United Media Group

United Media Group

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 23:59

Soul Growers

Soul Growers stands for everything that is great about the Barossa: shared wisdom, new ideas and a passion for making and enjoying great wine. With this in mind, the winery strives to make wines that emphasise the regional and varietal flavours of the beloved Barossa Valley.

The winery’s philosophy is to produce exceptional wines using traditional techniques that preserve the character of each vineyard. Soul Growers’ winemakers are able to accomplish this by exhibiting a range of different characteristics in each type of wine it produces.

Specialising in Eden Valley riesling, shiraz, cabernet, grenache and mataro, Soul Growers has been producing approximately ten wines per year since the winery opened its doors in 1998.

The award-winning micro-winery handpicks the majority of its fruit from vineyards that range in age from 18 to 125 years. Producing predominantly red varieties, Soul Growers’ fruit is destemmed in open fermentors that hold anywhere from half a tonne, to five tonnes. After seven to ten days of fermentation the fermenters are drained and placed by hand into basket presses. The fruit is then gently pressed for about 18 hours to ensure the flavour and aromas are carefully extracted without releasing harsh and bitter tannins.

After pressing, the winemakers settle the wine in tanks before filling the barrels ready for ageing. The winery’s renowned reds generally spend 18 to 24 months on oak. To round off the process, each individual barrel is blended and benchmarked prior to being settled in bottles, without any fining or filtration.

According to the Australian Wine Review, “the wines are all open fermented, basket pressed and usually spend plenty of time in oak (yet rarely look oak dominated. There is a skill in that). Think Rockford with a sprinkle of Trobreck sexiness and you’re on the right track”.

 

TASTING NOTES

2015 Kroehn Single Vineyard Shiraz

The Kroehn family has been farming their land in the high elevations of the Eden Valley for six generations. Descended from original settlers, the family takes great pride in producing superb- quality grapes that reflect the hard and stony ground.

2015 Hampel Single Vineyard Shiraz

The Hampel family has been tending their land in the northern reaches of the Barossa Valley for six generations. The family takes great pride in producing sublime grapes that reflect the red soils that abound in the northern grounds.

2016 Gobell Single Vineyard Shiraz

The Gobell family’s vineyard lies in the Stonewell portion of the Barossa Valley, with an east-facing aspect that catches the morning sun. This release faithfully shows the blue and red fruit characters that are typical of Stonewell shiraz. Deeply perfumed, rich and intense, this elegant wine has a lingering taste of fruit and gentle French oak.

2015 106 Vines Mourvèdre

In the 1880s, on the outskirts of the Barossa Valley, a vineyard of mourvèdre was planted in light, sandy soil over clay. Only 106 vines of the once-majestic vineyard survive today, with the rest lost to urban development. The resilient vines have survived more than 128 years to produce a wine that is pure history – the very soul of the Barossa Valley.

 

 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 23:43

Murray Street Vineyards

As you turn off the highway at Greenock, the road drops down and you pass briefly through a typical Barossa country village – a pub; a general store; and a tidy well-kept row of vines and cottages. The names here speak of an older time: Ebenezer; Moppa; Gomersal; Marananga and Kalimna.

The road continues along a twist of shallow dips and rises, and a building set slightly back from the track comes into view – modern, but also one that has the squared, purposeful proportions of function rather than form. It is at one with its surroundings and is proudly constructed from the earth and stone on which it sits.

Murray Street Vineyards is more than a name; it is an address for some of the finest hand-crafted wines in the world.

Murray Street Vineyards was established in 2001, and was the shared dream of the Jahnke Family. It produces semillon, viognier, marsanne, cabernet, grenache, mataro, and shiraz, but its specialites are the shiraz, mataro and grenache. Murray Street Vineyards has 55 hectares under vine and produces 15,000 cases of wine each year.

The Tasting Room at Murray Street Vineyards offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a seated tasting of the company’s wine portfolio. Visitors are also encouraged to relax in the garden, take in views from the deck, or lounge on the sofas, while enjoying a platter of local produce, complemented with a glass of wine.

Situated in the Western Barossa ridge on the oldest soil in the world, it is no wonder that this vineyard produces such excellent wines. It has won numerous awards including Winery of the Year at the 2014 Melbourne International Wine & Spirits Competition. It has also been named as the number one thing to do in the Barossa Valley by TripAdvisor, and was awarded as a 5 Red Star Winery by acclaimed wine critic, James Halliday.

The wines at Murray Street Vineyards are grown, not made. The patchwork soils, the warm growing season, and the occasional fast-moving air of the afternoon breeze, all play a part in helping to shape the incredible flavour, structure and style of every wine.

 

TASTING NOTES

Semillon

The seamless palate shows vibrant fruit purity. Notes of freshly squeezed lemon juice and crisp green apples provide mouth- watering acidity with impeccable balance and precision.

Red Label The Barossa

On any given year, Murray Street Vineyards picks and ferments shiraz, grenache and mataro to build a wine that truly expresses the Barossa Valley. A ripe and hedonistic example of a classic Rhône blend, this wine was made for your enjoyment.

Black Label Shiraz

Lifted aromas of plum and ripe blackberry are supported by hints of spice and cedar. The palate shows rich and spicy plums, fresh blackberry and black cherry, which lead to a long fine-grained tannin finish.

Black Label Cabernet

Intoxicating aromas of crushed blackberry, violets and black cherry are supported by nuanced notes of tobacco leaf and star anise. Fresh flavours on the palate burst with red and black cherry, blackcurrant and green olive. A soft and generous structure leads to a rounded finish.

 

 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 03:36

Flint's of Coonawarra

Since 1840, six generations of the Flint family have worked the rich land in South Australia's Coonawarra. Their 'Rostrevor' property sits squarely on the terra rossa soil that has marked the region as one of the world's finest wine producing areas.

With vineyards planted in the early 1990’s, the decision to produce a family wine seemed a natural progression, and proved to be an excellent initiative. It was the beginning of a new chapter for our property which had previously focused on fine wool, sheep and cereal production.

Flint’s of Coonawarra wines have achieved outstanding recognition and success, winning multiple local and national awards. Only small quantities of our wines are made each year, making them truly boutique.

Explore our selection of wines online, or call to arrange a tasting. Discover the passion and dedication our family put into every drop of Flint’s of Coonawarra wine.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 03:35

Yarra Valley Winery Tours

Yarra Valley Winery Tours invites you to experience the best food and wine of the Yarra Valley.

Established in 1992 and located in the Yarra Valley region, we take you to iconic or boutique wineries with local experienced guides.

Choose from our flexible public touring or treat yourself to a personalised private tour. Our friendly staff will arrange a tour to best suit you.

The Yarra Valley, one hour east of Melbourne, is recognised for its world class, cool climate wineries located in the valley floor surrounded by the panoramic mountains of the Great Dividing Ranges.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 03:35

Barossa Taxis

Barossa Taxis and Mini Tours have the largest fleet of taxis and chauffeur vehicles in the Barossa Valley.

WINE TOURS OUR SPECIALITY

We are proud to be locally owned and our drivers are long time Barossa Valley residents. Barossa Taxis offers a vast range of transport options including Cars, Minivans and Barossa Maxi Taxis. Whether you are travelling alone or in larger groups we offer a high standard of service.

Our drivers love the Barossa Valley and would be pleased to share their vast knowledge with you about restaurants, wineries and points of interest.

Airport transfers to the Barossa Valley for up to 11 people.

 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 03:34

VINTEC Australia Wine Cabinets

Protect your investment with the most advanced wine cellaring technology.

Discover the full range of Vintec climatecontrolled cellars

Monday, 09 February 2015 02:02

Breath Of Fresh Air

To breathe or not to breathe, that is the question. Here, Jemmah Kelly demystifies the art of decanting a wine, and explains how this age-old process can still bring out the best in your drop.

The decantation of wine has always been an important part of the wine lover’s repertoire. Simply put, decanting wine refers to the process of transferring the contents of a wine bottle into a separate vessel before serving. While the act of pouring wine from one container to another may sound insignificant, decanting can vastly improve the quality, clarity and most importantly, the taste of a wine.

To begin with, decanting allows wine to separate from its sediment, which if left mixed in with the wine, can result in a harsh bitter flavour, particularly if the wine has been stored for an extended period of time.

Pouring wine into a decanter also allows the wine to aerate as it mixes with oxygen. Many younger wines for example, may not have been fined and filtered, and require aeration to release their tight tannic structure and improve the aroma and taste.

While different wine varieties and vintages will require slightly varied wine decantation techniques, most wine connoisseurs will agree with the following principles.

OLD WINE, NEW TRICKS

The question of how long to decant a wine will depend on the age and type of the wine. Many believe certain vintages and varieties should be decanted hours before they are consumed to give extra life, while others are happy to simply swirl a wine around in its glass to stimulate the release of its natural bouquet and see it evolve in the glass.

Unfortunately, there are no definitive rules on this, and like most things, it is usually a matter of personal preference or trial and error. To learn more, experiment different decanting times with the same bottle of wine to see how it evolves.

That said, most wine professionals will agree that wine with sediment should be decanted before serving. Sediment is a combination of yeast, grape skins and other components, and while it is harmless if consumed, it can spoil

the colour and appeal of a wine. Wines more than ten years old, particularly reds, tend to have an excess of solid matter.

Older red wines, in particular strong-flavoured grape varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, accumulate an excess of sediment. Removing this sediment through the decantation process will ensure the taste of the wine is less bitter and the texture is smoother. White wines rarely have sediment, and won’t need to be decanted for this reason.

SWEET YOUNG THING

While the accumulation of sediment isn’t typically a primary concern for younger wines, decanting can still be beneficial as exposure to air often helps develop the natural flavours of the wine and add further complexity.

Allowing air to permeate the surface area breaks up the wine’s tight tannin structure, releasing the wine’s full flavour, while also enhancing its aroma. Normally this process would take years when stored inside a bottle, which is why young red wines, and some white wines, will typically benefit the most from aeration through the decantation process.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

While decanting a wine can deliver drastic results, the process itself is a relatively simple one. To decant a wine, remove the entire capsule from around the neck of the bottle so you can see the wine pouring through the neck and check for sediment. If the wine has sediment, remember to allow the bottle to stand for at least one hour, or until the sediment has settled before decanting.

Once the sediment has sunk to the bottom of the bottle, hold the decanter in one hand and the bottle in the other, and with a smooth and steady action, pour the wine into the decanter.

Next, allow the wine to run against the opposite side of the decanter from the bottle, so the wine slips down the inside surface rather than pouring directly into the bottom and foaming the surface of the wine.

Once decanted, the wine is able to come into its own, allowing its true flavours to shine through and enhancing the drinking experience.

Don’t allow older or fragile wines to decant for more than half an hour, while younger full- bodied wines can be left for an hour or more. If you decant a wine for too long, it will be at risk of becoming oxidised (too much air exposure which can cause wine to lose its freshness).

SHAPE UP

Whatever decanter you decide to use, be sure it is spotless and free from any outside aromas. Today, wine decanters come in a myriad of styles, shapes and sizes. Ranging from traditional shapes such as ship decanters and claret jugs, to modern and elaborate designs, there is a decanter to suit any table arrangement.

That said, most wine experts will agree that glass was and still is the best material for decanters as it does not influence the flavour of the wine. A clear, glass decanter not only shows off the beautiful colour of the wine, but also aerates the wine exceptionally well and pours easily with minimal effort.

When cleaning your decanter, remember to never wash it with detergent as the shape of the vessel can make it very difficult to remove the soapy residue. Instead, try placing it carefully in your dishwasher without any detergent, before rinsing with mineral water to remove any residual chlorine odour it may have picked up.

NOTHING TO WINE ABOUT

In this age of advanced winemaking techniques, many will question whether or not the decanting process is still necessary. While this subject will undoubtedly continue to generate debate among wine experts, before you write off decanting as redundant and old-fashioned, consider the benefits decanting offers.

When it comes to wine, certain varietals and vintages can benefit from the decanting process – even if it simply forces you to pause, slow down and appreciate the complex and full flavours of the drop you’re about to taste.

 

Monday, 09 February 2015 02:02

Fortified Fare

For most wine enthusiasts, discovering new and exciting varieties is the essence of true wine appreciation. As Emily Sparshott learns, keeping an open mind and experimenting with fortified wine will only enhance your knowledge and admiration for a good drop.

Personally, I have always enjoyed a traditional full-bodied red, however, I have only recently been introduced to fortified wine and it has proved to be a fascinating – and delicious – discovery.

Compared to table wines, fortified wines have much higher alcohol content – usually between 18–20 per cent – due to the addition of brandy either during or after fermentation. Adding brandy to the wine during production halts the fermentation of the natural sugars in the grape, resulting in a sweeter style of wine. Fortification that occurs after fermentation produces a drier drop, as the natural sugar from the grape has already been converted to alcohol.

While Australia has enjoyed a long history of producing fortified wine, it is important to note that in 1994, a transitional agreement was signed between Australia and the European community on trade in wine. This agreement determined that Australia would begin a phase-out period for geographical indication labelling, and much like Champagne, selected fortified wines can now only be referred to by their geographical indication if the wine originated from that specific region. Since this agreement, Australian winemakers have embraced their own labels for the fortified wine they produce.

Here, Wineries of South Australia delves into the world of fortified wines and discovers why these decadent varieties remain an integral part of the winemaking industry.

PIECE OF PORTUGAL

Port, or porto as it’s known in its homeland of the Douro Valley in Portugal, was first introduced to the world in the mid-18th century. As Port is exclusively made in Portugal, in Australia it is now referred to in terms of its style: tawny, ruby and vintage.

Ruby wine is a young, lively and vibrant fortified wine and is perhaps the most simple to produce and consume. This style isn’t meant for extensive ageing and can be drunk as soon as it is released. Ruby-red in colour – hence its name – this drop is sweet and fruity on the palate.

Australian tawny wine is made from ripe, red grapes such as shiraz, grenache and cabernet sauvignon, which are generally grown in warmer climates. Tawny is produced by oxidising new and old grapes in wood, allowing it to transform from a lovely ruby colour to an amber-brown colour. Arguably the most popular of the three styles, tawny is a more complex, nutty and rich drop compared to its ruby relative.

A beautiful Australian vintage wine is the finest style of the three mentioned, produced from a single, and particularly successful, vintage. Aged in wood then bottled for further ageing, a great vintage wine can be left to develop for more than 30 years. Indeed, the older the vintage, the better it will present, with a taste similar to treacle.

Australian ruby, tawny and vintage wines are fortified during the fermentation process, making them the perfect dessert wines for decadent, rich cheese and fruit platters. A cold night spent with friends is the perfect atmosphere to savour the delicious sweetness of this style of fortified wine.

A TASTE FOR TOKAY

Tokay is a protected fortified wine from the Tokaj region of Hungary. While the term Tokay is protected by the European agreement, it has been agreed that the term will be phased-out in Australia by the year 2020, and will be replaced by the term topaque.

Overseas, Hungary’s production of Tokay involves furmint grapes being harvested after noble rot has set in. In contrast, Australian winemakers fortify the muscadelle grape to create four beautiful styles of topaque: Australian topaque, classic, grand and rare.

Australian Topaque wine is the youthful, fruity and playful option of the four styles and is best drunk once the bottle is opened. Aged for approximately two years, topaque is arguably the most user-friendly option for those new to the varietal.

The classic style is the next step-up from topaque, which has been aged for around six years, adding more complexity. Toffee and malt flavours tend to present on the palate, and similar to tawny, the classic style is perfect for those interested in exploring this particular fortified wine without having to break the budget.

With a minimum age of ten years, grand topaque is for those who appreciate smooth,

mouth-filling caramel and toffee flavours. This style is rich and decadent and can be paired with delicious blue cheese or an indulgent, creamy dessert.

Rare topaque is the cream of the crop and is meant for true lovers of the variety. Blended with wine that has been aged for at least 20 years, rare topaque wine presents amazing characters of old oak and malt and is best enjoyed on its own in order to experience the exquisite depths of the drop.

Although this wine has re-invented itself in Australia, topaque is a must-try for those who appreciate fortified wine.

SAFE AND SICILIAN

Just as Port is only produced in Portugal and Tokay in Hungary, Marsala is protected as a drink exclusively made in Sicily. The first Marsala produced dates back to the 18th century, and by the late 1700s, it had gained popularity and began being produced en masse.

Marsala is available in sweet or dry styles and each is classified according to its sweetness, colour and how long it has been aged. This wine is determined by three levels of sweetness – secco, semisecco and sweet – while its ageing is typically defined in four main stages and is sold as such.

Fine Marsala involves the least amount of ageing, with the style being drinkable within less than a year. Marsala superiore is aged for at least two years, Marsala superiore riserva is aged for at least four years, and Marsala vergine soleras is the longest-aged style, with it being aged for at least five years. Like other wines, Marsala can be aged for even longer, and will present with more complex and rich flavours each year.

Marsala has many uses and can be drunk on its own, but it is also commonly used in cooking, especially in Italian-style dishes – think chicken Marsala or tiramisu. With a beautiful hue, it’s no surprise Pantone chose Marsala as the 2015 Colour of the Year!

APER(A)TIF

Originating from the Spanish region of Andalusia, Sherry (or jerez) is another classic fortified wine that has found popularity worldwide. Traditional Sherry is produced within the Sherry Triangle, between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María, and as such this particular wine can only be referred to as Sherry if it originates from the triangle. At home, we now refer to Sherry as apera, a play on the word aperitif.

In Spain, Sherry is produced from the palomino grape, with fortification taking place after fermentation – with this, Sherry is primarily a dry drop until sweetened. Sherry is available in a number of styles, and in Australia, we refer to Australian-grown varieties as pale-dry, medium-dry, medium-sweet, sweet and cream.

Drier-styles of apera are light, tangy and crisp; dry apero should be drunk straight after opening, as it can quickly lose its flavour. In contrast, sweet apero is rich and complex in flavour and will hold its own after the bottle has been opened.

Although apera was once synonymous with an older generation of wine drinkers, it is still a wine that is used extensively in cooking, cocktails and as a drink on its own to savour.

SEASONED SIP

Argued as being the oldest domesticated wine grape, muscat is appreciated the world- over as a decadent, reliable drop. Muscat wine, ideally made from the muscat blanc à petits grains grape, is a variety unaffected by the European agreement because it is named after the grape, not the region it originated from. Because of this, Australian winemakers may continue to label their wine as muscat.

Harvested late and aged in barrels for varying years, muscat is similar to topaque in that it is

available in four distinct styles: muscat, classic, grand and rare.

Bottled after approximately three to five years, muscat is a clean, floral and spirited drop that can be enjoyed with fruits and ice cream. A must- try for enthusiasts of fortified varieties, muscat is definitely a safe introduction to the variety.

A blend of selected parcels of wine, classic muscat is aged six to ten years and provides a more complex palate and a heavier depth of flavour, while grand muscat is beautiful and moreish, with an even greater dimension of flavour than the classic style, being aged on average between 11 and 19 years.

The pinnacle of a brilliant muscat is the rare style, aged for more than 20 years with a fully- developed, smooth and structured flavour. Rare muscat is named so because few varieties are released that display the hallmark characters of a brilliant rare muscat. If you are lucky enough to try this style, savour this drop on its own – you won’t regret it.

MEDICINAL MOUTHFUL

Although vermouth is usually associated with fancy cocktails, it builds on a long tradition of wines being infused with herbs, roots and spices as a medicinal drink. The popular, sweet-style of vermouth was first produced

in Turin, Italy and quickly gained popularity in Italy and France throughout the 1800s.

Sweet vermouth is generally associated with Italy, the homeland of Antonio Benedetto Carpano who created vermouth as we know it today. Made from white wine grapes and coloured with caramel, Australian purveyors of sweet vermouth can use cinnamon, ginger and cloves to create beautiful flavours.

Dry vermouth – commonly referred to as French vermouth – was first produced in the early 1800s by Joseph Noilly. Traditionally white or straw in colour, dry vermouth has more of a bitter taste with the use of orange peel and herbs such as mugwort or gentian, which gives dry vermouth its tang.

Commonly drunk as an aperitif or as part of a cocktail, vermouth has cemented itself as a reliable fortified wine for cooking, or even drinking neat.

Although fortified wines aren’t commonly enjoyed every day, they are the perfect treat. Whether you prefer crisp, light and dry flavours, or rich, nutty and sweet drops, an exploration of fortified varieties – and the joy of discovering your next favourite drink – will allow for a better understanding of wine in all its forms.

 

 

 

 

Monday, 09 February 2015 02:02

Maggie Beer

Despite not having any formal training as a chef, Maggie Beer is a celebrated culinary icon based in the heart of South Australia’s burgeoning food and wine region. Stevie Newbegin speaks with the renowned foodie about her love affair with the Barossa Valley and how this world-class region inspires her each and every day.

When Maggie Beer and her husband Colin relocated to the Barossa Valley in South Australia, neither of them knew the impact this fruitful region would have on their lives. Since first establishing and operating Pheasant Farm Restaurant from 1978 to 1993, the couple has gone from strength to strength, and today, are the founders of Maggie Beer Products.

Inspired by Barossa Valley’s fresh produce, Maggie Beer Products produces gourmet essentials including pâté, fruit pastes, jams, sauces, verjuice, ice-creams and much more, each of which can be sampled and purchased at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. Over the last 20 years, the business has expanded to become one of the Barossa Valley’s largest proprietors, with more than 100 staff members and manufacturing over 200 products.

The individual behind the branding, Maggie Beer, has earned her reputation as one of Australia’s most loved gourmet food experts. Beer has authored nine best-selling cookbooks, co-hosted the ABC television cooking program, The Cook and the Chef, and has appeared as a guest judge on MasterChef. To top it off, she was privileged with winning Senior Australian of the Year in 2010 and South Australian of the Year in 2011, in appreciation of her focus on cooking with seasonal produce.

Here, Wineries of South Australia discovers how Beer got to where she is today, as well as how South Australia has influenced her working life, so that you too can appreciate, and devour, the region’s mouth-watering produce.

AN ORGANIC PROCESS

Due to Beer’s talent, passion and success as a ‘famous foodie’, it wouldn’t be foolish to

assume that her current career was always an ambition for her, yet she insists everything in her life has always followed an organic process, rather than a plan.

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was growing up, so when I left school I carried out a career ‘degustation’ of sorts. This included being a lift driver in a New Zealand department store, a citizenship law clerk for the American Embassy and a house manager at The Women’s College at The University of Sydney, [among other things],” explains Beer.

“When it came to a career involving food, it really just evolved – there was no grand plan. Moving to the Barossa Valley when I married Colin, and being surrounded by such wonderful seasonal produce, certainly sparked my interest in food to be taken to the next level.

“Eventually starting the Pheasant Farm Restaurant clinched the deal to set me on my food path. I still wonder how I had the audacity, with no experience or training, to start a restaurant, but I'm so happy I did.

“That’s not to say it has always been easy! I have [simply] learnt to go with the flow.

It is this ability to seize different opportunities as they present, as well as take risks that has set Beer on the right path to success.

“Success, for me, has been about thinking outside the square and honouring intuition. The simple fact is that I love what I do; I’m truly passionate about food and ideas and making them happen. Helping people to make good food choices on a daily basis is what drives me, and I am lucky to have every opportunity to do so.”

CULINARY INTUITION

Just as her foray into the culinary world wasn’t methodical, neither is Beer’s approach to cooking. Instead, she believes in cooking from the heart, getting her hands on good seasonal produce and letting that drive her intuition for a meal.

“My notion of cooking from the heart [exists] for so many reasons. This includes connecting with growing food on a deeper level, nourishing myself, and sharing occasions that will become special memories for me, my family and my friends,” says Beer.

“Improvisation is the key to everything I do, and while I may make some mistakes along the way, it’s the most wonderful way to cook. Many delicious surprises pop-up and can quickly become staple dishes you rely on again and again. It also allows you to put your creative stamp on everything you cook.”

The key to improvising with cooking, Beer explains, is to always consider the produce of the season and work from there. As good seasonal produce needs little work done to it, you’re never at risk of overcomplicating things.

“Seasonal produce also allows you to get to know the rhythm of the seasons, as well as how to delight in fruit and vegetables picked

at their best, truly ripened and full of flavour. Working with nature always tastes better than working against it,” says Beer.

Beer loves cooking at any time of the year, as the produce seems to arrive just in time to pique her interest as each season changes. That said, winter is perhaps the most rewarding because her kitchen doubles as a cosy place to spend time while she’s cooking.

“I find myself spending more and more time in the kitchen in winter because of the shortened days preventing most outdoor activities, but also to enjoy the ‘slow food’ nature of winter’s produce. Stewing, braising, roasting and poaching are such satisfying ways to cook food that warm from the inside out.”

SIGNATURE STAPLE

While Beer believes no pantry should go without extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt flakes, dried pasta, anchovies, free-range eggs, unsalted cultured butter and Parmigiano Reggiano, her signature ingredient is verjuice, which she discovered through her and her husband’s wine labels.

“Verjuice is something I use every day in my cooking, so more often than not it turns up in my favourite dishes, one of which has to be my daughter Saskia's Barossa chook,” says Beer.

“It’s such a versatile ingredient, giving that ‘lift’ to food that our palate searches for. I’ve had so many people say that using verjuice makes them feel like they are eating in a restaurant! It can be used in marinades, vinaigrettes, to add to custard or jellies, as a deglazing agent for anything pan-fried and most simply as a very refreshing drink, poured over ice.”

Beer discovered verjuice, which is the juice of unripened grapes, when she and her husband were contemplating ways to ensure they didn’t waste a harvest of rhine riesling grapes. She researched how to make it, and was then the first in the world to produce it commercially. It’s now her signature ingredient, and has led her to develop another drink based on the unfermented juice of grapes – sparkling ruby cabernet.

“Ask anyone from the Barossa Valley and they will tell you that local wine is an essential partner to our fantastic produce grown in the Barossa Valley,” says Beer.

“Colin and I have been growing grapes for as long as we’ve been in the Barossa Valley, and Beer Brothers Wines and Pheasant Farm Wines are our two labels sold through Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop.”

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PRIDE

Fresh produce in South Australia, and the Barossa Valley more specifically, is what inspired Beer all those years ago, and is still the inspiration for her current range at Maggie Beer Products.

“So much of my business is based on South Australian produce, from fruit for pastes and

sauces, grapes for verjuice and wine, vegetables for soup, and almonds for dukkah,” says Beer.

“South Australia is one of the best places to be if you love food and wine, as it has the most wonderfully diverse array of producers and growers able to take advantage of the Mediterranean climate.

“With fresh seafood from Port Lincoln, fantastic cheeses from the Limestone Coast, Murray River citrus, Kangaroo Island’s superb honey and of course outstanding wine, it’s very easy to be South Australia proud.”

Beer says she feels lucky to have access to growers in the Barossa Valley, where she and her family are based.

“A strong food culture develops organically over time, based on the day-to-day lives of the people that make up the community. The Barossa Valley has such a rich diversity of produce that it has naturally allowed, and encouraged, an ever-growing tapestry of food-based ventures, but all of them are steeped in a common history. That’s the key; there must be substance that sits behind what appears idyllic.”

For those who hope to visit the Barossa Valley and explore the beauty of the region first-hand, Beer advises you give yourself time to enjoy it as a local and go to the farmer’s market, eat just-picked ripened fruit and talk to the people who made the cheese and/or wine.

“We have nature at our fingertips, with beautiful walking trails to discover and seasonal produce abounding. Life here is built around good food and wine and the culture of fantastic art and music, so make sure you give yourself time to enjoy it.”

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 23:30

Grant Burge Wines

The Grant Burge Wines story officially began in 1988, when Grant Burge and his wife Helen established the business. However, as with many great winemakers, viticulture was already firmly engrained in the Burge family history, with its roots tracing back to the mid-19th century. Following his forefather’s longtime love of winemaking, Grant has continued to produce quality wines into the 21st century.

Overlooking the stunning views of the Barossa Valley from Krondorf, Grant Burge Wines encompasses a massive 400 hectares of vineyard on-site. Producing approximately 400,000 cases of wine per year, the winery specialises in sparkling, still reds, still whites and fortified wines. In addition to the cellar door, which showcases its outstanding varieties, Grant Burge Wines also offers one of the finest and most awarded fortified collections in Australia at its Illaparra Fortified Wine Store.

Grant Burge Wines has a plethora of awards under its belt, proving it to be at the forefront of the Barossa Valley wine industry. Not only has it been rated five red stars by James Halliday in the Australian Wine Companion seven times in a row, it also won Australia’s Best Sparkling Wine at the 2012 ALIA awards, Best Fortified Wine Producer at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards and world champion in the sparkling red wine category at the 2014 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships.

Grant Burge Wines is a must-visit for any wine enthusiast. In July 2014, the company established a private tasting facility called the Meshach Cellar. This unique building is available for private tastings and functions by appointment. Not to be missed, Grant Burge Wines has proven itself to be a deserving institution in the Barossa Valley region.

TASTING NOTES

NV Grant Burge Sparkling Pinot Noir traditional-method

This traditional-method sparkling is rich and generous with a real vitality that’s heightened by a creamy mouthfeel. A wine that adapts to its environment, this sparkling can be enjoyed with food or just on its own.

2013 Grant Burge The Holy Trinity Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre

Grown in vineyards up to 120 years old and named after Grant’s family’s local village church in Lyndoch, this blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvèdre is medium-bodied and silky smooth, with vibrant aromas of cherries and sweet spices matched to fine tannins.

2011 Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz

Named after Grant’s great-grandfather, a central figure in establishing the Burge family’s winemaking tradition. Since the first vintage in 1988, Meshach has won several of Australia’s top trophies and many medals. It is generally regarded as one of the country’s best dry reds and is mostly sourced from old vines nearing 100 years old.

Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny

Made from the Barossa Valley’s traditional tawny varieties of grenache, mataro and shiraz, and blended to an average age of ten years. Only a strictly limited quantity of Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny is drawn from the solera for bottling each year and the barrels are topped with selected younger wine.

 

 

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