The lead up to the 2020 vintage has had its challenges.
Our winemakers braced themselves as Mother Nature delivered multifarious trials: drought, extreme heat, frosts and wild weather events. Then all hell broke loose as bushfires took hold. Treasured vineyards were lost, while there were those who had little reason to pick and make wine from smoke-tainted fruit. To top it off wineries have seen a dip in visitor numbers due to recent travel bans.
One day, hopefully, not in the too distant future, we must look forward being able to gather a group of friends to head out to visit their cellar doors. Once there, all that’s required is to drink good wine, enjoy fresh country food and perhaps invest in a few bottles to take home. A warm welcome is guaranteed.
We flag some favourite spots to visit through our annual Cellar Door Awards. Plus, we urge you to support a cellar door in your home state by voting for it through the Readers’ Choice Awards, held in conjunction with Vintec. There’s an opportunity to win one of six Vintec wine cabinets stocked with some good drops.
Elsewhere in this edition, the GT WINE tasting panel puts local nebbiolo up against expressions from Piedmont; Tim Atkin MW checks out vintage 2018 in Burgundy, and we shine the spotlight on malbec and tempranillo. Plus we reveal our favourite grown-up non-alcoholic drinks.
In the west, our team finds limited edition wines being made by the Swinneys, one of the oldest grape-growing families in Frankland River and visits the new guard Swan Valley winemakers enjoying success with chenin blanc.
In our food pages, we discover drinks to match spicy Sri Lankan cuisine, while chef Kim Currie from Zin House at Lowe Winery in Mudgee shares her kitchen-garden philosophy and a great recipe.