Superb McLaren Vale Wine Generates Waves

February 21, 2012 · Posted in Food and Drinks · Comment 

Mclaren Vale wine originates from a scenic area of South Australia called McLaren Vale. Many of the original vines today are more than 100 years’ old and are still single family owned. This is a destination area where visitors are greeted by many cafes and restaurants featuring local as well as international fare.

Growing in popularity is WayWood Wines that produces small quantities of boutique wines. Their important accomplishments include winning the Silver Medal at the Small Winemakers Show in 2010. They are considered producers of one of the 100 hot wines for 2010. Wine lovers can join their online newsletter mailing list to keep abreast on their newest releases.

A well known vineyard is that of Graham Stevens Wines who has been winning awards since the 1970s. A family run business Mr. Stevens is running his second vineyard with his daughter. Two special releases occurred in the summer of 2011 called The Cousins Grenache Rose and Clare Valley Riesling.

This area features the beauty of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the beaches of Gulf St Vincent. It is an idyllic setting for enjoying the culinary delights of such popular restaurants as El Toro Bar and Grill which specializes in Latin American cuisine. Other well known eating establishments include The Barn Bistro and Oscars and Vasarelli Cellar Door & Cafe.

The specialty wines of the area include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Chardonnay. Growing in popularity are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Some of the better known wineries include Coriole and Wirra Wirra Vineyards. Aficionados who do not live in the immediate area can visit the winery website and order online.

McLaren Vale wine originates from south Australia where mountains meet the shores of the southern oceans. Visitors can enjoy this splendid scenery while indulging in award winning wines and gourmet food in any of the dozens of restaurants to choose from. When visiting this area of Australian the McLaren Vale area should not be missed.

Check out the site McLaren Vale Shiraz, Shiraz

Vineyards and Winemaking From McLaren Vale

January 17, 2012 · Posted in Food and Drinks · Comment 

McLaren Vale, the home of the Curtis Family Vineyards, is just 45 minutes’ drive south of South Australia’s capital of Adelaide, has been making wine for one and a half centuries. That’s not as long as wine has been made in Italy, but the results are just as encouraging. And how a family with its ancestry dating back to the 15th Century has brought its expertise to McLaren vale with a new range of wines with an impressive European lineage.

The Curtis Family Vineyards is established just west of the township of McLaren Vale in . Its vineyards have flourished and now its sought-after dry white and dry red table wines are available on the Australian and export markets.The story of the Curtis Family Vineyards is really the story of how everything old came new again…of how European immigrants came to Australia, struggled against the odds and then applied old world values and experience to produce fine wines.

The name Curtis is thought to derive from Curtius, a noble and wealthy family of the First and Second Centuries AD, the Roman Empire era originating from the Latinium people.

Records show that the Curtis Family name first appeared in Cervaro in 1471, a town established by the Latinium tribe in Central Italy around the Second Century AD. Cervaro is situated approximately 10klms south of the monastery town of Monte Cassino, the site of some of the bitterest fighting between the Allied and German forces in Italy during World war II. Winemaking – Red grapes are harvested at optimum flavour levels, after testing and monitoring of the maturity development, in the cool of the day and then destemmer crushed into fermentation tanks.

Controlled temperature fermentation of 20-25 degree celsius on the skins until almost dry, the cap wet and submerged by regular pumping over, drained and pressed, racked off, followed by maturation in selected medium toast new American and French Oak \”hogsheads\” barrels. Ideally stored until bottling once the fruit and oak flavour balance is attained. Some bottle age maturity is then gained before the release of the wines for sale. White grapes are harvested in the cool of the night, destemmer roller crushed, must chilled to 6 degrees celsius into an air bag press, free run and gentle pressing separated to cold juice settling tanks. The clarified juice is then temperature controlled fermented until dry. Maturation in selected new medium toast French oak \”hogsheads\”, if required for wooded full body style, or alternatively in inert receptacles prior to bottling. The original Curtis Family Vineyard was re-established in 1973 by The Curtis Family, planted mainly to red varieties, Grenache and Shiraz. Further land was acquired in the 1980\’s and 1990\’s eventually expanding the vineyard area. The vineyard area is now planted to both red and white grape varieties upon soil types varying from McLaren Vale type terra rossa to sandy loams over limestone marl subsoils. The varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. All vineyard sites are deep ripped prior to planting but minimally cultivated with inter row cover crops to preserve our precious resource. The vines are drip irrigated through out the warm long summer/autumn growing season to attain maximum fruit quality development. Native fauna is not considered a threat to the ripening fruit and hence no extermination or barring techniques are employed. In fact, the small percentage lost to pecking birds is insignificant, meaning neither gas guns nor shooters are deployed in any of the vineyards. Claudio Curtis has trained a dedicated, willing operations team. All staff participate in a Vineyard Quality Assurance accreditation scheme and attend training to keep abreast of new vineyard techniques. The vineyards are admired by local and international visitors, and are immaculately and fastidiously tended in the Italian tradition….they are bordered by trees to enhance the Australian Wine Industry\’s international image as a \”Green and Clean\” industry. Enormous Eucalyptus border the eastern boundaries of the vineyards, abundant with native flora. The History of The Curtis Family Vineyard The first owner of what is now Curtis Family Vineyard was Mr Phillip Hollins, purchased in 1849 from the SA Land Company having been surveyed in 1839 by Mr John McLaren. Mr Hollins had large land holdings in Noarlunga through to McLaren Vale and was also owner of the famous Horseshoe Inn on the banks of the Onkaparinga River in Noarlunga, a necessity for horse drawn carriages travelling south from Adelaide. Mr Hollins died in 1876 and willed his land to Alexander Birrell, formerly of Norwood. Both owners employed farmers to work the land in the district. On this section prior to 1876, a small house with a cellar was built for the workmen consisting of a kitchen (slate floor), dining and bedroom, these rooms form the nucleus of the house today, which is now on another title. The property south of the original house was planted with vines. The varieties were Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro. The working of the vineyard was with horse drawn implements. Five horses were bought with the property and had been trained by Mr Stock. Bill Rivers can remember one horse called Roger, which was particularly good at his job. He was trained to pull the finishing off plough (which is still on the property today). If by chance the plough hit a vine, the horse would stop until all was righted. The vines were removed in the mid 1950\’s and the land used for cropping and dairying.

www.curtisfamilyvineyards.com

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Great Place – McLaren Vale

January 16, 2012 · Posted in Food and Drinks · Comment 

McLaren Vale, the home of the Curtis Family Vineyards, is just 45 minutes’ drive south of South Australia’s capital of Adelaide, has been making wine for one and a half centuries. That’s not as long as wine has been made in Italy, but the results are just as encouraging. And how a family with its ancestry dating back to the 15th Century has brought its expertise to McLaren vale with a new range of wines with an impressive European lineage.

Wine from this vineyard was sent to London in 1822, where it was awarded a silver medal. A subsequent parcel of wine was awarded a gold medal in 1827. John Macarthur planted a vineyard at Camden Park in 1820 and by 1827 produced a vintage of 90,000 litres. Interest in viticulture in the colony increased rapidly and in 1831 James Busby travelled through Spain and France collecting cuttings of grape cuttings for the colony. He was recorded as having collected 433 varieties from the Botanic Gardens in Montpellier, 110 from the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, 44 from Sion House near Kew Gardens in England and 91 from other parts of Spain and France. At this time, varieties were not well characterised and it seems certain that some were repeated in this introduction under more than one name, perhaps many more – the same name may also have been used for more than one variety, It is clear from the catalogue of the collection put out by the Sydney Botanical Gardens in 1842 that some of the varieties may also have been confused, for example Semillon is described as a black grape and Malbec as a white. Unfortunately, this collection was removed in 1857 – but not before cuttings has been distributed to Camden, the Hunter Valley and the Adelaide Botanical gardens from where they spread throughout Australia.

The new faces behind the Curtis Family Vineyards are Mark, Thomas & Jenna Curtis, with the guidance of their father, Claudio Curtis who lives on the vineyard just outside McLaren Vale. The name Curtis is thought to derive from Curtius, a noble and wealthy family of the First and Second Centuries AD, the Roman Empire era originating from the Latinium people.

Records show that the Curtis Family name first appeared in Cervaro in 1471, a town established by the Latinium tribe in Central Italy around the Second Century AD. Cervaro is situated approximately 10klms south of the monastery town of Monte Cassino, the site of some of the bitterest fighting between the Allied and German forces in Italy during World war II. Winemaking – Red grapes are harvested at optimum flavour levels, after testing and monitoring of the maturity development, in the cool of the day and then destemmer crushed into fermentation tanks.

Controlled temperature fermentation of 20-25 degree celsius on the skins until almost dry, the cap wet and submerged by regular pumping over, drained and pressed, racked off, followed by maturation in selected medium toast new American and French Oak “hogsheads” barrels. Ideally stored until bottling once the fruit and oak flavour balance is attained. Some bottle age maturity is then gained before the release of the wines for sale. White grapes are harvested in the cool of the night, destemmer roller crushed, must chilled to 6 degrees celsius into an air bag press, free run and gentle pressing separated to cold juice settling tanks. The clarified juice is then temperature controlled fermented until dry. Maturation in selected new medium toast French oak “hogsheads”, if required for wooded full body style, or alternatively in inert receptacles prior to bottling. The original Curtis Family Vineyard was re-established in 1973 by The Curtis Family, planted mainly to red varieties, Grenache and Shiraz. Further land was acquired in the 1980′s and 1990′s eventually expanding the vineyard area. The vineyard area is now planted to both red and white grape varieties upon soil types varying from McLaren Vale type terra rossa to sandy loams over limestone marl subsoils. The varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. All vineyard sites are deep ripped prior to planting but minimally cultivated with inter row cover crops to preserve our precious resource. The vines are drip irrigated through out the warm long summer/autumn growing season to attain maximum fruit quality development. Native fauna is not considered a threat to the ripening fruit and hence no extermination or barring techniques are employed. In fact, the small percentage lost to pecking birds is insignificant, meaning neither gas guns nor shooters are deployed in any of the vineyards. Claudio Curtis has trained a dedicated, willing operations team. All staff participate in a Vineyard Quality Assurance accreditation scheme and attend training to keep abreast of new vineyard techniques. The vineyards are admired by local and international visitors, and are immaculately and fastidiously tended in the Italian tradition….they are bordered by trees to enhance the Australian Wine Industry’s international image as a “Green and Clean” industry. Enormous Eucalyptus border the eastern boundaries of the vineyards, abundant with native flora. The History of The Curtis Family Vineyard The first owner of what is now Curtis Family Vineyard was Mr Phillip Hollins, purchased in 1849 from the SA Land Company having been surveyed in 1839 by Mr John McLaren. Mr Hollins had large land holdings in Noarlunga through to McLaren Vale and was also owner of the famous Horseshoe Inn on the banks of the Onkaparinga River in Noarlunga, a necessity for horse drawn carriages travelling south from Adelaide. Mr Hollins died in 1876 and willed his land to Alexander Birrell, formerly of Norwood. Both owners employed farmers to work the land in the district. On this section prior to 1876, a small house with a cellar was built for the workmen consisting of a kitchen (slate floor), dining and bedroom, these rooms form the nucleus of the house today, which is now on another title. The property south of the original house was planted with vines. The varieties were Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro. The working of the vineyard was with horse drawn implements. Five horses were bought with the property and had been trained by Mr Stock. Bill Rivers can remember one horse called Roger, which was particularly good at his job. He was trained to pull the finishing off plough (which is still on the property today). If by chance the plough hit a vine, the horse would stop until all was righted. The vines were removed in the mid 1950′s and the land used for cropping and dairying.

ref. www.visitorscentre.com , www.curtisfamilyvineyards.com

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New Ways of Shopping

January 3, 2012 · Posted in Food and Drinks · Comment 

In recent years, like a lot of people, I’ve been buying more of my wine online. The picture I would prefer to hold of myself is the fellow who faithfully patronizes (perhaps plagues?) the local wine shops rather than browses some brightly arrayed screen. To be sure, I’d rather be there in person, discussing a wine’s qualities with an enthusiastic merchant rather than passively scrolling through professional tasting notes. And I believe in the importance of neighborhood proprietors (whether they sell wine or house paint) to a vital, thriving community; they’re the hubs of the real social network.

I enjoy delicate, mature wines exponentially more than their youthful, exuberant versions, and online retailers tend to have a wider selection of older wine, while most brick- and-mortar shops only have enough room to carry the latest vintages.

I enjoy browsing the nerdier ones, like North Berkeley Wine and the Rare Wine Co., which provide their own blogs or even photos of staffers’ tasting trips, essentially offering a wider experience of what it means to engage with a wine.

I’m admittedly a difficult customer, being a slightly delusional wine lover/collector, someone without deep pockets but who favors older, mostly European wines. My favorite online retailer is Mission Fine Wines, which is based in Staten Island, New York. As it turned out, that wine ultimately repaved the course of Palmiotti’s professional life. Joe was, of course, hugely enthusiastic about the wine, holding forth without an atom of snobbery or pretentiousness, his comments smart and comprehensive and nuanced, convincing me that I should try this richly fragrant, silken wine despite its “poor” vintage, promising me, too, that I could return the rest for full credit if I didn’t absolutely love it. I’ve found that most of the online retailers I regularly patronize are similarly accommodating, standing by their wines by offering credit for corked bottles (counter to what the usual stipulated “conditions of purchase” read). They want you to trust them, for it’s the only way someone will become a regular buyer, especially of more expensive, older wines; some even indicate on their websites, as Mission Fine Wines does, that they welcome visitors.

I’ve never seen such a collection of rare and valuable wine in so workaday a place. The organization is clearly a reflection of Joe’s mad-wine-genius brain, the bottles and cases arrayed in an idiosyncratic house of memory: There’s an open box of ’79 Krug Clos du Mesnil here, some ’96 Mouton there, ancient ports and Madeiras perched precariously on a narrow shelf.

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