The new Simon Tolley Cellar Door in the Adelaide Hills.

Head to the Hills

The Adelaide Hills has welcomed a new addition to the region with the opening of the Simon Tolley Wines Cellar Door. Located in Woodside, the cellar door is now open for tasting flights of the Simon Tolley portfolio along with space to relax and enjoy a glass or bottle.

‘We chose this location for the Cellar Door because it’s where we loved to sit with a glass of wine and enjoy the view,” says Simon Tolley. “I also loved the idea that we can point to the vineyards and tell the guests, ‘that’s what’s in your glass!’’

The cellar door is also next to the luxury, award-winning Simon Tolley Lodge, which is known for its luxury offering and “sleep among the vines” experience.

The Simon Tolley Wines Cellar Door is open Thursday to Sunday 11am to 5pm. Visit simontolley.com.au
Morgan and Jayden Ong.
Otherness Wines brings together famed Barossans.

Otherness Outsiders

Led by Grant Dickson, of restaurant FermentAsian fame, Otherness Wines features six wines, each crafted by Dickson alongside one of his winemaking friends. The concept was born through a conversation between Dickson and local winemaker Dan Standish, who suggested crafting a wine from Dickson’s own Presser Road Vineyard in the Barossa. Fast forward to today and the brand features wines in collaboration with local winemakers, including Neil Pike, Ian Hongell, John Hughes and Marco Cirillo.

“Otherness provides [the winemakers] with an opportunity to explore other possibilities, to work outside the Barossa’s stereotypes, to create wines that are classical, balanced, playful, thirst-quenching and delicious,” says Dickson.

The range features the 2019 Urth Riesling (A$35); 2019 Skuld Riesling (A$35); 2019 Verthandi Riesling (A$55); 2017 440 Cabernet Sauvignon (A$55) and 2017 Tristan Chord Shiraz (A$55). Wines are available now at otherness.com.au
Check out the Native Drops website for upcoming events.
Daughter in Law's Jessi Singh and Sacha Imrie.

Surry Hills Goes Native

Native Drops has opened a new venue in the heart of Sydney’s Surry Hills, led by local hospo star Ella Stening. In store, you’ll find her carefully curated line-up of wines and spirits.

“Ranging in style from the weird and wonderful to the traditional, there is something for every consumer in here. Our products are all from smaller producers who are farming well, and giving back to the earth and the community,” she says. “I am trying to be way more discerning with my purchasing practice, so alongside sustainable farming, I am making sure I buy from good people; sustainability from every angle – economical, cultural, social, etc."

You can also catch a range of free tastings and ticketed events at the space, with Stening already hosting sold-out nights on The Women of the Winemaking World, Orange Wine, Lebanese Natural Wine and more.

Visit nativedrops.com.au for more info.
Seville Kitcgersen.

Sirromet on Show

Queensland’s Sirromet launched a new range of wines earlier this year, championing the state’s best-known wine region – Granite Belt. The Granit series showcases the both the region’s ability to, and the winemaking community’s philosophy of growing alternative varieties suitable to the area’s unique terroir.

The range, all from the 2020 vintage (A$26-$30), includes a Fiano, Vermentino, Montepulciano, Lagrein and Saperavi, all striking the balance between complex and quaffable, while exhibiting the unique ‘mineral’ trait often found in Granite Belt wines. A great starting point for anyone wanting to explore the offerings from this beautiful region (and we recommend you do).

Visit sirromet.com
Taylors Wines are raising money for the endangered White's seahorse.

Wild for Wilde

Gluten haters rejoice: the latest label from Tribe Breweries (Stockade Brewing Co; Mornington Peninsula Brewery) is Wilde GF Beer, comprising a gluten-free, FODMAP and vegan-friendly Pale Ale and Crisp Lager. How do they fare? Australian gluten-free beer has historically been underwhelming but Wilde has nailed the brief: brewed from ancient grains instead of the usual sorghum, these are crisp, clean and refreshing ales, with an attractive bitter hop profile.

Visit wildebeer.com.au
Seville Kitcgersen.

Into the Dark

The team behind pioneering non-alc spirits brand Lyre's has once again proven a refreshing and complex cocktail can be achieved without the alcohol. The latest RTD (ready-to-drink) release is comprised of the Dark 'n Spicy, a blend of Lyre's Spiced Cane and Dark Cane spirits, with ginger and lime zest – the perfect weeknight version of a Dark 'n Stormy – as well as the American Malt & Cola, a B&C without the ensuing headache.

Available in 24x250ml cartons from lyres.com.au.
Taylors Wines are raising money for the endangered White's seahorse.

Ward off Winter

Change of season got you suffering transition anxiety? Well, Moo Brew has an inspired option to help soothe those blues. The limited-release Winter IPA pours and tastes like a biscuity stout but still has that tell-tale fruity juicy IPA smell of summer. Which is perfect if you’re raging against the dying sun’s light. Sabro, Simcoe and Galaxy hops; 6.5% ABV. CHEREE CORBIN

See shop.moorilla.com.au
Sydney's Re is built on a low-to-no-waste ethos.

Sustainable Sips

Waste Nothing, Taste Everything: That’s the motto of Sydney’s newest bar Re. Developed by local hospo stars Matt Whiley (Scout) and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs), Re is aiming to shift the perception around how venues can be built and operate at around a low to zero waste status.

“We want to show how you can have an impact, so that other venues can look at us, then do the same”, says Whiley. “Yes Re is built on waste, but it’s this really incredible, refined space with heritage character. We want to change people’s expectations of what low-waste means, and encourage others to build and operate this way.”

This focus is carried throughout every aspect of Re, even with the building itself which is a historic locomotive workshop located in Eveleigh. Re worked with creative production company Alfred to implement the sustainable design, which includes the bar and tables made from Re-Plas recycled bottles and tupperware and furnishings produced from recycled materials.

Whiley’s drink offerings are impressive. Featuring all the classics, alongside the venue’s “Re-Search” list, which features drinks crafted around a theme, the opening one being “intergalactic”. While with Alex Pritchard (Icebergs) in charge of food, expect a snack-focused offering featuring sustainable, reclaimed produce.

Re is open Tuesday to Saturday 4pm to 12am, visit wearere.com.au
Twenty-six year veteran Teresa Heuzenroeder is now at Tintara.

Chalmers’ Cutting Edge

Due to the hectic nature of vintage and the vagaries of technology, we missed Chalmers’ current release aglianicos in our April/May edition Style Guide – a shame, considering the Chalmers family brought the cuttings to Australia.

All is not lost: we were thrilled to taste some mature releases (2011 and 2013), a pre-release 2019, and their current releases, all from the family’s prized Heathcote vineyard. We loved the 2016 Aglianico (A$35), an elegant, savoury acid-driven take on the variety; the 2020 Col Fondo (A$35), a fine, saline and refreshing sparkling rosato, made from 100% aglianico left undisgorged in bottle. There’s also the ever-reliable 2020 Rosato, made with 90% aglianico.

All wines showcase the variety’s versatility – not to mention its deliciousness.

Find out more at chalmers.com.au
Taylors Wines are raising money for the endangered White's seahorse.

Spirits Alive in Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, is well known for its premium oysters, but it’s set to become a destination for spirit-lovers with the launch of Coffin Bay Spirits. Developed by husband and wife duo Ben and Caro Deslandes, the first product is the Rare Coastal Gin (A$78).

“We currently have around 25 botanicals in our library to work with all gathered from from our piece of iconic coastline,” says Ben Deslandes. “We have worked extensively with our distillers Geordan and Lindon from Blend Etiquette during our recipe development to create something that genuinely captures the essence of Coffin Bay.”

The gin is crafted from botanicals from across one stretch of coastline in Coffin Bay, making for a tipple with savoury oceanic notes and soft juniper. And for those wondering – yes, the gin is designed to be paired with the local oysters.

Ben and Caro say they’ll be launching new products soon.

Head over to coffinbayspirits.com.au to keep updated
Seville Kitchen Head Chef Soren Thogersen.

Sober Site

If you’re looking to explore the #sobercurious trend, make your first stop the new Australian website Craftzero, housing all things low and no alcohol. Brothers-in-law Sherif Goubran and Marc Naggar developed Craftzero, in response to the popularity of Dry July and the shift towards non-alcoholic drink consumption in Australia.

On the site, you can find an extensive range of non-alcoholic spirits, wines and beers including brands like Lyre’s, Seedlip, Heaps Normal and Monday Distillery.

See the full range at craftzero.com.au
Phoenix Kamsteeg is the manager at Tamburlaine’s new cellar door.

Sapling Yard's New Branch

There’s a new spot to visit on your next trip to the Canberra District. The Sapling Yard Wines cellar door is located at the back of local favourite, boutique grocery store Harvest Fresh in Bungendore. It’s a quaint place to enjoy Sapling Yard’s award-winning wines with quality cheese and charcuterie.

After the events of 2020 forced them to close the former pop-up cellar door several times, owners Carla Rodeghiero and Malcolm Burdett are excited to welcome guests to a permanent space of their own.

Visit saplingyard.com.au for opening times.
Bistrot’s team (from left): Michael Clift, Daniel Pepperell and
Andy Tyson.

Jansz’s New Outlook

There’s a new home for Tasmanian sparkling brand Jansz, with the opening of their new winery in the Coal River Valley. Located on their family-owned Pontos Hill Vineyard estate, the new winery boasts stunning views of the estate vines and is only a short drive to Hobart.

Local architect 6ty° is behind the winery design, which focuses on sustainability and holds a modern style.

Visit jansz.com.au
Charlotte Hardy, of Charlotte Dalton Wines.

Ones to Watch

A big congratulations is in order for Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines, who took out the title of 2021 Young Gun of Wine at the Young Gun of Wine Awards. In its 15th year, the awards celebrate the upcoming winemaking and viticulture talent around Australia, aiming to showcase them to a wide range of drinkers.

Other winners included: Best New Act: Marco Lubiana; Winemaker’s Choice: Dan Graham, Sigurd; People’s Choice: Sam Berketa, Alpha Box & Dice; The Vigneron: Ben Ranken, Wilimee and Danger Zone (a wine that embodies the awards ethos of discovery and adventure): Saison Blackcurrant Leaf Vermouth.

Read about the winners at youngunofwine.com
Seville Kitchen Head Chef Soren Thogersen.

Koyomi Shochu

Shochu is Japan’s most popular white spirit – a staple across the country’s bars and vending machines, usually distilled from rice or barley, and perfect mixed with soda and citrus or ume plum. Beam Suntory’s Koyomi Shochu (A$45/700ml), released in Australia in June, is a great way to discover this versatile and refreshing spirit, ideally in a classic Chu-Hi (short for ‘shochu highball’).

To enjoy: Add ice to highball glass; Pour in 60ml Koyomi Shochu; Top with soda or mineral water and garnish with lemon, lime or yuzu.

Visit
koyomishochu.com.au
PhoeniKamsteeg is the manager at Tamburlaine’s new celdoor.

Agave-lovers Alert

The Whitsundays, usually known for its beaches, is now home to the country’s first large-scale agave farm. The project is from company Top Shelf International, known for Australian drink brands Grainshaker Vodka and Ned Whisky. The agave plants will be used to craft Australia’s very first agave spirit. The farm in Bowen, already has 216,000 plants, with the aim to have a total of 1 million by 2024. There are also plans in the works for an on-site distillery, tasting room and restaurant at the farm to act as the brand space and home of education for Australian Agave.  

Find out more at topshelfgroup.com.au
Cassegrain Wines will lead a study into the effects
of smoke taint.

D-Day Decisions

When Bollinger released their 2007 R.D or ‘recently disgorged’ Champagne (A$440), there were a few surprises. It had reinstated the declaration of the disgorgement date on the front label – a tradition pioneered by Madame Bollinger when she launched the R.D in 1952, but abandoned in favour of providing the information on the back of the bottle for many vintages. The wine, too, was a little different from what might be expected from die-hard R.D fans, still showing complexity of an old vintage but with plenty of freshness and vitality.

At the same tasting we were asked to pick the vintages of two mystery Bollinger R.Ds, and most of us failed. As it turned out, they were both from 1976 but one was disgorged in 2014 after 37 years, and the other, disgorged more recently, had spent 43 years on lees. The difference in the colour and the flavour of the wines confirmed the extraordinary impact that time of disgorgement can have. JUDY SARRIS
Merrymaker is now the highest rooftop bar in Adelaide.

Lark Meets the Mark

Tassie’s Lark Hill has announced its Carbon Neutral Certification – making it the first distillery to reach the status in Australia. This certification by Australian Government Initiative Carbon Active recognises Lark Hill’s operation at a zero net emissions.

“We are committed to improving our work practices to ensure we take as little from the earth as we possibly can during a time of unprecedented concern for the future of our planet,” says Managing Director Geoff Bainbridge. “The achievement of this milestone truly represents the best of Lark in terms of our pioneering spirit, the brand values and community contribution.”

Visit larkdistillery.com
Cassegrain Wines will lead a study into the effects of smoke taint.

The Other Wine Co

Matt Large has been announced as the new Chief Winemaker at Adelaide Hills winery The Other Wine Co. Large has spent time winemaking in regions like Central Otago, Piedmont and most recently in the Macedon Ranges, where he was Assistant Winemaker and Vineyard Manager with Shadowfax Wines.

Large’s first release will be the 2021 Pinot Gris, and plans to work with the brand’s existing vineyards and pursue new varieties for the portfolio.

Visit theotherwineco.com
Seville Kitchen Head Chef Soren Thogersen.

Taste of Scandinavia in Melbourne

The recently opened underground bar Valhalla, at Olderfleet on Collins Street is giving Melbournians a taste of the Nordic life. Valhalla takes inspiration from the underground bars in Scandinavia, but with a modern twist. The moody atmosphere and sleek interiors is paired with a drinks list mixing classic and innovative cocktails featuring Australian ingredients.

“We’re delighted to be able to finally launch Valhalla Bar, providing members and Melbournians alike with an underground retreat & inner-city after work haven,” says owner Soren Trampedach.

Visit valhallabar.com.au for opening hours.
Hickson House is heading to The Rocks in Sydney.

Sullivans Cove’s New Digs

Tassie spirit royalty Sullivans Cove has announced it's returning to its roots, building a new venue on Hobart’s waterfront, in the namesake Sullivans Cove precinct. The new development will feature the brand’s permanent distillery, along with a cellar door and museum restored from the century-old Drill Hall building. The Sullivans Cove Distillery is currently open in Cambridge.

Visit sullivanscove.com
Hickson House is heading to The Rocks in Sydney.

Prize Winner

In the February/March Edition of GT WINE, we asked new subscribers to tell us why they wanted to win a collection of wines, selected by Tasting Australia’s Drinks Curator, Nick Stock.

The winner was Stewart Jones of Kotara, NSW, who hat-tipped four producers in his response: “I was Standish on the Koerner of Deviation Road, looking at Mount Edelstone, thinking what does it take to win this epic collection of wines?”

See this edition's subscription prize here.