemaking process begins in the earth. Nature creates beautiful vines whose history is rooted deep in the soil. Old branches sprout new life every year in formed bunches, bunches of grapes that slowly ripen. Vintners wait patiently for just the right time and then pick, process, and wait once more. So why have winemakers strayed from the historically documented process of winemaking? Using Qvevri clay vessels dates back 8,000 years to the Georgian Era. Although many folks may recognize the reddish clay pots from history books, few really understand the significance they had on the development of [...]

Simply Stunning Magnum Made Pinot Noir

DOMAINE SIMHA EPIC STORIES OF ROYALTY AND LEGEND. Living wine relying on ancient knowledge and intuition. Crafted by hand in very small batches, just 2-3 barrels of each Domaine Simha wine are made. At heart lies Tasmania’s pristine natural environment, sparkling air and ancient soil. An avant-garde approach embraces natural methods; harvesting by lunar cycle on fruit and flower days, whole bunch wild fermentation with traditional pigeage, maturation in custom demi-muid oak and clay amphorae, basket pressing, bottling unfined and unfiltered with perfect natural balance. ‘A rare talent’ GOURMET TRAVELLER WINE Aromatic pinot noir crafted in clay amphora. Living wine relying on ancient [...]

Magnum 675 Ceramic Egg

A great video featuring Phil Sedgman maker of the Magnums explaining it's finer points. This large ceramic egg is perhaps the largest living vessel in the world and is designed specifically for wine fermentation. The egg shape naturally encourages liquids to move in the lemniscate, or figure of eight, promoting continuous passive convection within, allowing developing wine to move and breathe inside, without stirring. The Magnum 675 is based on a design by Viktor Schauberger, naturalist, philosopher and visionary inventor, whose maxim was to "comprehend and copy nature." Phil Sedgman, CEO of Living Water Flowforms, introduces this egg technology from [...]

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