News from Canada, USA, UK and home

Oliver Chronicle (Canada), 10 June, Staff reporting

Aspirations of a healthy fusion between agriculture and tourism seem to be a reality in the Okanagan, and in order to analyze and mimic its success, a small group of Australians were in town last week to explore some local wineries.

Through the Rotary Club’s group study exchange, Alice Fargher, Ben Mitchell, Jessica Crettenden and Rotarian Jim Mitchell came from Australia to spend last week exploring the vineyards of Western North America. Full article

The Square (Canada), 13 June, Robert K Stephen

To be labelled a major wine producer in this world, countries need a good stock of both whites and reds from different geographical styles and terroirs, and to be able to export internationally. France and Italy come to mind, but the Australians muscle in the major category with reds, white, and sparklers…Full Article

Reviews for wines from


Penny’s Hill

Mr Riggs

Jip Jip


The Standard (Canada), 12 June, Icy Mariñas

Did the Land Down Under Put Me Under? (Part Three)

Hello, dear imbibers! After a brief hiatus, I’m back to share the third (and final) installment of my trip to Australia, rounding off the amazing drinking experiences with a visit to some wineries and a brewery in Yarra Valley. Full article

City Pulse (Michigan), 9 June, Justin King

For years, grocery store shelves were stuffed with “critter wines” — inexpensive wines with animal-themed labels that are full of gobs of overripe red fruit and insufficient backbone to support the flabby flavors. American consumer interest waned, and it depressed Australian wine sales as a whole.

The silver lining is that there are some incredibly balanced Aussie wines that are priced much lower than they should be. For example, check out Pewsey Vale’s 2013 riesling. Gorgeously aromatic and very dry, this wine is also lip-smackingly tart. This combination, along with notes of red apple, nectarine and fresh flowers, makes this $16 wine one of the best values I’ve found all year.

The fruit is entirely from Eden Valley, a slice of land near Australia’s southern coast. This region features a slightly higher elevation than surrounding areas, which, along with coastal proximity, keeps the sugar in the grapes a little lower.

Harpers, 8 June, Andrew Catchpole

Australia’s future popularity in the UK may well ride on the growing number of Mediterranean varieties emerging from the country, delivering a more niche and premium proposition than the established reliance on volume sales. Full article

The Advertiser, 10 June, Tony Love

IN the genre we call alternative wine grape varieties – you might even see them referred to “new” or “emerging” – it seems contrary that many have been growing here for decades, used as core ingredients in the making of tawny and vintage ports… full article 

Newcastle Herald, 14 June, staff reporter

McLAREN Vale’s d’Arenberg company makes some terrific wines – and the names of many of them rank among the world’s most weird and wonderful… Full article

Grape Expectations 11 June Max Crus (Simon Hughes)

At some point in the week these reviews and article  will appear in The Daily Examiner (Grafton), Border Mail (Albury), Rotary Down Under (National) and Australian Petroleum Marketer News (National) 

Sullivan’s Cove) Hobart No.4 Batch Distilled Gin, $95. The makers of the worlds best whisky say “distilled with conviction”, or do they mean convicts? The most spirited of combatants, yet still only (only!) 44 per cent, about par. 9/10.

Mount Uncle Botanic Australis Gin (14 Native Botanicals), $70. This makes a mockery of the 3 ingredients rule, with 14 of the botanical buggers. You can taste a bit of North Queensland in it too. Very floral in that tropical sort of way. 9.2/10.

Settlers Artisan Rare Dry Gin, $70. South Australians still insist their heritage has no convicts. Get over it guys. Hotter than others with bolder botanicals, and a slightly ‘whisky’ character, perhaps from being ‘triple distilled’? Overall, more in your face, which is exactly what we did. Have it with a fireside chat. 9.3/10.

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, (Yarra Valley) NV $75. Fun stuff on the label like batch number, name of the still (Wilma), even a bottle number. Warm, bright gin for warm, bright afternoons…or cold ones, Fabulous fruity botanicals. 9.4/10.

Ink (Small Batch, Hand Crafted, Pot Distilled, infused with butterfly pea flowers) Dry Gin, $80. How very Byron Bay. In the bottle, it’s the colour of Prince, deep purple, with ice an amazing blue, and then pink with tonic. Amazing! Hot and raw, just how Prince liked it. 9.2/10.

The West Winds Gin (Margaret River (WA)) The Broadside (Navy Strength – 58%) $120. Hello Sailor! 58 per cent is full on, much like being in a ship hit broadside. Not as outwardly ‘fruity’ as others it nevertheless has more to offer than cannonballs and is quite floral. 9.1/10.

The Mercury (Tasmania), 11 and 14 June, Graeme Phillips




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