Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents View from the vineyard
Around this time last year, property owners were
desperately trying to sell their South West holiday
homes, often accepting well below market value.
Fast forward 12 months and vineyard owners are
Once the darling of the international wine
industry, Australian wine has fallen out of favour
with overseas drinkers as quickly as it fell into it.
The same mouths that once praised our plonk for
its value and delicious, sunshine-in-a-glass flavours
are now damning it as industrialised swill devoid of
In November, the nation's four biggest producer
bodies issued a joint statement that confirmed that
sinking feeling felt by many in their guts for so long:
the Aussie wine boom is over.
"It's going to take a while for things to shake
out in the industry," says Domaines and Vineyards
winemaker Rob Bowen, formerly with Houghton.
"With what's happening in terms of water supply
in the Riverland, there'll be a lot of pain for a lot of
people who've made the industry their livelihood."
An industry veteran, Rob's been making wine in
WA since 1979 and has seen both the dizzying highs
and the crushing lows. While he feels for winemak-
ing colleagues in the Riverland whose livelihoods
hinge on being able to make and sell big volumes
of wine, he's grateful for the support of both local
drinkers and parochial bottle shops happy to feature
local wines front and centre.
What this means, dear readers, is that we can't
get complacent with our wine drinking. The tempta-
tion might be there to reach for another heavily dis-
counted bottle of Kiwi sav blanc or generic "South
East Australia" cleanskin, but for just a few dollars
more, one can reinvest in the state industry.
Whether it's a fruity Swan Valley verdelho, a
crunchy SSB from Margaret River or Geographe, a
crisp Pemberton Sauvignon Blanc or any other
boutique offering from WA's nine wine regions, be
sure to think local this summer.
Halo Restaurant's towering sommelier Ed Wolkowin-
ski was the sole West Australian invited to attend this
year's Sommeliers Australia Education Scholarship
in Melbourne. In addition to meeting and learning
from other quality-driven sommeliers and restau-
rant managers, Ed also had the privilege of tasting
benchmark national and international wines. "People
don't believe me when I tell them it was hard work,"
he insists. Ed gives us a quick pour of his thoughts
on where the industry's going.
What were some of 2009's biggest wine trends?
French sauvignon blanc from Sancerre and Pouilly
Fume in the Loire Valley have been successful in the
whites while sangiovese from Chianti has moved well
with the reds. This is not to forget the local talent of
WA chardonnay and cabernet which always move
heavily with our guests.
What are you looking forward to drinking more of
Riesling. From bone dry through to lusciously sweet,
the diversity of offerings from Australia, Germany
and Austria is amazing.
What's one style you'd like to see more people
drinking in 2010?
I believe sparkling wine such as Spanish cava and Italian
prosecco will do very well. They're wonderfully priced
and on the most part, largely over-deliver on quality.
How about some
Armadale | Carousel | Garden City
Harbourtown Perth | Innaloo | Karrinyup
Whitford City | Midland Gate | Rockingham
Joondalup | Claremont Quarter
Grilled steak, mixed lettuce, light
mozzarella, tomato, spanish onion and
barbeque sauce on thick cut toast.
Served with a garnish salad.
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