Meeting the Winemakers: a Voyage of Discovery into Aussie Wine

Tim Milford

As summer 2021 approaches, I'm looking forward to the end of UK lockdown and being able to share wine with friends, in person. But lockdown wasn't a total disaster. Many of us who could no longer meet face-to-face took to the virtual conference, used by big businesses and families alike to keep in touch. Even better, it's a great way of making new friends and sharing new experiences from the comfort of home - and it could have been designed for wine, with its international dimension.

I've taken part in all sorts of wine-related online events, from regular Twitter chats to Instagram Lives, from blind wine tasting masterclasses late in the evening (with the great Nick Jackson MW's School of Taste) to virtual vineyard tours in Bordeaux and Jerez. But, best of all, thanks to my Twitter wine buddy Tim Milford I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the Meet The Winemaker sessions set up by Brett Jones in Australia and Oliver Farquharson in the U.K.

Since July 2020 Brett has made it his mission to introduce our group of UK-based wine lovers to the makers of some of the finest wines from all over Australia - and Ollie has ensured that we were able to source their wines from the UK - mostly via independent merchants who specialise in importing the best that Australia has to offer - and taste them as we talked. 

Cameron & Allister Ashmead, Elderton, Barossa Valley

Tasting: 19 Sept 2020

Brendan & Laura Carter of Unico Zelo, Adelaide Hills

5 December 2020

Virginia Willcock of Vasse Felix, Margaret River

Tasting: 16 January 2021

Tim Kirk of Clonakilla, Canberra District

Tasting: 24 April 2021

Up Next: Pizzini - King Valley, Victoria 26 June 2021

Thank you, Tim, Ollie and (Night Owl) Brett, for inviting me...

Oliver "Ollie" Farquharson

... and thanks to all of the wonderful Winemakers on the other side of the World, who stayed up long past their bedtmes, often after a hard day toiling in the vineyard, to tell us about their history, philosophy and approach to winemaking, so we happy few could enjoy tasting their wines at a reasonable hour.

It's truly been a privilege to be a part of this group and I am looking forward to continuing my Australian Wine Education in many more sessions to come. 

Tim Milford Twitter @timmilford Instagram tjmilford

Ollie Farquharson Twitter @OllieOZwineUK Instagram ollieozwineuk

Brett Jones Twitter @AustWineTasting Instagram

The Knowledge - Where to buy Australian Wines from the Meet the Winemaker series

The Vinorium supplied 

Elderton Wines Barossa Valley: E Series Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Eden Valley Chardonnay 2018, Barossa GSM 2018, Barossa Shiraz 2017, Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 and Ode to Lorraine Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot 2016

Deep Woods Estate Margaret River Rosé 2017

House of Cards Margaret River "The Royals" Chardonnay 2019 and "Kings in the Corner" Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2018

Armit Wines supplied my Dowie Doole "Moxie" NV Sparkling Shiraz from McLaren Vale

Oddbins supplied Santolin Wines Yarra Valley "Gladysdale" Chardonnay 2018 and "Cosa Nostra" Pinot Noir 2018

Wanderlust Wine supplied Oliver's Taranga McLaren Vale Shiraz 2017 and Fiano 2020 

Majestic Wine supplied Vasse Felix "Filius" Chardonnay 2019 and "Filius" Cabernet Merlot 2018 from Margaret River

Hic! supplied Unico Zelo Adelaide Hills "Jade & Jasper" Fiano 2019 and Clare Valley "Cherry Fields" Dolcetto 2018 (2020 vintage re-branded as "Jungle Jungle")

Australian Wines Online supplied Clonakilla Canberra District Riesling 2019 and Hilltops Shiraz 2017

Wine regions of Australia - there's still loads left to explore!