2016 SOUTH AFRICAN
Capetown and Table Mountain, South
2016 harvest was early this year...
and the growing season was hot... which seems more to
be the trend in global wine regions these days.
Thelema Mountain Vineyard,
experienced fires that destroyed some of their vineyards this year.
What remained was a short but good quality crop. You can get their
Mountain Red Blend at the
LCBO General List for a good price.
Capelands vineyard at season end
At this time, the grapes are picked, the weather has turned cool and
the tanks are bubbling in the Cape Region.
The cycle continues...
In vino veritas,
(Previous Newsletter Update...)
WINE GRAPE HARVEST
(and something different...)
from Bethany Winery, Barossa Valley
2016 has been hot this harvest season in Australia. I have never
been, after 14 vintages, in a situation where the thermometer has
on so many days. The last thing you want to do is to harvest grapes
under those conditions.
and a white horse outstanding in its field, Yarra Valley
Despite these uncomfortable conditions, the harvest is proceeding
well with good yields and above average quality, although the time
frame is compressed. Another early harvest with warm conditions
reflects the obvious change in climate over the past two decades.
I have spent time in the Barossa, Eden Valley, Yarra Valley,
Strathbogie and Heathcote. All are early this year with
picked just after Pinot Noir where both are grown.
Winery Vineyards, Yarra Valley
The Hunter Valley is lower on yields because of previous rains.
Victoria has been variable and
Tasmania seems to have avoided smoke
taint on grapes due to bush fires.
AUSSIE BOTTLE SHOPS
Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop
Liquor, wine and beer retail outlets are found throughout Australia
in far greater number than in Canada. Although there are large
warehouses and chains (Dan Murphy's,
First Choice, etc.), they are located in larger
centres. The rest of Australia must, for the most part, rely on
"Bottle Shops ".
SipnSave Bottle Shop - Walk-In, Drive-In or enjoy at the Hotel
These bottle shops themselves may be tied to a chain
(Cellarbrations, SIPnSAVE, Thirsty
Camel) and are found throughout urban and rural
Australia. Many are also found within hotels.
Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop Drive-In
hours are liberal and access is as easy as driving your car into a
designated lane. If you wish to browse, there is ample parking, but
most just idle their vehicle while they pick up their "slab"
(24 or 36 cans or bottles) of beer
not at all unlike picking up a “large double-double” at Tim’s
on the way to work.
Beer, surprisingly, is more expensive than in Canada starting at
more than $2 a bottle or can. But, by pulling up to within a metre
of a cold walk-in beer cooler, you are guaranteed your visit will be
cold and fast.
... and (surprise?)
INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA
France is a small country by Canadian, US and Australian standards
and their fine wine production represents a very small fraction of
the total vineyard area.
plantings in Barossa
Wine is a global business and after a domestic wine company reaches
a certain production volume, a company will often chooses to go
beyond their national borders to achieve their business goals. This
practice is noticeable in new-world wine producing countries such as
Pernod Ricard, the giant
French liquor and wine company, bought
Jacobs Creek Winery in the Barossa in 1989. They now
distribute to 70 countries and the varied origins of customers in
the tasting room reflect that fact.
From a walking
near Angaston, Barossa Valley
The well known champagne house, Moët et
Chandon, has expanded to the Yarra Valley,
producing still and sparkling wines more in the new world style.
Sparkling Shiraz/Pinot Noir
Chandon, Yarra Valley
Perhaps trying more to replicate the product back home in the Rhone,
Chapoutier has located to
similar climes and soils in Australia and is producing mainly
Syrah in the French Rhone
style. The areas designated are Heathcote and other parts of
central Victoria as well as coastal South Australia
Chapoutier Winery & Cellar Door
We'll be home
soon with more to come....
In vino veritas,