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
A bottle of wine from a single vineyard is truly rare and special.All year, year after year, vines are rooted to the one spot, growing and ripening their fruit amid sometimes dramatic climate changes. This year it’s floods, last year it was drought.The vigneron requires discipline and experience to be able to react to the [...]
We’ve just had 3 tractors bogged in the vineyard, each one trying to drag the other out. It was quite a sight watching this tractor-train plough itself through the row. The vineyard manager had a beer or two that night.And we left the special cow poo spreader slowly sinking in the middle of Block 8 [...]
Buying fine wine today is nothing like it was 40 years ago. Back then, when Huntington Estate was established, there were merchants galore, mostly operating independent wine shops.These merchants travelled extensively through wine regions in Australia and overseas, finding the best wines. They discovered and nurtured winemaking talent and celebrated diversity, and in response the [...]
I am not into facelifts or other enhancements, as you can see from my photo. I mean, just look at Madonna.In the end, age and time don’t lie. So it is with wine.Traditionally wines - red ones in particular – have been made to age. Its what the French and Italians do so well, particularly [...]