Tag: Return to Terroir

Mar 03 2011

Ngeringa: A Wholistic Approach to Winemaking

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Adelaide Hills is developing a growing reputation for first-class chardonnay, and the Ngeringa Chardonnay, now in its 5th release, is one of the leading examples. Owned and operated by Erinn and Janet Klein, this small biodynamic winery, founded in 2001, is also member of the La Renaissance des Appellations (see The Return to Terroir Tasting, Cellarit Wine Blog, 21 March 2011)

The Ngeringa Vineyard is situated below the Mount Barker summit where the cool evening sea winds, which blow in from the southern sea over the mouth of the Murray, ensure a long growing season and help the grapes maintain their natural acidity.

The Kleins have a very wholistic approach to managing their nine hectare property, which also includes four hectares of olive groves, a substantial vegetable garden and paddocks. Guinea fowl, ducks and chooks patrol the vineyards during spring and summer to keep the insects under control, and in the winter a flock of sheep mow the grass. A herd of Scottish Highland cattle provide manure for the compost used in the biodynamic brews and preparations.

Despite enlisting the help of the animal kingdom, vineyard management is still a very hands-on affair. An imported tiny crawler tractor helps till the soil, but the vines, laid out in narrow rows, are trained and mainly cared for by hand.

In the winery is a new addition: an intriguing looking Nomblot concrete egg fermenter.  Built using Pythagoras’ Golden Mean, the egg shape encourages a flowing energy, practically keeping the lees more easily in suspension, and, esoterically, enhancing the vibrancy of the wine.

James Halliday awarded the 2008 Ngeringa Chardonnay 96 points: “Good colour, a very complex bouquet, with barrel ferment and intense cool-grown fruit in a grapefruit and white peach spectrum; has great length and thrust. Cellar to 2015.” (James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2011 Edition) The winery also makes highly regarded viognier, pinot noir and syrah under Ngeringa and its J.E second label.

Photo Credit: Ngeringa Vineyard.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2011

Castagna: True Wines of Place and Passion

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

One of the really fun aspects of writing the Cellarit Wine blog is the opportunity to learn about various wine personalities. The wine industry tends to attract people with very interesting backgrounds and skill-sets. This is particularly true of winemakers. I’m often in awe of the best, as they seem to possess a myriad of skills and talents: farmer, artist-winemaker, visionary, marketer, advocate, environmentalist – the list goes on!

Julian Castagna of Castagna Vineyard is certainly one Australian winemaker who is all of these things and more… [Read More]

Mar 03 2011

The Return to Terroir Grand Tasting in Melbourne

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In a week when a tragic natural disaster in Japan was compounded by the fear of a potential man-made nuclear disaster, I think many of us were grateful for the opportunity to attend the Return to The Terroir Grand Tasting in Melbourne. Here was a group of biodynamic winemakers, passionate about the benefits of working with the land’s natural rhythms and bio-systems, delighting our senses with superb wines and stimulating discussion.

Organised by Castagna Vineyard’s Julian Castagna, the tasting brought together 61 wine producers from around the world and more than 340 wines!.. [Read More]

Nov 11 2010

Terroir: What does it mean and how is best expressed?

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

On Wednesday, The Sydney Morning Herald/Age inaugural Good Wine Guide’s Winery of the Year was awarded to Henschke, the South Australian winery internationally renowned for its single vineyard Hill of Grace Shiraz. Henschke first produced Hill of Grace in 1958, and the wine is one of Australia’s earliest examples of a single-vineyard wine. Today Hill of Grace has distinguished company in the single-vineyard category. Two thirds of the 94 wines in the Good Food Wine Guide’s highest “three glass”  category are single-vineyard wines. (Singled out for greatness by Helen Pitt,.. [Read More]