When I started making wine over 20 years ago I learned that much of the marketing of wine was bulldust. As a former journalist, I was not perturbed by this, but it is now wearing me down.
For example, the myth surrounding cork versus screwcaps as a seal for wine. I hear time and again that corks are better because a wine needs to ‘breathe’. Gibberish.
From scientific data and experience, the best cork is one that is a total, taint-free seal, just like a screw cap only not as reliably so. The best evidence I can give of this are the centuries-old finds of wine at the bottom of the ocean – the last place in the world anything can be expected to
breathe. These wines are more often than not reported to be in relatively good condition.
But I think the most infuriating marketing myths are to be found on back labels. The ‘prose’ on some of these labels even I would blush at using (did I mention my journalism was based in Canberra?).
Sure, I understand the need to describe a wine sitting on a store shelf to convince someone to buy, but is telling someone the wine is “redolent of vibrant peaches plucked by virgins” really going to make someone buy wine? Are we really that gullible?
As a wine lover I want to see just a few things. The alcohol level tells me a surprising amount about the grapes that went into the wine. Too ripe in a warm climate is bad, as is too unripe in a cool climate. Ideally I would also like to know the winemaker's honest impression of the season and the wine in general. Brian Croser, then owner/winemaker of Petaluma was brilliant at doing this in the 90s.
Because we don’t have our wines on retail shelves there’s no superfluous prose on the bottle – we go one step further and don’t have a back label at all. What we try our best to do is to have relevant, truthful and up to date information about our wines on our website.
A wise man once told me that the best sign of rain was not kangaroos holding their tongues to the left or some such rubbish, but puddles on the ground. So it is with a bottle of Huntington Estate wine – it is what’s inside
In writing this it’s quite likely I will be struck down by lightning but here goes anyway. Deep breath. I occasionally quite like a white wine instead of red. So far so good. If I have white wine it’s usually a Semillon, a variety that lives in the shadow of its bigger, bolder and better known [...]
I love the annual rhythm of growing grapes and making wine. For us vignerons it’s all about the weather and thus every vintage and every wine is completely different. There is no better illustration than the contrast of this season and the last. This time last year we were enjoying one of our best winter and springs. [...]
Every vintage I have a bet with a mate to see who can make a public declaration that this one will be vintage of the century.It’s a ritual begun by the winemakers of the Hunter Valley decades ago. Their wet and warm climate means every other vintage is, invariably, pretty ordinary. Getting in front of [...]
My dad dragged out a bottle of ‘86 Grange for Christmas lunch. It was great, always is.Between arguments over Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson (my Dad won, it was his Grange after all), we got to talking about this unique wine which over the past decade has evolved to be one of Australia’s biggest commodi [...]
In a word, wet. Another word, bloody. Bloody wet sums it up nicely actually.The vines are as happy as pigs in muck, the Vineyard team not so much...With over 50 times more winter rain than last year so far, and more days of rain than not, pruning was an absolute nightmare to finish. There is [...]
Happy vines make happy wine. And happy wines make a happy winemaker.So it was with the 2016 Vintage just finished.In one of my recent Ravings I may have given the wrong impression that I wasn’t happy when I moaned about all of the hurdles in front of us poor vignerons; from droughts to floods, frosts to heatwaves. [...]
Vignerons do not have a natural inclination towards optimism, and I’ll tell you why.It starts in winter each when pruners brave freezing cold and bitter winds to prune the dormant vines. It takes many months and is always a race to beat Spring’s wake-up call for the sleeping vineThen comes budburst, when the vine starts [...]
You would all be well aware by now that Huntington Estate does not follow fashions nor does it chase fads. For instance we warned against Justin Bieber then said the same about One Direction, we said it would end in tears. I said the same about The Beatles. Haha, told you so. It all started back [...]
Alcohol abuse is a scourge. It destroys lives and comes at a huge economic and social cost. Taxation is a good way to discourage abuse, just like with cigarettes right? Well not with the current system.While I’m sure there are a couple of billionaires rotting their livers with three bottles of Grange a day, and [...]