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Autumn 2020 - Issue 84 Vintage 2020 Update | 2020 Member Events Meet The Paws Of Briar | Introducing ‘Plan Bee’ | New Releases & More...


www.briarridge.com.au Share your #winestagrams with us #BriarRidge

Meet The Paws Of Team Briar Ridge...

Jaclyn Davis | Owner & General Manager Alex Beckett | Winemaker Alexandria Carruthers | Operations & Communications Manager Steve Pike | Cellar Door Manager Karinda Thomson | Wine Club & Events Elyce Keirs| Wine Club & Marketing 2.







What’s news at the Vineyard!?

Hello and welcome to the Autumn edition of Off The Press.

Our Autumn edition of “Off The Press” brings you an update on our 2020 Vintage in Mount View (Hunter Valley, NSW), Orange (NSW) and Wrattonbully (Limestone Coast, SA) on pages 6 & 7. Along with an introduction to the Briar paw crew, our upcoming wine-filled member events for you to enjoy in 2020 and our newest varietal to the Limited Release range. The Cellar Door team have hit the ground running in 2020 with the launch of our newest wine experience “Explore The Vines & Harvest The Honey” in collaboration with Husband and Wife team from the Humble Hive Collective who are hosting four of their Flow Hives on the estate…keep an eye out for the Easter Long Weekend happenings when we will next hold this experience - a great way to learn about the vineyards, bees and how they work together! For now though, pour a glass of wine from your autumn club pack delivery and relax. We look forward to catching up with you soon... hopefully at our first members event for 2020 at Bondi Blue Room! Cheers, The Briar Ridge Team and their paw friends. P.s Don’t forget to call ahead and book a cheese, antipasto or mega platter on your next trip to the Cellar Door (02 4990 3670). P.P.s Remember to keep an eye on the Briar Ridge Vineyard Facebook and Instagram for some insight on all the latest happenings and Briar Ridge news @briarridgevineyard.

Meet us at Bondi Blue Room March 21st for our first Member Event of 2020... details on page 8.

Meet The Paws Of Team Briar Ridge... Tilly the Minature Poodle & Maggie the Cavoodle

Sparkie the Jack Russell

Ernest the Labradoodle

Bear the Kelpie X Alsatian Saffron the Staffordshire Terrier Spencer the Schnauzer

Bonnie the Maremma

Max the Pugeagle

Violet & Milo the Beagles


Archie the Corgi X Kelpie

What’s news at the Vineyard... Limited Release 2019 Grüner Veltliner Set your map to our Mount View Cellar Door and taste the newest edition to the Limited Release range! Our take on the classic Grüner Veltliner style displays citrus aromas of lemon peel and grapefruit complimented by stone fruit, yellow apple, fresh green pear and the trademark hint of white pepper. Available at Cellar Door and www.briarridge.com.au

RRP $28 | Members $22

Explore The Vines & Harvest The Honey The team is very excited to launch their newest vine, harvest and wine experience... ‘Explore The Vines & Harvest The Honey’ is a unique experience in collaboration with local bee enthusiasts Ben and Julia from ‘The Humble Hive Collective’. This experience will start with a guided tour through the vines to learn about the lifecycle of a vineyard, the importance of terroir, viticultural techniques and regional variation. From there learn about the fascinating behaviours of Bees and how they add value to the vineyard eco-system. Followed by a hands-on demonstration showing you how to harvest fresh, local and raw honey in a gentle non-obtrusive manner; using a unique process called ‘Tapping’ from our onsite Australian designed Flow Hives. A first-hand experience that will be one to remember and savour with your very own jar of Briar Ridge ‘Plan Bee’ Honey to take home.

This experience will be held seasonally throughout 2020, check our website for dates and to book! www.briarridge.com..au


Vineyard Update From Belinda Kelly, Vineyard Manager Unfortunately vintage 2020 at Briar Ridge Vineyard will be remembered not for the great wines but as the year we had to endure severe drought, two hail storms, bushfires and the real possibility of smoke taint. As we continue into the 4th year of drought we are now also dealing with the bush fires that are currently affecting so much of the country, we haven’t been directly affected by fire but the extremely hot, dry and smokey conditions have taken a toll on the vines. The crumps complex fire that has been burning since October has been an issue for our mount view vineyard with smoke travelling and settling on some sections of the vineyard. We have tested the grapes for smoke taint and the winemaking team have came to the decision that we will only pick grapes that haven’t been affected by smoke, this means our 2020 tonnage will be greatly reduced from our Mount View vineyard. Although it was a hard decision to make it is the best option to ensure we only produce great quality wines. Our cooler climate vineyards located in Orange (NSW) and Wrattonbully (SA) are both looking promising so far with vintage due to start in the next couple of weeks, we will keep our fingers crossed for favourable weather leading up to and over the vintage period to keep the grapes in good condition so we can make some great quality wines over the coming months. Cheers, Belinda.


Winery Report From Alex Beckett, Winemaker & Gwyn Olsen, Consultant Winemaker As many of you would be aware, the last several months have seen catastrophic conditions across Australia with drought conditions continuing well into there 4th year leading to unprecedented fire outbreaks, burning 15 million acres of land and still going. Firstly we’d like to commend the work of all the Emergency services who have fought to save our properties and peoples from this disaster. Secondly I’d like to speak briefly about the effect that these fires have had on our vineyards. As with the prevailing conditions many of you would undoubtedly have seen the media outlets reporting on smoke taint in grapes across Australia. This is our biggest cause for concern in this growing season, and whilst it is certainly not a new issue to the Australian agricultural industry the science behind it is very recent. In it’s essence, bushfire smoke affects the grapes on the vines, not the vines themselves, and there is no carry over into the following season. The smoke enters into the grape berry leaving compounds which bind to the sugar (which is the fuel for the creation of alcohol). These compounds are released during fermentation and can give unpleasant aromas and tastes to the finished wine. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the bound compounds it is very difficult to know if the finished wine will be tainted just by the berries or juice. Because of this, we have been working with the Australian Wine & Research Institute to test our grapes for the presence of these compounds and are selectively harvesting particular blocks of fruit in the hopes that we can rescue some potentially good wines. Only time will tell however and we will endeavour to keep you all in the loop regarding our 2020 Hunter Valley Vintage. The vineyard in Orange has shown great resilience in the dry conditions and we look forward to seeing small bunches of incredible concentration and depth. A great year for our ‘Cold Soaked’ Cabernet so far. However there has also been haze in this region and we will still need to go through a period of scientific testing to determine how affected our vineyard was by this. The Limestone Coast has been unusually cool throughout the growing season so far, leading to poor fruit set which is actually advantageous in a vigorous region like Wrattonbully as the vine naturally achieves balance and the end result is elegant and perfumed reds with the structure to age gracefully. We hope the new year is treating you all well and look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming event at Bondi in March. Cheers, Alex

Tear me off and stick me on the fridge!

See you at our next Member’s event... Bondi Blue Room Member’s Wine Luncheon Saturday 21st March, 2020 Join the Briar Ridge Team as we enjoy the first of our Members & their guests events for 2020. Sparkling will be served on arrival with canapes followed by a selection of award winning wines & a three course lunch menu. Relax beach side from Sydney’s historical Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club, Blue Room. Date: Saturday 21st March 2020 Time: 11am Venue: Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach NSW 2006 (Stair Access only) Cost: $140 per person

Members & their friends’ Wine Blending Session & Winter Feast Lunch Saturday 25th July, 2020 Saturday 15th August, 2020 Due to the popularity of this annual event we will be holding two in 2020. Join us for one or if your feeling indulgent come along to both! Sparkling wine on arrival and selction of delicious cheeses and condiments from local Hunter providores in the Briar Wine Garden. Then it’s off to ‘The Old Winery’ where the blending fun begins! Get up close with Winemaker Alex Beckett, as he takes you through the art of wine blending and assists you and your team mates to put together your best red wine blend! The blending session is followed by a ‘Winter Feast’ barbecue menu filled with locally sourced meats and produce prepared by Hunter Valley local Melissa from Motty’s Farm Cuisine, thoughtfully paired to a selection of Briar Ridge Wines. Date: Saturday 25th July, 2020 Time: 11:00am Venue: Briar Ridge Vineyard Cost: $100 per person

These are members & their guests only event. For all enquiries, please contact our Vintage Club team on 02 4990 3670 or email vintageclub@briarridge.com.au To book your tickets online visit www.briarridge.com.au/Events/Member-Events

Remember… the winning team’s red wine blend will be used to make the 2019 Limited Release Members Blend wine. Each team members name will be forever immortalised on the back label in recognition of their skillful contribution! So get a group of family and friends together and meet us in the Hunter for what is sure to be another great night of wine, food and laughter and the highlight of our member events for 2020.

Profile for Briar Ridge Wines

Off the Press - Autumn 2020 - Issue 84  

Off the Press - Autumn 2020 - Issue 84