Airline pilots make surprisingly good wine. Their appreciation of the sciences, a respect for the weather and a bird's eye view of the land, all invaluable to the winemaker's art. John Ellis would take every opportune weekend away from his regular New York Paris route, to pursue a passion for viticulture. He planted the first commercial Cabernet Merlot vines in the Hamptons and found time between trans atlantic flights to work vintages amongst the Grand Cru vineyards of La Bourgogne. Ellis ultimately made the great lifelong sea change in favour of our land downunder. He settled on a farmstead outside Leongatha, amongst the slow ripening pastures of Gippsland and established a vineyard called Bellvale. It is now a place of fully mature vines and old world Burgundian techniques, sur lie et sauvage, barrel ferments and batonnage. Bellvale remains artisanally small batch, just 23 hectares of vine yields a measured harvest of spectacular quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, la saveur de la France from the top pick of Gippsland..
Placing pinot amongst the pastures»
Clonakilla are one of our nation's most eminent vineyard wineries, a tiny production operation, established by a CSIRO scientist at Murrumbateman, very near Canberra. It turned out to be a fortuitous planting, with a climate not dissimilar to Bordeaux and northern Rhone, the Clonakilla property now occupies a rank next to the mighty Grange on the prestigious Exceptional Langtons Classification, it yields vintages of Australia's most invaluable Shiraz. At $26.99, the estate's entry level belies its stature and excellence within the pantheon of great Australian wine, an essential experience this week for all enthusiasts, a canny choice for shrewd and judicious aspirants of elite new world Shiraz...
Here's what our most picky pundits prefer»
It is an offence in Australia to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years. Severe penalties apply to the supplier.
It is an offence in Australia for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor. Severe penalties apply to the procurer and the minor. Liquor Licence 57706940 | Wine is sunlight held together by water -Galileo | Drink More Wine in Moderation