Australia’s Clarendon Hills Winery Uses Old Vines, Techniques

February 16, 2005

Clarendon Hills Astralis

A review of recent releases from the Clarendon Hills Winery.

Like Curt Schilling in the World Series, winemaker Roman Bratasiuk is at the top of his game. The owner of the Australian winery Clarendon Hills is a Ukrainian émigré and former biochemist. The winery, located in the McLaren Vale region, was started in 1989. Bratasiuk bases his wines on old — some as old as 75 years — low-yielding vines and even older winemaking techniques. The grapes are grown close to the winery, and the yeasts are indigenous as well. He does not filter or use other techniques to refine the wine, depending instead upon new oak barrels and long maceration times to allow the wines to develop their characteristic flavors. The results are flavorful, complex wines that have subtleties often associated with the finest French wines — which is exactly what Bratasiuk is trying to achieve.

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Wines For Winter Dining

November 11, 2004

Argyle Pinot Noir

Some wine suggestions for winter meals.

With the arrival of cooler weather, entertaining moves indoors. And the fall and winter holidays add another dimension to family get-togethers. The menu changes from the lighter summer fare to richer and more robust dishes. Similarly, the wines that best match the meals for this time of year are often more complex and fuller, with a medium body and bolder flavors. Usually these are red wines, although some white wines can work as well, depending upon the food being served.

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How To Start A Wine Collection

October 28, 2004

NO sauvignon blanc

Collecting wine is easy and doesn’t have to be expensive.

A good wine is fun to share. Keeping bottles of wine around the house makes entertaining easier and eliminates the last minute run to the store to find “something to serve.” Starting a wine collection is actually very easy and can be done to fit any budget. And learning about different wines is an experience that couples can do together.

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Expanding Horizons: It’s Worth Trying Wines From New Places And Labels

October 21, 2004

Kuentz-Bas

The world is filled with wonderful wines.

When choosing a wine, most Americans have a very narrow perspective. We tend to limit our selections to a few well-known varieties such as Chardonnay or Merlot and rarely do we venture out of California, Australia, Italy or France. And even within those areas, consumers seldom try wines with unfamiliar names. But great wine is being made all over the world, from South Africa to South America, from Oregon and Washington State to the Niagara Peninsula of Canada including locations that have been making wine for centuries such as Germany, Spain, Israel and Portugal.

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Syrah: Local Characteristics Influence Grape Quality And Flavor

August 19, 2004

Bonterra Syrah

A review of some California and Australian Syrahs/Shiraz.

Few things are more important than location when creating wine. A distance of just a few hundred feet can have a profound effect on grape quality and flavors because of changes in the soil and weather conditions. The influence of climate, altitude, geology and sun exposure is called “terroir,” derived from the French word for “earth.” While the winemaker’s expertise is vital, many believe the terroir has the greatest influence on the characteristics of a wine.

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Wines For Your Passover Seder

April 1, 2004

Hagafen Syrah

Passover wine suggestions.

Wine is a blend of God’s gifts and man’s efforts. On Passover, wine represents the richness of freedom and is a symbol of our joy and thanksgiving. During the seder we are required to drink four cups of wine, and the four cups correspond to the four expressions of redemption stated in the Torah. They also serve to remind us of the four matriarchs, Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah who each played an important role in the development of the Jewish people.

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