Seville Estate’s private dining experience includes hand-picked wines.
Seville Kitchen Head Chef Soren Thogersen.

Private Diner

With socially distanced dining options in demand, Seville Estate has launched a private dining experience at its Yarra Valley estate. Held in its picturesque 1975-built Homestead, guests will be exclusively looked after, and served a three-course meal by Seville Kitchen Head Chef Soren Thogersen and his team.

The three courses cost $120pp, with wine pairings courtesy of winemaker Dylan McMahon for an additional $70.

To book, visit sevilleestate.com.au/private-dining
Phoenix Kamsteeg is the manager at Tamburlaine’s new cellar door.

Gilbert’s New Releases A Treat

We already knew it, but the latest releases from Gilbert Family Wines is proof once again that Will Gilbert is one of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic young winemakers. The 2020 Pétillant-Naturel Rosé (grenache and sangiovese, A$26) and Pétillant-Naturel Riesling (A$26) – sourced from Langhorne Creek and the Clare Valley respectively, due to smoke taint in Orange and Mudgee – offer loads of refreshment and savoury complexity. We particularly loved the 2019 Shiraz Riesling (A$32), a fleshy, medium-bodied red with bright, lifted aromatics thanks to the addition of 5% riesling, and the seriously perfumed, spicy 2018 Shiraz (A$42); it speaks more of the Rhône Valley than Orange, NSW. A producer we’ll be keeping our eye on.

gilbertfamilywines.com.au
Gin royalty Four Pillars has a new venue in Sydney.
Daughter in Law's Jessi Singh and Sacha Imrie.

Four Pillars in Sydney

While they’ve already made themselves at home on the drink lists of our local bars, Four Pillars now have their own Sydney venue with the opening of their
Four Pillars Laboratory. Located in Surry Hills, the venue features the brand’s own Gin Shop, Gin Laboratory and bar space Eileen’s Bar. The Gin Shop will hold the entire Four Pillars portfolio for purchase, as well as other merchandise including their famous Made From Gin Marmalade. Upstairs, visitors will find the Gin Lab with a working copper still alongside Eileen’s Bar, named after co-founder Matt Jones’ mother, which is open in the evenings with a snazzy cocktail list and bar snacks.

Jones says the new venture brings the creativity and passion of their Yarra Valley distillery to the heart of Sydney. “We were determined to take that same passion for making, creativity and experimentation… and serve it all up with our signature love of warm hospitality and beautiful design. The result is a delicious playground for Sydney’s gin lovers.”

For more info, visit fourpillarsgin.com
Phoenix Kamsteeg is the manager at Tamburlaine’s new cellar door.

Organic in Orange

Orange is a special place for leading producer Tamburlaine Organic Wines, with vineyards planted in Borenore and Belgravia. But now it’s also home to their new cellar door, which recently opened in the historic Millthorpe General Store building. The venue will offer tastings of the Tamburlaine portfolio as well as provide a space to enjoy a bottle and a local produce platter. There are also plans to incorporate organic vineyard and winery experiences into the offerings in the future.

Tamburlaine managing director Mark Davidson says the team are eager to bring their experience from the Hunter Valley cellar door into the region. “Tamburlaine built its Hunter Valley business on tourism and cellar door hospitality. Over the decades we created a substantial customer base for the wines, one customer group at a time,” says Davidson. “We can now continue this with Orange visitors and encourage our existing customers, who have not necessarily been before, to travel to the region. We know that many customers are just waiting for the excuse to visit Orange and Millthorpe.”

For updated opening hours and more info, visit tamburlaine.com.au
Seville Kitchen Head Chef Soren Thogersen.

Daylesford Duo

Two Daylesford favourites – Dos Delicatessen and Wine & The Country – have joined forces as the Winespeake Cellar + Deli. The go-to venues for all things wine, cheese and other deli fare are owned by Jen Latta, and the new venue is named for husband Owen’s vineyard Eastern Peake.

The Winespeake Cellar + Deli will stock local and international wines, as well as locally produced cheese and charcuterie. The team also plan to hold events such as masterclasses and meet-the-winemaker nights.

“We have seven years of building our wine selection, perfecting our food offering, and building a family of team members who are amazing at what they do,” says Jen. “Our goal has always been to become an institution of Daylesford, and that’s what I hope moving to this iconic new location will help us achieve.”

For updated opening times and more info, visit winespeake.com.au

Grampians Wine Cellar

The Grampians has welcomed a new addition to the region with the opening of the Grampians Wine Cellar. Located in Halls Gap, the retail store was developed by ex-restaurant manager of Brae Restaurant and hospitality professional Simon Freeman.

Freeman says the inspiration for the store was the result of a desire to showcase local wines to the locals. “All of the great small producers whose wines I served in restaurants went completely undiscovered. The idea of a small shop to provide this service was born,” he says.

The cellar holds a range of both upcoming and well-known Grampians producers, along with some of Freeman’s favourite drops from around the world. The shop also has a small deck for visitors to enjoy their purchases, with plans to host wine education courses, tastings and meet-the-winemaker events in the future.

For updated opening times and more info, visit grampianswinecellar.com.au

Australian Gin Stars

Australian gin shone bright in The Spirits Business Gin Masters Awards 2020. Sydney’s Archie Rose Distilling Co earned rave reviews for several of its products. Their Harvest 2019 Poorman’s Orange Gin took the top spot masters medal, while Sydney Opera House Outside Gin, Sydney Opera House Inside Gin, Signature Dry Gin and Distillers Strength all received gold medals.

Seppeltsfield Road Distillers were also winners on the night. Their popular House Gin and Savoury Allsorts Gin were awarded gold medals in the contemporary category while their 2020 Barossa Shiraz Gin also won a gold medal in the flavoured gin category.

See all the award winners at thespiritsbusiness.com
Charlie Seppelt and Skye Salter are producers to keep an eye on.
Daughter in Law's Jessi Singh and Sacha Imrie.

Paralian Wines

Husband and wife winemaking duo Charlie Seppelt and Skye Salter launched their side hustle label Paralian Wines with their debut vintage (2018) last year; the newly released 2019 vintage has firmly stamped their reputation as a McLaren Vale producer worth getting excited about. Initially working with top vineyard sites in Blewitt Springs, their focus has so far been on crafting deeply expressive McLaren Vale Grenache (A$42) and Shiraz (A$42) – and this year they’ve added a stunningly balanced Adelaide Hills Chardonnay (A$49) to their already exceptional portfolio. Each wine was made in painfully small amounts, so be quick.

For more information, visit paralian.com.au  

Finest Fizz

The winemaking team at Bollinger were challenged to come up with the blend for a new Blanc de Noirs Champagne. The pinot noir grapes were mainly sourced from Verzenay. The entries were tasted blind with the winning blend for the first edition of the Bollinger PN VZ 15 Champagne (A$200) – not surprisingly – the work of Chef de Cave Gilles Descortes. The wine is extremely good with mineral salinity balanced with generous stone-fruit fruit flavours. It is a worthy younger sibling for the Bollinger RD.

Available from 1 September from Dan Murphys.

Going for Golding

Your ideal wine country lunch is sorted with the opening of Golding WinesGingko Restaurant at their Adelaide Hills cellar door. The Gingko Restaurant is located in the estate’s sandstone barn on the much-loved Golding Wines property, which boasts some of the region’s best views. Guests can choose from a three- or four-course seasonal plate set menu or tuck in to their famous wood-fired pizzas on a menu that features an array of outstanding produce from the region.

To book, visit goldingwines.com.au

Whisky’s Digital Future

A whisky made using artificial intelligence (AI) sounds like something from a movie, but it exists and is already winning awards. Sweden’s Mackmyra has created the world’s first AI whiskey with the launch of their Mackmyra Intelligens ($129.50), which has taken out Gold and Best Category in the Craft Spirits Awards Competition.

Mackmyra teamed up with Microsoft and Finnish technology consultant Fourkind to create the Swedish single malt whisky, which used AI services to generate the blend based on sales data and customer preferences. Drinkers can expect a palate of fruit notes balanced with elements of vanilla, toffee and toasted oak.

Visit mackmyra.co.uk

Westward

Award-winning US whiskey brand Westward have launched their Westward Oregon Stout Cask Whiskey ($139.99) in Australia. The bottle brings together Westward’s premium whisky aged in stout casks from a handful of Oregon’s leading beer producers. Expect a rich tipple with elements of chocolate and toasted pecan for a bold and dry finish.

See: westwardwhiskey.com

A Very, Very Special Release

McLaren Vale favourites Alpha Box and Dice have added a new letter to their Alphabet of Wine with the release of their 2019 Very Special Adelaide Hills Riesling (A$25). The grapes are from the biodynamic and organic Brackenwood Vineyard in Hope Forest. Expect a slightly off-dry style riesling, with a zesty, refreshing acidity paired with hints of kaffir lime leaves and lemon curd all rounded off with a soft finish.

The 2019 Very Special Adelaide Hills Riesling is available at alphaboxdice.com

Red for Bed

Stalin’s Wine Cellar by John Baker and Nick Place is the ultimate wine-meets-history tale. John Baker and Kevin Hopko are two wine merchants on the hunt for the lost collection of wine owned by the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II then Josef Stalin. The adventure to determine the authenticity of this million-dollar collection sent the pair across the world. It’s a read ideally paired with a glass of your favourite wine.

Visit penguin.com.au

National Vintage Report 2020

Wine Australia has released its annual National Vintage Report for 2020, with some interesting findings. Last year’s vintage produced around 1 billion litres, with the national grape crush sitting at 1.52 million tonnes. That’s down 12% from last year, however, there was an average 5% increase in the purchase price of wine to A$694 per tonne. Across the country, South Australia made up 47% of the national crush, followed by New South Wales at 32% and Victoria at 17%. Riverland, Murray Darling-Swan and the Riverina were the biggest regional producers. There were some decreases in the amount of merlot and most white varieties crushed, with the exception of pinot gris/grigio and Proscecco. Shiraz is still king though, followed by chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sauvignon blanc. Meanwhile durif increased by 9%.

Read the full report at wineaustralia.com

Wine List of the Year 2020

As many readers know, we usually showcase the winners of Australia’s Wine List of the Year awards in this issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE. But due to Covid-19, the awards have been postponed from their usual time slot to later in the year and are scheduled for 30 November. We will feature all the results along with the reviews for every finalist across the country in our December/January print and digital editions.

For more information visit winelistoftheyear.com.au

Virtual Vineyards

In the April/May edition of GT WINE we invited subscribers to tell us why they would like to win a dozen wines from 12 of Australia’s Best Cellar Doors.

There were many great entries but we couldn’t go past that of Dr Julia Stone from Toowoomba, Qld, who said: “To give to 12 of my colleagues to thank them for all their hard work.” Here’s to our wonderful doctors and nurses.

Visit our Subscriptions Page to see this edition's prize.