We are excited to host Giles Cooke MW winemaker from Thistledown Wine company for our July Winemaker masterclass. Ahead of the masterclass, we chatted to Giles to find out more about the Thistledown ethos and why they have a passion for the grenache grape variety.
Smallfry Wines Online Masterclass – SAT 20 JUN – feat. Barossa & Eden Valley, Certified Organic/Biodynamic pioneers. Est. in 2014 by Wayne Aherns + Suzi Hilder, Smallfry Wines was born out of a fascination with wild yeast – working naturally in the cellar as our ancestors did 100 years ago – small-batch, gentle maceration, natural yeasts, foot-stomping, hand plunging – integrating traditional farming with certified organic and BD practices in vineyard and winery.
“It came about not so much as a revelation more so as a slow realisation, one step in the vineyard leads to one step in the winery over more than a decade… We began in 2007, having attended my first workshop, I spread some horn manure at Eden Valley, then two months later we were planting some vines and the fundamental change in soil structure was undeniable, I knew I was onto something straight away.” – Wayne, Rebel Wine Chat.
If you’ve been getting into natural wine, you might have come across skin-contact whites. Basically, it means treating white grapes a bit more like red ones. Letting the skins, stalks, and juice spend more time together – soaking, fermenting, and imparting their wild, spicy, chalky, skinsy, textural, phenolic flavour profile – natural in avoiding modern techniques to clean up, filter, rub off the edges. Try our skin-contact White pack called the Orange Shake-Up.
Top proponents of the style are Mij Patterson + Liv Maiorana from South By South West (People’s Choice 2019 Young Gun of Wine Awards @younggunofwine) with their 2019 ‘Fieldie’ Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.
“We’re enjoying playing with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from our organic vineyard and seeing how we can encourage different directions and expressions of these grapes to something more textural and a little edgy (typically aromatic, clean and crisp). We have been experimenting with early fruit picks for natural acidity, co-fermenting field blends, varying skin contact timeframes, barrel fermenting, and oak maturation. We are constantly trying to find out what works best to express the fruit and create a very smashable wine.”
Our first Tasting Assembly Online Winemaker Series kicked off with Vanya Cullen, chief winemaker and Managing Director of her family wine company Cullen Wines. She’s wine industry royalty having won many awards for her winemaking, as well as recognition for Cullen’s leadership and commitment to organics and sustainability. We also featured Vanya in our Women in Wine pack for International Woman’s Day where she reflected on what’s it’s like to be a female in a male-dominated industry.
Wine Revolution supports small, artisan producers who farm organic or biodynamic and sustainably. These producers avoid artificial inputs, look after their ecosystems, conserve natural resources and whose wines taste better. You’ll find these wines labelled either Certified Organic or Biodynamic. If a producer is not certified you’ll see them referred to as sustainable, low or minimal intervention, lo-fi or natural wines.
Here are seven reasons why we prefer to drink them. For this article, we will refer to these wines as ‘low intervention’ wines. The new wine ‘normal’!
An equal world is an enabled world #EachforEqual is the theme and hashtag for 2020’s International Women’s Day. This year the campaign will highlight gender equality, the benefits to business and how everyone can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.
In March we proudly celebrate International Women’s Day by recognising Australia’s fantastic talent pool of trailblazing female winemakers.
The Tasting Assembly creates memorable, informative and fun tasting events for a variety of private groups – bringing together likeminded people to learn about and engage with organic sustainable and natural wines.
2019 saw the release of the Wine Revolution’s inaugural Wine and Music playlist. In 2020 we have focused on wine in the lyrics, either as story or metaphor. We’ve analysed twelve songs which mention wine and paired them with some of our sustainably produced popular sellers which reflect the lyrics. A bit of fun for the long weekend. Grab a glass and crank up the volume. Find the list on Spotify or Apple Music
What better way to compile our annual top 10 wine list? 2019 Tasting Assembly alumni of course! Such a broad range of palates, and varietal preferences but tastings are there to open up a world of new flavours and styles. However, there was a commonality amongst the alumni with an appreciation of a winemaker’s hard working efforts in producing wine that is better for the environment and consumer. The final payoff? A wine that tastes better too.