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your news, your views May/June 2018 issue 64







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As ranked by the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists in 2017, out of more than 700,000 wines from 50,000 producers in 80 countries. Explore our vintages and judge for yourself.




May/June 2018

06 10



31 41





24 Inside The Macallan Distillery

28 Gareth Lewis: Giving a New Meaning

06 Amazon Eyes Alcohol Category

to the Local

58 The Patritti Wine Story

07 Roy Morgan Research: Consumption Trends 35 New Product Releases: Spirits

62 Trade Activity


08 The Importance of Alcohol Catalogues 40 Martin Thatcher: The In-Cider Scoop


41 Eric Ottaway: What’s Next in Craft Beer

09 The Future of Jobs

45 New Product Releases: Beer and Cider

10 The Laws Behind Casual Employment

51 Tasting Bench: Shiraz

11 Wine Australia: What’s Driving Consumer

13 News 22 Columnists 31 Brandy & Cognac

61 New Product Releases: Wine 37 Aprés Ski 65 The Eye 42 Best Australian Beer Bottle Shops 46 Western Australian Cabernet

and Chardonnay

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Choices in 2018


CREDITS PUBLISHER The Drinks Association All enquiries to: The Drinks Association Locked Bag 4100, Chatswood NSW 2067 ABN 26 001 376 423 The views expressed in Drinks Tade are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the magazine or The Drinks Association. Copyright is held by The Drinks Association and reproduction in whole or in part, without prior consent, is not permitted.

Other Drinks Association publications include: Drinks Bulletin Drinks Guide Drinks Yearbook

EDITORIAL PUBLISHING EDITOR Ashley Pini .......................... EDITOR Hannah Sparks ....................................... ASSOCIATE EDITOR Stephanie Aikins................... DIGITAL EDITOR Alana House............................... DRINKS CURATOR Ben Davidson........................... PHOTOGRAPHER Ryan Stuart CONTRIBUTORS Brett Heffernan, Chris McNamara, Jeremiah Jeevakumar, Kellie Northwood, Michele Levine, Ray Jordan, Sam Reid, Sandy Hathaway, Simon Strahan, Simone Allan, Tony Battaglene, Walter MacCallum and Zambella Anosa

DESIGN SENIOR DESIGNER Racs Salcedo .........................

ADVERTISING NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Tim Ludlow ............... SALES MANAGER Daire Dalton .............................

Produced and contract published by:

Director: Ashley Pini ACCOUNTS: 169 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point NSW 2060 Ph: 02 9492 7999 | | drinksmedia ABN: 42 126 291 914

Editor’s Note Welcome to the May/June issue of Drinks Trade, which marks our halfway point of the year. How time flies… On the cover of this edition, we are excited to reveal The Macallan’s new state of the art distillery and visitor experience in Speyside, Scotland. Publishing Editor Ashley Pini was one of the first globally to see inside the distillery and reports what he found on page 24. Let’s just say, there’s more to this building than meets the eye. We also have our first-ever poster inside the magazine on the spirit of the Caribbean – rum. Discover nine rum brands from this beautiful part of the world and what makes them unique. We hope you find this of use in-store or behind your bar. We’d also love to see the poster on your walls tag us @drinkstrade on Facebook. The Australian Drinks Awards, identifying the best suppliers to work with and brands to stock, is set for its biggest and best year yet. The buzz heightens each year and in 2018 we’re expecting the event to go off with a bang with plenty to look forward to, including several new awards. Find out more about these changes and how to enter on page 14 or online at I would highly recommend taking a look at the insights on pages 6-11 that cover Amazon’s push into alcohol; Roy Morgan’s latest research, which finds beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage; Wine Australia’s snapshot on what’s driving consumer choices in 2018; and a legal view on casual employment. We also hear from key industry leaders including the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, the Brewers Association of Australia, DrinkWise, Cider Australia, and the Independent Brewers Association in our latest columns on pages 22 and 23. A retailer and publican that gives a new meaning to the local is Gareth Lewis. Not only has he run for a spot on the Adelaide City Council twice, but he is also the SA Ambassador for Premium Food and Wine and organises several events including the Beer and BBQ Festival. We find out what his local community means to him and his business on page 28. Congratulations to the winners of our Top 10 Best Beer Bottle Shops, as voted by you: Beer Cartel, Dutch Trading Co., Cellarbrations Carlisle, Oldfield Cellars, Empress Craft Beer, Sturt Street Cellars, McCoppins, Cellarbrations Hawthorne Cellars, Slowbeer and Plonk. Find out more about what makes these stores great on page 42. We also look at what’s hot in brandy and Cognac (page 31); Ray Jordan unveils the best of Western Australian cabernet and chardonnay for your shelves (page 46); and Associate Editor, Stephanie Aikins, explores how the après ski culture made its way from Europe to Australia as we prepare for another season (page 37). Feel free to contact me with suggestions for how Drinks Trade can support your business

Hannah Sparks, Editor - Hip Media

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AMAZON AUSTRALIA EYES ALCOHOL CATEGORY Bain & Co.’s Yngve Andresen predicts Amazon Australia boss Rocco Braeuniger will move to include alcohol in the online retailer’s offering. Words by Digital Editor, Alana House


raueniger was director of consumables at Amazon Germany, where alcohol has been a strong performer on the site. Amazon’s alcohol sales grew by 230% in Germany in 2017, according to research firm OneClick Retail. Andresen said Amazon would have the ability to be more agile on pricing than a retailer such as Dan Murphy’s, because it wasn’t relying on updating its cost offering in bricks and mortar. Andresen was the guest speaker at The Drinks Association’s (publisher of Drinks Trade) Network Breakfast in March, discussing “Amazon is here – what’s next and what should Australian consumer goods companies do?” Amazon finally arrived in Australia at the end of 2017 – to a muted reception. Andresen noted that while the initial launch might have been rushed and under-delivered on expectations, it is poised to present the biggest retail disruption in a generation during 2018 and beyond. The presentation explored the impact of Amazon on the Australian retail and consumer goods long-term landscape and how Australian consumer goods companies can adapt. Andresen is now a Partner in the Melbourne office of Bain & Company, where he is a member of Bain’s Australian Retail & Consumer

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Products leadership team and the Asia-Pacific leadership team. He has more than 15 years consulting experience predominately in the retail and consumer goods sector, working across a range of food, beverage and discretionary categories.

DRINKS COMPANIES JUMP ON BOARD WITH AMAZON Andresen offered examples of ways drinks companies have been interacting with the platform. Diageo, for example, has just launched ‘Happy Hour’ on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, targeting the “at-home bartender.” By asking Alexa to “open Happy Hour,” consumers can access three key elements: ‘Mix-It-Up’, which explores what users are in the mood for and then suggests the perfect drink recipe for the occasion; ‘Cheers’, which offers a myriad of reasons to say “cheers” in, even specific to the day it might be; and ‘Find a Bar’, which recommends a bar nearby to enjoy a Diageo cocktail at. “Making drinks for friends should be fun and stress-free and we’re thrilled to introduce a skill that encourages responsible creation

and enjoyment of cocktails in the home environment. Amazon will be the home of Diageo’s interactive voice technology, and this experiential skill is built in a manner that easily allows for ongoing updates. We’re looking forward to sharing new interactive elements in the coming months,” commented Devin Nagy, Director, Technology and Emerging Platforms at Diageo North America. Pernod Ricard meanwhile, launched ‘What Cocktail?’ in December, which is compatible with the e-commerce giant’s brand new Amazon Show device. The skill is voicecontrolled and guides consumers on what cocktail to make based on the ingredients they have at home, as well as for specific occasions such as Christmas or Halloween, and will also suggest “hacks” to add flair. “Experimenting with smart technology is just one of the ways we are continuing our mission to shape the nation’s drinking experiences and we’re incredibly excited to be driving further innovation within the cocktail world,” said Sille Opstrup, Head of Digital for Pernod Ricard UK.


WINE MOST POPULAR, BUT BEER MOST DRUNK As we approach another long weekend with friends, family, and loved ones over the Queen’s Birthday, many Australians will choose to unwind with an alcoholic drink. The Roy Morgan Alcohol Currency Report reveals that 69.3% of Australians 18+ drink alcohol in an average four week period. Of all Australians 18+ years old, 44.5% consume wine, 39.1% consume beer, 27.5% consume spirits, and 13.6% consume cider. Words by Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan


hen looking at drinkers by gender, men are the predominant consumers of alcohol, with 74% consuming alcohol in an average four week period, compared to 65% of women. Women had the highest incidence of wine consumption, with nearly 50% of all women drinking wine in an average four weeks compared to 39% of men. Wine skews to older drinkers, with the highest incidence among 50+ and 35-49 year olds. In contrast, beer is consumed by 59% of men in an average four weeks, compared to only 20% of women. Beer is fairly constant across ages, increasing slightly from 18-49, but declining for the 50+ age group. Cider is fairly evenly split between the genders with a slight skew towards women, but it is heavily skewed towards younger Australians compared to older Australians, with 27% of 18-24 year olds consuming cider in an average four weeks compared to 7.8% of those 50+.

Beer Maintains Largest Share In Australia, 128.8 million glasses of alcohol were consumed by 11.6 million drinkers in an average seven day period in 2017. Beer has the highest Share of Throat across Australia, accounting for 44% of all alcohol volume consumed by drinkers, compared to wine at 32%. And, while cider has experienced an increase in popularity over the last decade, it still represents only 3.3% of all alcoholic volume.

Alcohol Share of Throat

Alcohol Consumption Incidence - % and estimated number of Australians who have consumed each type of alcohol in an average four week period.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) Jan 2017 – Dec 2017, n = 28,979. Base: Australian alcohol consumers 18+

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) Jan 17–Dec 17, n=28,979. Base: Australians 18+

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CATALOGUES QUENCH AUSTRALIANS’ THIRST FOR ALCOHOL Kellie Northwood is the CEO of the Australasian Catalogue Association


he liquor industry is ever-evolving to keep up with consumer demands and with so much variety on the shelves, how are Australians kept aware of the extensive product range and sales in store? Recent Roy Morgan Research studying the main alcohol buyers in Australia provides a snapshot of the industry revealing consumer habits and attitudes when buying liquor. The study showed the power of catalogues and their ability to capture the attention of a specific audience group and boost sales in the competitive sector. The study found that catalogues are, in fact, the most useful media when purchasing alcohol, sitting high above other media channels at 40%, followed by the internet at 29%. Australians are more likely to respond to the tactile experience a catalogue provides, which can be read and reread over a period of a few weeks, rather than digital ads which are either not seen or blocked by ad software. Google states 56% of all digital ads are not seen by humans. What was once dominated by TV and outdoor media, retailers are using the strength of catalogue marketing to increase engagement and audience awareness. Supermarket giant ALDI is making its presence known in the liquor sector with the

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biggest readership and influence over Australian liquor enthusiasts at 79% and it’s all thanks to its frequent catalogue campaigning. ALDI is using catalogues as a platform to inform consumers on best picks and has shown that a handpicked product range, along with low prices, are key when enticing main liquor buyers in-store. In response to this, liquor retailers are stepping up their catalogue marketing to accommodate all lovers of alcohol through specified approaches based on consumer preferences and character traits. Dan Murphy’s was the first brand to use segmented covers as a new strategy for catalogue marketing. Three editions of the May 2017 Buyer’s Guide catalogue were created with each cover featuring a different kind of beverage based on customer preference. On average, 5.3 million people read a liquor catalogue every month and the Buyer’s Guide was successful as it took a step further to capture the consumer’s attention through a touch of personalisation. Due to the presence of liquor catalogues in the homes of consumers, readers are provided with information on new sales and bestsellers resulting in 85% knowing what they want to buy before entering the store. Vintage Cellars is tapping into liquor lovers

with its ‘Best of 2017’ – an informative catalogue, sharing industry updates and best picks among Aussie men. This targeted campaign allowed Vintage Cellars to provide consumers with relevant information on a variety of beverages to accommodate their personal preferences. The catalogue was highly successful with an increase in overall liquor sales and a 15% increase in loyalty members. With a clear intention to drive readers in store, Vintage Cellars’ Best of 2017 talks to and assists readers on what products to buy. And with strong ROI, it’s no wonder that liquor retailers are investing. With 35% of Australians purchasing alcohol after reading a liquor catalogue in one week, the channel is a strong performer. Catalogues have certainly established themselves as a foundation for the liquor industry to leverage from, whether as a standalone marketing tool or as part of a multi-channel piece, catalogues have the ability to capture consumers’ attention like no other platform. The 2017 Roy Morgan Research on the liquor industry clearly demonstrates the importance of catalogues, and retailers are taking advantage of everything they have to offer to target specific audience groups in order to increase the consumer’s path to purchase journey.


THE FUTURE OF JOBS Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here. It could impact your career earlier than you think. We know that AI will impact the jobs of the future, but did you know it’s currently transforming the way recruiters approach a hire? By Simone Allan, founder and Director of Mondo recruitment agency


ccording to the Foundation for Young Australians, “60 per cent of Australian students are training for jobs that will not exist in the future or will be transformed by automation.” We are on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, whereby new technologies are fundamentally altering the way we live and work. Future generations have been warned that they may have to change careers five times over their working lives as a result. So what does that mean for the future of our jobs as we know it? McKinsey argues that demand for work will increase as automation grows. Technology will drive productivity growth, which will in-turn lead to rising incomes and consumption, especially in developing countries. Meanwhile, there will be more jobs in health care to meet the demands of ageing societies and more investment in infrastructure and energy. For these benefits to be realised, everyone needs to gain new skills. It’s time to focus on future-proofing your career. This next-generation technology helps recruiters work faster by automating administrative tasks. Hundreds of resumés and countless emails from candidates can be sorted and ranked simultaneously. Moving forward, it will best match profiles automatically to new positions as they come up.

So how do you future-proof yourself to ensure AI works hard and ranks you well? • Upskill yourself: never stop learning new things. The bigger the breadth of the skillset, the more future-proof you become • Update your resumé: your first page must be clear, succinct and rich. No fluff! Ensure all of your most important information is collated on the one page, as this is often all that is scanned when your CV is digitally read; from education and career history, to commercial interests and your networks. All contact details are a must too • Update your professional social profile regularly • Personally follow up: contact the consultant - you will stand out by adding a personal touch On the flip side, AI is also allowing job applicants to protect and streamline the job search process. There are softwares available to assist your job search so that you can put your best foot forward. Technologies are further being developed to protect applicants from those awkward “sorry the position has been filled” emails - another positive step forward. If you would like to learn more about how you can future proof your career, get in touch with Mondo at

Technology will drive productivity growth, which will in-turn lead to rising incomes and consumption, especially in developing countries.

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In a recent case decided by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia this year, it was determined that an employee who was purportedly employed as a casual employee was in fact permanent and owed payment of 15 years worth of annual leave payments. The case is a salient reminder to employers to ensure that they check the terms of any applicable award or enterprise agreement and ensure the appropriate written contract is in place, when engaging casuals. By Walter MacCallum, a Partner at Aitken Lawyers


n the case of Apostolides v Mantina Earth Movers & Construction Pty Limited, there was no written contract of employment or written terms setting out the contract. The employee had worked full-time hours with substantial amounts of overtime for 15 years; he hadn’t been paid for public holidays over the course of his employment; and there was never any suggestion that he may not be required to work each day or that he had the option to decline work. Further, his payslips contained no reference to “casual” or that there was casual loading applied to his wage, but he was listed as a casual on the employer’s payroll system. Looking at the objective facts, the judge found that the employee was really a permanent employee for the purpose of the applicable award and the employee was expected to be available for 38 hours a week, plus overtime. Suffice to say, the employer was shocked to pay a significant amount of annual leave dating back 15 years. The flexibility afforded to businesses in having casual employees is well known. Approximately one in five Australian workers are engaged on a casual basis. However, many businesses are unaware of the entitlements that casual employees must be provided and many believe that all that is required is a casual loading of 25%. This is not always the case and some casual employees will

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also have additional entitlements including in some circumstances, unpaid parental leave, long service leave, a right to request flexible working arrangements and even an entitlement to file an unfair dismissal application. There is also a class of ‘casual’ recognised under the Fair Work Act called a “long-term casual employee”. A long-term casual employee is defined under the Act as an employee who is casual and has been working on a regular and systematic basis during a period of at least 12 months. However, what “a regular and systematic basis” means is not defined in the Act and case law abounds on the subject. However, as a general rule of thumb, where there is an expectation that the employee will continue to be offered work, there is a tendency to find that the employee worked regularly and systematically. It is also vital that employers understand the rights of casuals under applicable awards. For example, under the Hospitality Award, a long-term casual employee has the right to elect to have their employment converted to full-time or part-time employment, and the employer may only refuse the request if there are reasonable grounds for doing so. A warning to the wise – if your casuals convert to full-time or part-time employment and then you decide to make that employee redundant – that employee may well

be entitled to receive redundancy pay for a period including the period worked as a casual. The Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has gone to great lengths to publicise the numerous regional campaigns to investigate and stop the underpayment of workers following on from when the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 came into force, stating that it is a key focus for the agency. Understandably, it is often the vulnerable workers who commence as casuals in the business. To date, numerous businesses, large and small, have been fined and/or required to back pay tens of thousands of dollars to underpaid ‘casuals’ who were deemed not casuals. The employment of casuals is very attractive to businesses, particularly those where the business carried on is uncertain or ebbs and flows, but it’s vital to understand when hiring casuals that you get the terms of employment right otherwise, they could come back to bite you. If you require any further information in relation to the employment of casuals or have an employment inquiry, please do not hesitate to contact Walter MacCallum of Aitken Lawyers on 02 8987 000 or



WHAT’S DRIVING CONSUMER CHOICES IN 2018 In September 2017, the International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR) said that “the global alcoholic drinks market is evolving at a faster rate than ever before.” Considering this and that the global alcohol market spans such a range of cultures and economic circumstances – not to mention product categories – it might seem challenging to identify common consumer trends. However, there have been some consistent themes identified recently by several wine market analysis companies including IWSR, Euromonitor International, IRI Market Edge and Wine Intelligence. Drawing from those analyses, we examine three trends that have relevance to the domestic wine market. By Wine Australia Analyst, Sandy Hathaway. This article originally appeared online at THE RISE OF CRAFT AND ARTISAN PRODUCTS One of these themes is described by Euromonitor International (2018) as the ‘sleuthy shopper’ – the consumer who increasingly seeks out the story behind the product, including its provenance, production methods and craftsmanship. Integrity is a part of this trend; consumers hold companies to high standards of behaviour in dealing with suppliers as well as customers. IWSR describes a similar trend it calls ‘craft evolution’, which has led to a rapid rise in artisanal brands across all alcohol segments but particularly beer. ‘Brewpubs’, where consumers can see the beer being made and form relationships with the brewer, are becoming increasingly popular especially in the USA – to the extent that (according to Euromonitor) Starbucks is testing the concept with on-site coffee roasting in its cafes.

DIGITISATION It is no surprise that a global consumer trend, not just in alcoholic drinks, is the increasing role of the internet in retail. New research by Australia Post, based on parcel delivery volumes, estimates that total e-commerce spending on physical goods grew by 19.2% in 2017 to $21.3 billion. The rate of growth had accelerated from 2016 when it grew by 11.5%. Australia Post reports that the major factors for people shopping online were lower prices, access to a wider range

of products, convenience and retailers improving their online service. With online wine sales in Australia growing from 6% in 2011 to 11% in 2016, and global internet retailing value expected to increase by 13% in 2018 (Euromonitor International), it is important not to ignore this sales channel. Digitisation does not just mean e-commerce; it includes digital marketing and the provision of information to consumers via apps and websites, which are becoming increasingly important in influencing consumer choice. IRI (2017) described the ‘connected consumer’ and predicted that eight out of ten purchase decisions would involve the internet in some way within two years. However, online shopping is currently disadvantaged in not allowing a ‘try before you buy’ experience. Therefore, the rise of augmented reality technology, which enables better visualisation of products online, will be an important trend in 2018 and beyond.

WELLNESS Another significant global consumer trend is an increasing health consciousness – related to both physical and mental health. IWSR refers to this trend as ‘wellness’, which manifests in drinking less alcohol and/or lower alcohol products, as well as choosing low-carb drinks and even organic or ‘natural’ products. Euromonitor International identifies a similar trend as ‘clean living’ and notes that no/low alcohol

beer is expected to increase by 50% between 2011 and 2021, whereas the normal beer category is flat. IRI and Wine Intelligence define this trend more broadly, including the dimensions of ‘indulgence’ and ‘personal well-being’, which drive the purchase of treats that tend to be premium quality but smaller quantities. This overlaps the craft evolution trend and the overall premiumisation trend that has seen global wine sales increase by an average of 3% per year in value over the past ten years, while volume has only increased by 0.5–1% each year (Euromonitor International). In the domestic alcohol beverages market, the five fastest-growing categories in 2017 were related to health and well-being. The top three are beer sub-categories – mid-strength beer, craft beer and low-carb beer. The next two fastestgrowing categories were wine sub-categories. Craft beer and shiraz play to the ‘less-of-the-best’ trend, while mid-strength/low-carb beer and rosé are perceived as lighter, healthier options. Health and well-being are key drivers in the decline in the number of ‘every day’ drinkers in most mature wine markets in the past 10 years. In the ten year period from 2007, Wine Intelligence found that the percentage of Australian regular wine drinkers consuming wine every day/most days has significantly declined, a trend that is in-line with other developed markets. This is believed to be primarily driven by health and wellness concerns of the drinkers, in addition to pressure from innovation in other categories of alcoholic beverages.

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For more information please contact your Casella Family Brands representative or call 02 9330 4700




WORLD RECORD: TWO BOTTLES OF THE MACALLAN SELL FOR US$1.2 MILLION Two extremely rare bottles of The Macallan 1926 have set the world record for the most expensive whisky bottles ever sold after they changed hands for $US1.2m. The bottles are two of the most unique expressions of whisky ever produced. The whisky itself is The Macallan 1926, which was distilled that year and then aged for 60 years in sherry-seasoned oak barrels before being bottled and released later in 1986. The pair are labelled with original artworks by renowned artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami. The bottles were sold by Le Clos, the Dubai-airport based luxury spirits retailer to an international businessman for his private collection. Geoff Kirk, Director of Prestige, The Macallan, said this was an iconic sale that would be remembered worldwide for many years to come. “It is incredibly rare for The Macallan 1926 to be made available for purchase, and the sale offers whisky connoisseurs the chance to secure historic bottles emblematic of 20th-century pop culture,” Kirk said.

Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group (ABG), which owns Stolichnaya Vodka, recently acquired more than 50% of Think Spirits in Australia. Think Spirits currently distributes a number of well-known spirits brands, including George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s tequila, Casamigos; Fernet-Branca; Crystal Head Vodka and Antica Formula. While the agreement will certainly see changes to Think Spirits’ portfolio in time, ABG has said it has no plans to make any changes to the local business’ operations nor the team, which is led by founder and Managing Director, Patrick Borg.

TICKETS TO THE 2018 SYDNEY ROYAL WINE SHOW TROPHY WINNERS LUNCH Buy tickets to one of the wine industry’s favourite annual events, the 2018 Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday 10 August. The event includes a threecourse meal with wines that have been awarded trophies just days before at the Sydney Royal Wine Show. The afternoon also provides the opportunity to hear from Chair of Judges PJ Charteris and 2018 International Judge, Ms Fongyee Walker MW, about their thoughts on the show and wines. There will also be a raffle with amazing wine prizes and the announcement of the 2018 New South Wales Legend of the Vine. Everyone will head to the hotel bar, Grain, after the lunch for drinks. Purchase tickets online at

REACHING AUSSIE BABY BOOMER DRINKERS: One in four boomers keep an eye

30% of boomers are more

Boomers are likely to be

out for good value when purchasing

likely to have read an

heavy views of free to air

wines. They are 35% more likely to


TV, commercial radio and

spend more on quality wines

catalogue in the past month


Visit to find out more! Source: Nielsen Consumer & Media View, National database, October 2016 – September 2017 Copyright © 2018 The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASES 2017 Diageo celebrated the annual launch of the Special Releases 2017 collection in Australia in April and Drinks Trade was lucky enough to be invited to taste them. The range represents some of the rarest Scotch whiskies in the world, ranging in price from $175 to $5,000. The collection is made up of ten whiskies in total, each bottled at cask strength, with the ABVs going up to 59.8%. They also come from a combination of classic, unknown and silent distilleries, which adds to their limited nature and the demand from collectors year on year. Current highlights include the Collectivum XXVIII, a blend of all 28 of Diageo’s active single malt Scotch whisky distilleries; Port Dundas, the oldest special release so far at 52 years old; and what seems to be everyone’s favourite, the Port Ellen, an alluring and complex tasting whisky that makes you never want to give up the glass. The Special Releases are still available, but in limited quantities, so contact Diageo Australia soon if you wish to order stock. National Whisky Ambassador for Diageo Australia, Simon McGoram, said: “The 2017 Special Releases reflect the extraordinary range of stocks our blenders and distillery managers have available to them. Always eagerly awaited, we see a continuing demand for unusual, distinctive, unrepeatable natural cask strength bottlings the world over. And with such strictly limited numbers in Australia – for example, only 752 bottles of Port Dundas globally, these expressions are truly rare and magnificent. We’re looking forward to sharing this year’s collection, and in particular keen to see the response to the new Collectivum XXVIII.”

A RUM DISTILLERY TO OPEN IN SYDNEY It’s no news to anyone that our local spirits scene is growing rapidly and we’re reminded of this once again by news of a new rum distillery soon to open in Sydney. Brix Distillers is slated to open in July on Bourke Street in Surry Hills and the people behind it are old friends and business partners of The Public bar and restaurant in Cammeray - Damien Barrow, James Christopher and Siddharth Soin. Damien told Drinks Trade that they have secured a producer/wholesaler licence with an on-premise authorisation – the first since the lockouts were introduced in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, which includes parts of Surry Hills. This will allow Brix Distillers to make their own alcohol and sell it to other liquor licensees, as well as members of the public, either in the bar on-site or to take away from the shop. The distillery will house a 1,200-litre continuous copper still, which is set to initially produce a white spirit while the guys wait for their first set of rums, a spiced and golden, to age. The distiller, while we can’t reveal his name yet, is someone from the local area and his announcement is sure to excite a few!

As the Australian Drinks Awards enter their sixth successful year, The Drinks Association has announced an exciting new format for the premier event. After consultation with suppliers, Thrive Research and Advantage Australia, we have overhauled the judging process and award categories for the drinks industry’s most prestigious night. “Growing and evolving is vital to keep pace with our dynamic industry,” said The Drinks Association CEO Georgia Lennon. “After five wonderful years, the Association decided it was time to view the Awards program with a fresh eye.” The feedback received during three months of consultation was a desire to streamline the entry process and make the awards more inclusive of the industry as a whole. As a result, drinks companies will no longer be required to submit entries to most categories, with the top 200 brands automatically considered for accolades including Fan Favourite, Most Distinctive Brand and Emerging Brand. In the Supplier section, Most Improved Supplier and Supply Chain Partnership categories have been added. “One thing that won’t be changing is the credible, clear and transparent judging that has made winning at the Australian Drinks Awards so highly regarded,” Lennon noted. The Drinks Association is also proud to introduce three Contribution to Industry awards: the Gender Equity Award, Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award and the Corporate Social Responsibility Award. “Our D&I Council and Women in Drinks have been doing amazing work in the diversity sphere and we felt it was important to reflect the progress being made in that sector to make the drinks industry an even more attractive place to work,” said Lennon. “There are also an increasing number of positive steps being made by drinks companies to ensure their businesses are at the forefront of environmental and social responsibility.” To request submission documents for the Contribution to Industry Awards, email The Drinks Association on Visit to read more about the new awards. The 2018 Australian Drinks Awards will be held on Thursday, September 13 at The Ivy in Sydney.

Joint 2017 Supplier of the Year, Mark Churi of Casella Family Brands and Michael Ritoli of Asahi Premium Beverages


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AUSTRALIA’S FIRST VEGAN BOTTLE SHOP OPENS Australia’s first-ever vegan bottle shop has opened in Melbourne. Sibling Vegan Bottle Shop was opened by Aria Yousefian and his sister Zohreh in Altona in March. “I can’t believe how many people have contacted me since the shop opened,”Aria originally told “The vegan community has been amazing, and they are very happy about what we’ve done here… We sincerely did not expect such a fast response.” Sibling Vegan Bottle Shop stocks craft beers, organic wines, ciders and liqueurs. Non-vegan alcoholic beverages can contain animal by-products, with ingredients such as gelatine, egg whites, milk, casein, seashells, honey and fish bladders potentially being used during processing. Vegan wines, for example, use mineral or plant-based materials (such as bentonite and charcoal) during the filtering process.

PIONEERING WHITE WINEMAKER CALLS TIME A legend and a pioneer, Tom Newton - Group White Winemaker for Accolade Wines, hung up his hat in March. His career began in 1982 as a cellar hand and witnessed the creation of one of Australia’s best wines, the Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. Drinks Trade asked Newton for his thoughts and memories on Australian wine, one last time. Drinks Trade: What’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in the wine industry during your 36-year career? Tom Newton: There have been a number of changes over the last 36 years in white winemaking - Padthaway was originally considered cool climate, now Tasmania is; the main white variety was riesling, then came chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris; and winemaking was very clean and clinical, with filtered juices, cultured yeast and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks, now we have ‘orange wine’. DT: What piece of advice would you give back to your younger self when you started out as a cellar hand? TN: Stay with it and hang on for the ride. I wouldn’t change anything.

Giant Steps is a highly respected winery located just outside of Melbourne. We are also experienced brewers and cider makers. We offer contracted cider making, drawing on either Yarra Valley or Gippsland apples for commercial size batches (multiples of 20KL). All enquiries please attention to either Phil Sexton or Steve Flamsteed EMAIL: CALL:

(03) 5962 6111

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DT: What’s been the highlight of your career? TN: There have been a number of highlights, but the 2004 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay would be my greatest achievement, winning the President’s Medal at the Sydney Royal Wine Show and arguably setting a benchmark at the time for a more elegant style of chardonnay. The other would be (as a white winemaker) winning the first Max Schubert Trophy at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show and Penfolds winning enough times with chardonnay in the early days before the red winemakers (who thought winning this trophy was a slam dunk) took their bat and ball and changed it to a red wine trophy. DT: Which is your favourite of the wines you’ve made? TN: Chardonnay is my passion because you can use winemaking techniques to add a touch of your personality and style. DT: Who was your biggest mentor throughout your career? TN: Early in my career it was Geoff Weaver. We discussed every topic related to wine. Geoff also has an artistic side, while I was more black and white. He taught me to think outside the square, to consider style and try new things.


Enjoy Autumn... with Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc @AusLoire





MEET THE MAKER AT THE DRINKS INDUSTRY SHOW Zambella Anosa is the Event Executive at Exhibitions & Trade Fairs, organiser of the Drinks Industry Show

WINE AUSTRALIA GAINS STRONGER EXPORT POWERS Wine Australia was recently granted stronger controls to “protect the reputation of the country’s wine exports.” Already, wine cannot be exported from Australia without the Government body’s approval and the new regulations will make the process even more rigorous. Chief Executive Officer of Wine Australia, Andreas Clark, explained the importance of the new rules: “Australia’s wine exports continue to climb and our reputation for delivering on quality is a very important part of that growth.” Wine Australia will now be able to decide if an exporter is a ‘fit and proper person’, as well as block copycats and counterfeiters and exporters whose wine doesn’t meet the laws of the international market it’s going to. Exporters will also no longer be allowed to export on behalf of anyone that isn’t eligible for an export licence themselves. Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Chief Executive, Tony Battaglene, who is one of Drinks Trade’s columnists this issue on page 23, gave a nod of approval to the changes, saying, “The changes strengthen our regulatory system to meet modern export challenges and, in turn, support Australian wineries to realise their global growth potential. “Ensuring integrity, authenticity and quality remain important in our wine markets. It is vital that our regulations continue to evolve and strengthen to meet these challenges.” Treasury Wine Estates Managing Director, Angus McPherson, agreed, particularly after the company recently had to file its own legal proceedings against a copycat operator called Rush Rich, who was taking advantage of the Penfolds brand. “Wine Australia is now in a strong position to identify and prevent the export of copycat Australian wines. Any such product can now be stopped by Wine Australia because it puts the reputation of Australian wine at risk, and may breach Australian law and the laws of other countries.”

WANT TO KNOW WHICH RUM TO STOCK NEXT? The Ratu Spiced 5 Year Old Rum made by the Rum Co. of Fiji and distributed by Coca-Cola Amatil in Australia, has just been named 2018 Rum of the Year at the London Spirit Competition. Aged for five years in charred oak barrels and filtered through coconut shell charcoal with a toffee vanilla flavour, Ratu Spiced has a charred oak and citrus aroma and flavours of liquorice, cinnamon and vanilla. The rum was introduced to the Australian market in 2016 as part of the wider Ratu and Bati rum ranges from the Rum Co. of Fiji and has won numerous medals previously. Rum Co. of Fiji Senior Brand Manager, Blake Vanderfield Kramer, said: “Over the past five years, the team has been developing the brand and refining the rum we have on oak at our Lautoka distillery, Fiji, selecting different barrels from different locations in the distillery, combining different ratios of our pot and column distillates and finding unique ways to macerate and spice our rums.” Shane Richardson, Managing Director, Alcohol & Coffee at Amatil also told Drinks Trade in an interview last month that the business had been really pleased with the performance of the rums in trade in this market. The RRP for Ratu Spiced 5 Year Old Rum is $61.99. 18|drinks trade

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Drinks Industry Show in June and, this year, it’s an event like no other. Still only for the drinks trade and those interested in experiencing and learning the latest, this two-day, free event will turn Dockside into a ‘liquor city’ where the trade can sample the hottest tastes from cherry-picked exhibitors who have exactly what consumers are seeking in 2018. It’s time to meet the makers of the latest brands and tastes in liquor right now - the tastes and brands your customers want. Some of these brands will be well known, while others won’t be known well at all. The point is, the 2018 Drinks Industry Show is all about discovering liquor that suits your menu, so your business will stand out. There will be exciting activation points, as well as two official networking opportunities. The Food Pairing Station will bring interesting, innovative food and beverage combinations together, while the Boutique Tasting Lounge will offer the opportunity to sit down, relax and compare the very latest brands through a series of intimate category tastings. These tastings will engage attendees through all their senses, so they can experience a handpicked selection of fresh and exciting beer, cider, wine and spirits products from different global regions. Register free now for the must-attend 2018 Drinks Industry Show and networking events online, The Drinks Industry Show will be held from 18-19 June, 2018, in Sydney.


UPHOLDERS OF TRADITION Inspired by a family recipe from 1903, East Imperial is a premium marque that is returning the heritage, authenticity and tradition back to a line of beverages that define an era of exploration and discovery. The spirit of exploration lies at the heart of East Imperial. We wanted to be true to the quinine water found in the tumblers of the original explorers. So we traced our quinine back to the Java province where the Dutch originally sourced it from during the period 1888 to 1942. We apply the same principles sourcing all our ingredients; sugar cane, Thai ginger root, yuzu or pomelo. These highest quality natural ingredients


combined with Javanese quinine are what give the East Imperial range its distinct flavour profile. Our entire range is low in sugar and there are never any artificial flavours, sweeteners, preservatives or colours added. It’s time to discover why East Imperial is served at the world’s leading bar and hotels, so we’re delighted to offer Australia our world leading range of premium mixers. Now distributed by Swift & Moore.


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BEER: AUSTRALIA’S ECONOMIC TONIC Brett Heffernan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Brewers Association of Australia

Whoever said life isn’t all beer and skittles had their priorities wrong. When it comes to beer in Australia, you actually can have your cake and enjoy it too. New research from ACIL Allen Consulting shows that Aussie beer is an economic tonic, generating $16.9 billion a year in economic activity to be more than 1% of GDP. It shows that 95% of the beer sold in Australia is made right here. That sees our beers supporting the full-time jobs of over 105,000 Australians and more than 143,000 jobs in total, including part-timers. Australian beer drinkers are also to be applauded. After all, they poured almost $3.8 billion over 2015-16 alone into government coffers – that’s $2 billion in excise and $1.78 billion in GST. Australian Government tax is the single biggest ingredient in the cost of a beer. Beer is an Australian manufacturing success story, one we all share. Our biggest brewers - Carlton & United Breweries, Lion Beer Australia and Coopers Brewery - can each boast breweries in operation that go back more than 150 years. Standing the test of time is no accident. Born of small, local breweries, they have given Australians the beers they want at prices they can afford. They have each created, adapted and grown to become brand icons. Over 9.1 million Aussies celebrate life’s milestones with a beer. It brings mates, colleagues, families and communities together. Now, Aussie beer is, itself, worth celebrating. It’s a huge supplier of local jobs. It’s a major economic driver and revenue raiser for the government. It’s also the spice of life, so enjoy in moderation; secure in the knowledge you’re doing your country a favour.

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Sam Reid is the President of Cider Australia and Co-Owner of Willie Smith’s

Simon Strahan is the CEO of DrinkWise

We’re now fully into harvest and really excited to see how many purposegrown cider apples we are getting in the cidery this year. What’s that I hear you say, “Purposegrown cider apples, aren’t they all?” Well, no! Australian cider makers are producing great ciders with eating/table/culinary apples at the moment, which you can buy in the supermarkets. Like wine, however, cider can be made from purpose-grown fruit, which again like wine is horrible to eat but when fermented, they create amazing texture and residual flavours. For me, this is the next phase of the development of the Australian cider market. This year, I’m expecting to see a lot more ciders hit the market using purpose-grown cider apples as we see some of the trees that were planted and grafted three years ago bear fruit. 50 years ago, it was common for some Australian wines to be made from table grapes, although you don’t see this happening any longer, and so in time, I expect more cider makers and orchardists to put trees in the ground to meet the needs of the Australian market. When we first started doing this at Willie Smith’s, we weren’t sure of how the market would react to cider apple ciders as they are certainly quite different (more ‘full-on’) than everyday cider. Over time though, we’ve become a lot more confident that the appetite from drinkers is there and the response to Willie Smith’s Traditional Cider last year was amazing. As a result, we’re now exploring putting the Traditional Cider into a small format so that more people can experience cider apples for the first time. Look out for this year’s vintage of Australian ciders made from cider apples hitting the market this September in time for the Australian Cider Awards, as I’m sure it will be a seminal year for all!

DrinkWise and our industry partners have been actively promoting the National Health and Medical Council’s guideline that “It’s safest not to drink while pregnant” via alcohol product labels and packaging since 2011. Our recently commissioned consumer research revealed that 75% of 18-40 year olds surveyed had seen the messages on products and packaging. Importantly, this result increased to 89% in the young adult population. Over two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents thought the labels provided useful information, with almost 40% having taken some form of action after seeing the labels, primarily reducing their consumption or sharing the information with others. We do, however, recognise that the use of consumer information messages on labels is only one part of a larger consumer education effort, which is why our initiatives have involved the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as well as drinks retailers, licensed venues and cellar doors across Australia. A recent government report showed that 75% of alcoholic products with the greatest market share carry the pregnancy message. It is essential that we increase the coverage by getting all producers, large and small, to adopt the pregnancy and Get the Facts logos so that these important messages are featured on all alcoholic products. In an effort to assist with uptake, DrinkWise has been working with industry associations to promote the pregnancy and “Get the Facts” messages. If you have not been contacted by your industry association about featuring the labels on your products, please contact them or you can request the logos directly from DrinkWise -

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Enjoy St Hallett responsibly




Chris McNamara is the Acting CEO of the Independent Brewers Association

Tony Battaglene is the Chief Executive of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia

With the federal budget set to be handed down in the near future, all eyes in the independent brewing industry turn to Canberra in the hope that this will be the year we get some good news. Maybe, this will be the year that the federal government recognises the growing importance of our industry to the Australian manufacturing sector? Maybe, this is the year we get some meaningful respite from a burdensome excise regime? With some of the impressive numbers we’re racking up, it’s becoming harder to overlook us. There are more than 440

One question I am frequently asked is, “Will Brexit really happen?” I have just returned from Europe where I have had discussions close to the process with both Continental Europe and the United Kingdom and the answer is unequivocally - yes! Importantly, with under a year to the dissolution date (29 March, 2019), public opinion in the United Kingdom remains the same as when the vote was held. If anything, popular sentiment is hardening, and the group of undecided/swinging voters is falling, leaving even less chance of change. It is still unclear what will happen. Clearly, the UK is still seeking a close trading relationship with Europe, but greater control over its laws and courts. This means, inevitably, there will be a new customs relationship between Europe and the UK. It has also been made clear from both sides that this will not be a customs union approach, as organised by Norway. For Australian wine, which is often reexported from the UK into Europe, this will add cost. Clearly in our negotiations with both Europe in our forthcoming Free Trade Agreement and the United Kingdom post Brexit, we are seeking to maintain the status quo in the short to medium term to all free movement of our wine between both markets. There are still major stumbling blocks to a successful Brexit implementation. None are more significant than how to implement the border within Ireland. Second, is the need for the European Union to demonstrate that an exit from the EU does not give the same advantages as membership. The stability of Europe depends on this.

businesses spread across the country with over 65% of those in rural and regional areas. There are more than 2,400 direct employees and 17,000 plus supported in the wider community. The industry represents $740 million in economic output, with $74 million paid to the federal government in excise. And crucially, all of this is achieved with only a maximum of $30,000 in support per business from the federal government. Ahead of the budget, IBA has written to Treasurer Scott Morrison and presented a report prepared for us by well-credentialed Melbourne firm Essential Economics. The report shows that the Government could significantly increase its industry support with a revenue positive outcome. Or, to put a more human spin on that, if Federal Government support went up, then small, independent brewers would invest more in their businesses, employ more workers, create more community hubs and yes, make more wonderfully tasting beer. So, as the Treasurer rises to present this year’s budget, pour yourself a glass of beer made by a small, independent Australian brewery and join us in hoping that we hear some good news. *Editor’s note: Welcomed news came after this column was written that Treasurer Scott Morrison had promised to cut the higher tax rates previously applied to kegs smaller than 48 litres in the upcoming budget. In new rules, kegs larger than eight litres would be taxed the same way, a win for craft brewers across the country. 22|drinks trade

BEVCHAIN GRADUATE PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT Jeremiah Jeevakumar is the newest graduate of the BevChain Graduate Program Spotlight In collaboration with Linfox, BevChain’s Graduate Program offers new university graduates an opportunity to experience day-today business in a third party logistics environment. New team members are taken through four key areas of the business, spending six months in each. Newest graduate, Jeremiah, is completing his second rotation as part of the program. Of his experience, Jeremiah said: “I’m learning a lot, very fast. The most rewarding thing is getting positive feedback from seasoned veterans – that means the most.” Jeremiah completed his MBA at Western Sydney University in Supply Chain and Logistics Management and will conclude each rotation at BevChain with a presentation to senior management on his experience, the projects he’s led and the positive impact he’s had on operations. Zeb Healy, BevChain Transport Manager noted: “The way Jeremiah has performed has been outstanding. For a young guy with almost no practical experience, he’s been a revelation.” As the beverage industry undergoes an evolving customer landscape, where user experience and greater levels of support are imperative to new client acquisition and retention, BevChain embraces programs such as this, enabling them to unearth and develop new talent. This allows them to provide the industry with innovative and scalable solutions, consistently exceeding customer expectations. Head of People and Safety, Trent Raymond, commented: “It shows both the value and the importance of giving young people a start. They bring a huge amount of enthusiasm and a fresh set of eyes; they’re the future leaders of our business.” BevChain offers state of the art supply chain solutions, dedicated to the beverage industry. Find out more at

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GRAND DESIGNS Nightfall at the new distillery Credit: Mark Power, Magnum Photos

The Macallan unveils its Triumph of Style, Functionality and World-Class Innovation Six years ago, The Macallan parent company, Edrington, revealed its plans to build a new state of the art distillery and visitor experience for the brand. The structure was designed to not only deliver the iconic Speyside distiller greater capacity, but also to set the standard and vision to guide the business through to the next century of its history. There’s a lot to live up to, but the senior team at The Macallan remains confident that the newly unveiled building will be a major part of The Macallan’s expansion and enduring legacy. Publishing Editor, Ashley Pini, was lucky enough to jump on the firstever tour and shares his thoughts here.


he new distillery and visitor experience are located on the beautiful Easter Elchies Estate, just outside of Aberlour in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands. An easy hour drive north from Aberdeen, the fresh crisp air and rolling hills signal the rural nature of the Scotch whisky industry. The Easter Elchies Estate has been home to the leading luxury single malt since 1824 and the main house on the label of every The Macallan bottle sits at the entrance to the new distillery as a reminder of the traditions past and expectations of a proud future. Shaped like five mounds camouflaged in grass, the distillery is unique and quite simply stunning. Despite its size, at first glance, you could be forgiven for missing it, as the design seamlessly integrates the partially underground structure with the rolling hills outside of Aberlour. This striking piece of contemporary design

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maximises the aesthetic beauty of the building while minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’. The distillery and visitor experience were designed by acclaimed architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which was selected to lead the project from an international competition. Elgin-based Robertson Construction has delivered this sophisticated architectural design, working with 25 contractors to weave together the vision for the new distillery and visitor experience. During construction, up to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed on site. Designs on this scale do not come cheap, however, with Edrington investing $900 million in the brand of which the $250 million distillery is the centrepiece. This program has been implemented to increase investment in the

whisky, warehousing and particularly in The Macallan’s signature sherry-seasoned oak casks. The new distillery also signals a large investment in expanding production and improving the tourism experience. The first whisky ran through the stills in December last year and the updated infrastructure will enable The Macallan to increase production by one third if required. The new stills were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, which has been making the brand’s distinctive, ‘curiously small’ stills since the 1950s. “As The Macallan has grown globally, it has been very important that we make sure we can sustain demand for this wonderful amber liquid,” said Ken Grier, Creative Director at The Macallan. “We’ve taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit that is produced in the new distillery is identical to the spirit that we

Construction of the still house in September 2017 Credit: Magnum Photos The new distillery taking shape Credit: Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos

Construction of the still house in June 2017 Credit: Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos

produced in our previous distillery. This is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful brand that is The Macallan.” Ian Curle, Chief Executive of Edrington, echoed this excitement: “The unsurpassed quality of The Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery,” he said. “It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come. When the doors open on 2 June, we expect The Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports and the economy.” Indeed, it is expected that visitor numbers will double in the first year and continue to rise after that. While there were times when amendments needed to be made to the project, the business remained wholly committed. A key design feature is the massive floor-to-ceiling glass wall that separates the bar from the distillery. It

offered design and regulatory challenges and tested the business’ commitment to the high standards of the building. The local fire codes require the glass wall to protect the public bar area for a minimum of two hours should an accident happen in the distillery. Testing and proving the design was robust required a $540,000 mock-up of the glass wall to be installed and effectively burned down. Alongside this, the undulating timber roof structure proved to be one of the most complicated timber roofs to assemble in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components. “The Macallan estate truly is a special place; a place we have come to love and respect hugely,” said Graham Stirk, Senior Partner and Lead Architect for Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. “The vision was always ambitious, but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring. It has been an honour to play our part in shaping the next chapter of The Macallan.”

THE NEW DISTILLERY AND VISITOR EXPERIENCE IN NUMBERS: • $250m was invested and 60 new jobs have been created • During construction, up to 400 people, specialising in over 20 different trades were employed on-site • The build has taken three years and six months to complete (Dec 2014–May 2018) • The roof is one of the most complicated timber structures in the world, comprising 1,800 single beams, 2,500 different roof elements and 380,000 individual components, almost none of which are equal nor the same • The new distillery will allow production of The Macallan to increase by around one third

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The Dram Ken Grier is the Creative Director for The Macallan and has been the mastermind behind the creation of the new distillery and visitor centre. It is a project he has been dedicated to, and obsessed with, over the last six years. He joined Edrington 20 years ago, heading up The Famous Grouse before becoming the Marketing Director for the whole group. In 2004, he became Brand Director – Malts, a role he held through to 2015. In the position, he was responsible for the strategic development of The Macallan and Highland Park and it was the knowledge and experience he gained during this time that led Grier to take on the Creative Director role – the most significant challenge of his professional life. Grier will retire this September having overseen the build from concept to completion. Ashley Pini shared a dram (or three) with Ken Grier to hear his story and get a feel for what it was like bringing his dream to life. Ashley Pini: How has The Macallan changed during your time with Edrington? Ken Grier: What we’ve done over the last 20 years has been exciting, some of it visionary. When I started, the brand was about 150,000 cases in size. We are now well over one million. I think some of the things we’ve done have been thought-leading, genuinely developing The Macallan into a luxury brand. Who would have thought that one-third of the auction market would have ended up being The Macallan? It’s truly stratospheric that we’ve become the number one single malt in the world. We featured in the James Bond film Skyfall, which delivered a phenomenal half a billion dollars worth of PR, and we’ve been heavily involved in art through the masters of photography. We’ve also recently set two world records for the price of a bottle of whisky. Alongside all of this, we benefit charity through our ownership. It’s pretty special. We’ve got three ranges now in Fine Oak, which didn’t exist before my time, Double Cask and some beautiful top end products. The pinnacle of it all is this, our new visitor centre and distillery. It’s all about creating a legacy – something tangible for the future. I’ve been proud to be a small part of a great team. AP: You’ve been a key figure in the construction of the new distillery and visitor centre from drafting through to the upcoming opening in June. Could you tell us about the build, where the concept came from and what the project has meant to you? KG: We now have something that is amazing, sets a new benchmark and is brave and thoughtleading, yet still very relevant to the brand and people we bring here. 26|drinks trade

Credit: Mark Power, Magnum Photos

It’s very personal to me; it’s been six years of my life. What sparked it all off was a strategic review we did six years ago, looking at positioning The Macallan to be three times its size in 30 years. I sat down with the now retired Director of Distillation, Robert Gilles, and looked at the set-up. The old distillery was never designed to grow in that way and was always going to limit the opportunities for growth. I also drew inspiration from David Cox and his publication, Great Wineries of the World. My former-boss and the board all gave the project strong support and, importantly, believed in

Credit: Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos

the team all along. We then needed to get our business partners onboard for the project that would become our ‘Mecca’ – a place that brings people from around the world to experience the brand. The project has been six years in the making and the build itself just over three and a half years. That’s why I’ve been so personally invested. It’s been my obsession and goal to see this through. It’s been the most complex and rewarding project, working with an exceptional team of people. It has been a privilege to work with them all. I want to see the end of it now, but I

Credit: Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos

also don’t want it to end – I know that probably sounds quite strange. We’ve met a lot of challenges and had some tough moments along with some excellent moments. I’ve cried in that building, sometimes out of pure pride, sometimes in frustration, and sometimes out of joy. Few people have the opportunity to work on one project and put six years of their life into that one thing – that’s why it’s so intensely personal. It was important we didn’t dwarf the original house (Easter Elchies). That means the materials had to be right and it had to visually counterbalance the heritage building. Sustainability was also a key focus and so this new distillery and visitor centre will be 100% sustainable on any given day, powered by the bio-power plant across the way. AP: How does the building reflect the vision for The Macallan’s future? KG: My favourite part of the whole project is the future proofing we’ve done. There’s a hole where a second mash tun can be located and the modular design means we can drop one wall and insert the same model at the far end of the building to increase our capacity once more if needs be. It’s about a vision for the next 50 years. If you look at the Thomas White map, which he drew in 1789, there was a vision for where trees should be planted and the layout of the whole estate. Maybe that’s something we could consider as we develop our current site with a nod to our rich history.

AP: A build of this size would have required carefully budgeting. Were there any amendments to the budget over the course of the build? KG: The original budget was $215 million. We quickly decided that to achieve what we wanted to do, we would need to increase that to $250 million. We also decided that we were not going to do it in the original time-scale – it was better to wait and do it correctly. It is a project that required a lot of trust and working with the best people who were all going in the same direction. There are not many companies that will let you do that. Working for a private company owned by a charitable trust allowed us to make those decisions and do it right. There were costly times, such as when we were pouring the concrete and hit a softer part of the hill requiring us to pour $30 million of concrete in, but the company was never afraid to invest. We will be investing $900 million in The Macallan over the next 12 years minimum and there’s room for that to potentially grow even further. AP: What do you see as the future of the whisky category? KG: I have great faith in the whisky category. Each generation demands a more intense life experience than the one before and has different values, but they still like to consume. They think about things that matter to them and are not afraid to get the bus to work so they can take that expensive overseas vacation or shop carefully so they can spend $200 on a

dinner. It’s more about life experiences now than everyday luxuries and that’s why I think Scotch, and whisky in general, is in a good space. All the work that has been done by local and craft distillers is getting people into the experience, a bit like in the craft beer market. Brewers have been saying, “Here’s something local, something exciting and something different,” sparking a little bit of interest. All that work puts us in a good space, as I know people will progress in their taste to get to The Macallan eventually. The growth that we see in whisky speaks to transparency, authenticity, complexity and intensity of experience. That appeals to this new generation, so I think the future is good. Geographically the market is also interesting. The growth of the middle class in China and the potential of India, should it ever open up, are coinciding with European markets flipping generationally back to dark spirits again. It gives me much hope. The US is still our largest market and markets like Taiwan and Australia are still really important as far as resonance. Russia and Japan continue to explode and duty-free is a market that is a wonderful showcase for our brand experience. AP: With your wealth of passion and knowledge, why the decision to retire from the world of whisky? KG: I hit 60 years old four weeks ago. I’ve had 20 great years on these brands. There’s a great team now and the brand is in the right place, so I thought it was time to try something new.

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GIVING A NEW MEANING TO THE LOCAL Gareth Lewis is a man who wears many hats – liquor retailer, venue owner, event organiser, state food and wine ambassador and twotime local political candidate… But there’s one moniker Gareth holds above all else: South Australian. In each of his many ventures, Gareth has been dedicated to showcasing the quality produce the great southern state has to offer. We spoke with Gareth recently about his love for South Australian produce, his involvement in the local community and the issues he’d like changed in the industry. Drinks Trade: Can you tell us which businesses you’re currently involved in and a bit about each? Gareth Lewis: We’ve actually consolidated. It’s just the one pub that has a bottle shop attached to it, that’s the King’s Head Hotel and Sturt Street Cellars – where we’re coming up to 10 years in August – as well as our event business, which takes in a bunch of touring music festivals – things like Groovin the Moo and FOMO Festival, which we’re the licensee for here in South Australia. Then the offshoot of that is the Beer & BBQ Festival, which has another couple of partners involved. That event is in its fourth year, and we’re about to launch it in Sydney for the first time. DT: What inspired you to open your own licensed venues? GL: I spent a few years in nightclub land, running other people’s pubs and clubs. So when the opportunity for the King’s Head came up, we jumped at it. We had the idea for at least a year or so beforehand to open a venue that was dedicated to South Australian booze. There was nothing like that in Adelaide at the time. It was very much before the go-local movement had started. So we had the concept and then shopped around to find a space for it, and the traditional pub environment was perfect. 28|drinks trade

DT: What inspired you to go 100% South Australian before the go-local movement then? GL: When we first had the idea, we couldn’t believe there was no one out there doing it – no one focusing solely on South Australian products. It was right at the infancy stage of the craft beer explosion, so there were probably only about six or eight commercially viable breweries in Australia back then (obviously Coopers being the big one). And even at that stage, when we were struggling to fill eight taps of local content, we still couldn’t believe there weren’t more people out there seeking it. It was a gamble, but it seems to have paid off because the go-local movement has come to life. People want to know their producers, they want to know where their food and drink comes from and that’s what we’re all about. DT: What makes South Australian produce unique? What do you love about the state’s food and beverage offering? GL: About four years ago, it was an honour to be asked to be one of the inaugural Ambassadors for Premium Food and Wine for the clean environment program in South Australia. There were 20 people invited, people like Glenn Cooper and Michael Angelakis. The idea of the program was to promote South Australia’s clean environment

– we are still fruit fly and pesticide free, and we have an international reputation for having a clean environment to produce food, wine and beer in. That results in a lot of the local producers becoming extremely patriotic as well and being proud of the local area. DT: How have you seen the craft beer scene in South Australia progress since your early days with King’s Head? GL: It’s gone from about six or eight producers when we first took over the pub ten years ago to 51 craft brewers in Australia now. That ranges from real micro-businesses in their infancy through to the likes of the Pirate Lifes or Coopers of the world – Pirate Life not being independent anymore, but still very much a South Australian success story. It’s really exploded and that’s sort of flowed on now to the spirits industry, which is starting to catch up. DT: With so much on offer from the state, how do you pick and choose what to stock? GL: (Laughs) Well, it’s actually quite difficult! People tend to think it’s limiting just stocking local products, but it’s actually a little bit harder because we don’t have the relationships with the big distributors. We’re trying to keep our stock 100% independent, or at least close to, and thus give a voice to the start-ups a nd the younger guys, especially the new wave of winemakers. There are dozens and dozens of brands coming out of places like Basket Range and we’d like to be able to stock them all, but it comes down to trying to be able to pick the ones that will work for our punters. DT: You are heavily involved in your local community, not only with the businesses but the festivals and government too. Has that come from following your passion or was it a strategic part of owning licensed venues? GL: I assume you’re referring to when I ran for Adelaide City Council in 2015 and then again when there was a casual vacancy in 2016 (laughs)? It certainly wasn’t strategic. It sort of sprung out of living and working in Adelaide city – I live 100m from where the pub is. It was one of those old-fashioned clichés, you know, where everyone talks to their local bartender and local publican, so I ended being a bit of a sounding board for many people and their grievances. This wasn’t just in the

hospitality industry, of which hospitality always has many grievances, but also came from locals around the pockets of the city where I lived in. It sort of sprang out of that. To be honest, it was an excellent learning experience, despite not being the cheapest hobby in the world (laughs). But I made some excellent contacts and good friends in the process, so it was pretty worthwhile. DT: How did you become the Ambassador for Premium Food and Wine? GL: We did a little bit of work with PIRSA (Primary Industry Resources South Australia), as they supported a couple of the festivals I worked with. As they’re a body that supports primary industries in South Australia, they also work with wineries and breweries. So I already knew people there. The previous premier introduced a strategic priority program for local food and wine, which sparked a state ambassadorial program. So they invited me off the back of that, which was surprising but a huge honour! I certainly don’t put myself in the same category as other members, like Glenn Cooper… I’m just the pub guy! DT: Does being involved in the community, particularly with the local government, help you promote the local hospitality scene and any issues like red tape on behalf of other licensees? GL: That was part of my platform when I ran for council and I still know a lot of people that work in those kinds of regulatory bodies, so I do try and help out where I can. I spoke with a few members of the state government when they were introducing the small bar legislation, which has

been a revolutionary thing for the Adelaide CBD. So people definitely seem to lean on me for some sort of advice. DT: What would you like to see change about the local hospitality scene if you became councilor or even now as a multibusiness owner? GL: I think there’s still a bit of work to do on the HR side of the things. While I’m a believer in penalty rates and a union advocate, as well as a union member, I don’t think the mix is right yet between business interests and employee rights. I’d love to see something as simple as being able to purchase a decent local beer from Adelaide Oval. There are a few kinds of top-line things like this that would be nice. I’m also an advocate for deregulation or trying to remove the barriers to entry for craft brewers. We need to stop the bigger companies from locking up tap contracts for years on end or with their 70–80% exclusivity. I think there’s a long way to go. The Adelaide hospitality industry has seen a massive growth in the last four or five years since the small bar legislation industry came in, so they’re still finding their feet. It’s sort of mirrored the craft beer industry across Australia, I guess. DT: If you could give advice to others in the liquor retail game, what would it be? GL: From my point of view, I’d like to see retailers support more independent products. The retail side of things just seems to remain the same. We need to allow people to drink better booze. I want to give people something different, something they can’t get in the chains.

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BRANDY AND COGNAC The Noble Spirit Often referred to as the ‘noble spirit’, brandy is the oldest spirit category, going right back to the dawning of the distilling age. The name is derived from the Dutch ‘brandewijn’ – meaning burnt wine, which was a reference to the heat and fire of distillation. Around the world today, wherever grapes are grown for winemaking, there is also a brandy from that region. Take Spain, France, South Africa, USA, Armenia and Australia, as a few examples, which all have a welldeveloped brandy industry. The brandy category continues to fight against other popular dark spirits, however, it’s the unparalleled qualities of the Cognac brandy from France that is the driving force in the category’s resilience and resurgence. A SHORT HISTORY Forms of fruit brandy were first enjoyed in the Mediterranean region, made from local fruits such as grapes, plums, cherries and apricots, and by the fifteenth century had become popular across Southern Europe under many different names. It was Dutch distillers and traders who first brought grape brandy to Northern Europe from Southern France and Spain. But it was the British aristocracy who developed a liking for the particularly good brandies coming from the Cognac region of France during the 1700s. It would not be for another 200 years that Australia’s influence on brandy, however, would be felt. For instance, it was in 1925, 15 years after his father Dr William Angove established a distillery in Renmark that Carl Angove set his sights on creating a new style of Australian brandy that was lighter and more delicate than anything previously produced. He had travelled to Cognac and learnt from the best, returning to Australia to put his passion for distilling to work. His sights were firmly set on creating an Australian spirit of iconic world standard and a uniquely Australian expression of brandy. Over the course of the next

90 years, St Agnes Brandy evolved, along the way picking up awards recognising the Australian spirit as the best brandy in the world – three times in fact. Aged brandies like St Agnes XO or Cognacs like Hennessy XO are best served in a bowl-shaped glass called a snifter or balloon glass, allowing you to warm the brandy in the palm of your hand while releasing the aroma and flavour of the brandy to achieve the best experience. Younger brandies and Cognacs like Martell VS are best enjoyed in cocktails such as the Brandy Alexander, Sazerac or Sidecar.

BRANDY, COGNAC WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? So, what is the difference between brandy and Cognac? Brandy is the catch-all name for spirits produced from fruit, in particular, grapes. Cognac, however, is a region in France, and in order for a brandy to be called Cognac it needs to be made within the region and meet strict regulatory guidelines including the type of grapes that are used, how it is distilled and aged in oak barrels. There are six winemaking regions in Cognac that are permitted to produce the spirit, each one home to a unique terroir.

The Cognac region is very proud to have kept the same production process for 300 years. In the past, the folle blanche varietal was favoured, however, today it’s the ugni blanc varietal that accounts for 98% of volumes, due to its high acid and low ABV wine, producing the best eau de vie, which is aged and blended into future Cognacs. The Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC) was created to protect those producing Cognac. The BNIC acts as the guardian angel for the producers and growers in the Cognac region by enforcing strict rules of the production process and act on the duties delegated by the government.

HELPING CUSTOMERS UNDERSTAND VS, VSOP AND XO The first question often asked when customers are looking to buy brandy or Cognac is the difference between the three main labels – VS, VSOP and XO. VS stands for ‘very special’ and must be aged for at least two years in French oak casks. VSOP stands for ‘very superior old pale’ and is a reference to the British aristocracy’s preference for naturally pale coloured Cognac from oak ageing a difference from the richly coloured

brandy coming out of Spain a few hundred years ago. The youngest eau de vie in VSOP must be aged for at least four years. Finally, XO stands for ‘extra old’ and is where the youngest eau de vie is aged for ten years, but on average is often upwards of 20 years. Such strict designations mean that customers, as a rule of thumb, can trust that the level of quality will move up between VS and VSOP, and then XO brandies and Cognacs. Naturally, because of their superior quality, XOs are often pricier - between $100-$250 on average. In saying this, there are many great VS and VSOP brandies and Cognacs at a more affordable price point that still offer consumers great quality and often a more approachable flavour profile if they’re new to or still exploring the category. XOs tend to be more fuller-bodied and complex, while the younger VS and VSOPs tend to be more fruity and lighter-bodied. VS and VSOPs are the preferable choices when creating mixed drinks and cocktails, while XOs are best enjoyed neat and should be sipped and savoured as you drink in the liquid’s history.

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In Review:

BRANDY AND COGNAC Sullivans Cove XO Single Cask

Courvoisier VSOP Cognac

RRP: $280 Distributor: Sullivans Cove Comments: “Intense and rich.” This limited edition single cask brandy came from a partnership between Sullivans Cove Distillery and the booming Tasmanian wine industry. To craft this brandy, wines from the Huon Valley were distilled in the same method Sullivans Cove uses to make its renowned single malt whiskies that are then aged in either an American oak or French oak barrel. On the nose for cask TDB0040 there are aromas of clove, liquorice, pipe tobacco and candied plums, while the palate has fine tannins, toffee and dark chocolate notes with a lingering finish of antique oak, dark cherries and cocoa. This is unmistakably brandy, but with the full flavour people expect from Sullivans Cove.

RRP: $90 Distributor: Beam Suntory Comments: “A classic Cognac.” It was in 1811 when Emmanuel Courvoisier began supplying Cognac to the court of Emperor Napoleon I. Today, the VSOP is made from eau de vie from the Grande and Petite Champagne regions, allowing it to be called Fine Champagne Cognac. It has aromas of dried fruit notes – raisins and sultanas, date sweetness and very well integrated oak on the nose. The palate is extremely smooth and approachable, delivering flavours of dried apricot, well-integrated oak again and a touch of caramel sweetness. Courvoisier Cognacs are known for their exuberant, rich and complex aromas and this is another reminder of that. Forever to be known as Napoleon’s Cognac.

Hine Antique XO Cognac

Hennessy XO Cognac

RRP: $250 Distributor: Vanguard Luxury Brands Comments: “Long and intense.” With over 250 years of history located near the village of Jarnac, France and using eau de vie exclusively from the Grande Champagne region, the XO has power and intensity balanced with long, soft complex flavours. It sometimes flies a bit below the radar but is well worth trying once found. The aroma is complex – candied orange, vanilla and spice. To sip, it coats the mouth with subtle rancio characters, date sweetness and cedar spice. Its flavours are bold with a long finish. Hine is one of the houses to distill wine with the lees, which creates a richer depth and aromatic intensity. Overall, think of smooth and powerful but with finesse. A Cognac that doesn’t disappoint.

RRP: $250 Distributor: Moët Hennessy Australia Comments: “Rich and powerful.” Founded in 1793 by James Hennessy, it is now the biggest global brand of Cognac. The XO is known as ‘The Original’ of the house, first created in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy for family and friends. It introduced a bold, rich and complex style to the market and today it is a reference for XO Cognacs worldwide. It has complex aromas of cacao, vanilla and walnut, plus notes of crystalised ginger and pepper spice. The palate is powerful but smooth, revealing many layers, with a very long finish. It’s full-bodied and viscous with rancio characters, revealing evidence of prolonged ageing. A delicious example of XO Cognac.

St Agnes XO 15YO Brandy RRP: $120 Distributor: Vintage House Wine and Spirits Comments: “Delicious and smooth.” St. Agnes brandy has been made by the Angove family in Renmark, South Australia since 1925. For a 15-year-old brandy, this has incredible smoothness and soft, dusty caramel flavours. On the nose, there are aromas of fruitcake, caramel sweets, candied orange and a slight dustiness. The palate has soft oak and spice flavours and a slight sweetness, like burnt caramel. At last count, it had won fourteen trophies, a double gold and 20 gold medals. One of the finest Australian brandies. 32|drinks trade

Martell VSOP Cognac RRP: $84.99 Distributor: Pernod Ricard Australia Comments: “Balanced and elegant.” Founded in 1715, it’s the oldest of the biggest Cognac houses, today producing a style that is elegant and complex and featuring a high proportion of eau de vie from the Borderies region, at the heart of Cognac. The VSOP has aromas of crystalised fruits, quince and prunes; soft vanilla, clove spice and orange peel. On the palate, there are deep fruit flavours, gingerbread spice and blackcurrant leaf astringency. This is a powerful Cognac, balanced with smoothness and a lingering, viscous finish. It’s worth mentioning that Martell is currently innovating with a new expression called Blue Swift, a cognac finished in bourbon casks as opposed to the traditional French oak, coming to Australia soon.

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RRP: 700ml ($54), four-pack RTD ($22) • Distributor: SouthTrade International Southern Comfort Black is a pleasant upgrade from the Original, with a higher dose of bourbon in the recipe and the dial turned down on the sweetness slightly. It has held onto the characteristic spice it is known and enjoyed for, and has upped the ABV by 10% from the Original (Original 30% ABV/Black 40% ABV) to attract more male drinkers, according to the brand. At $54, it’s a good entry point to the bourbon category and also comes in an RTD with Cola at 6% ABV; a smart move, with higher ABV RTDs in growth currently.

2. ITALICUS ROSOLIO DI BERGAMOTTO RRP: 700ml ($75) • Distributor: Think Spirits Think Spirits recently started importing and distributing this exciting new aperitif/Italian rosolio – an old category of Italian liqueurs traditionally made from the herb Drosera rotundifolia, although today it is often used as a generic word for Italian liqueurs. Leading industry figure and mixologist Giuseppe Galla created Italicus to bring back the long forgotten rosolio category and the main ingredient in this is Calabrian bergamot, a type of citrus orange from the Calabria region. The recommended serve for Italicus is 50/50 with prosecco, over ice and garnished with three green olives. This sounds like a great mix that would highlight its bittersweet notes of lavender, citrus and herbs while cutting through its slight saltiness. A really distinctive and different drink - thumbs up.



3. BELVEDERE SINGLE ESTATE RYE SERIES Distributor: Moët Hennessy Australia Belvedere recently released two vodkas under a new Single Estate Rye Series that have got people talking about the influence of terroir in spirits. Terroir has long been a major focus for winemakers and some spirits such as whisky and mezcal, but not yet for vodka. The two vodkas are made from the same Polish Dankowskie Diamond Rye but from two different single estates. The vodkas get their names from the villages these single estates are located in - Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek. Sommelier Samantha Payne tried the vodkas and told Drinks Trade that she could notice the flavour profile differences. The Smogóry Forest is said to have notes of salted caramel, honey and white pepper, and also finishes salty-sweet, while the Lake Bartężek has notes of black pepper, toasted nuts and cream.

4. SOUTHTRADE EXPANDS ITS WHISKY PORTFOLIO RRP: Paul John Brilliance ($90), Rampur ($104.99), Kurayoshi Pure Malt ($90), Matsui Tottori ($70) • Distributor: SouthTrade International Four new Japanese and Indian whiskies recently joined SouthTrade’s portfolio, which now represents six whisky countries, with Australia, North America, Ireland and Scotland already represented. The Indian whiskies include the Paul John and Rampur single malts. Paul John is an award-winning whisky made from barley grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and other indigenous ingredients from the tropical state of Goa, in the west of India. They bare the name of Paul P John, the Chairman of John Distilleries, who learnt about whisky in Scotland and decided to create a whisky from India for the world. Rampur, on the other hand, comes from the foothills of the Himalayas, where it is handcrafted and aged. It’s a super premium whisky characterised by a rich, fruity aroma and malty, creamy flavours. The Japanese whiskies, Kurayoshi and Tottori, come from the same boutique distillery, Matsui, in the coastal prefecture of Tottori. They are both pure malt whiskies and characterised by their ageing with underground water from the Daisen mountain. “The liquids are outstanding,” Ray Noble, Managing Director at SouthTrade told Drinks Trade in a recent interview. He also said that the company is excited to tell the story of Indian whisky, a category not yet explored in-depth in Australia. Noble also said that the company will also be importing and distributing another Scotch very soon.


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PERFECT WINTER WARMERS Snow season is coming and whether you’re mountainside or in the city, you’re going to want to have a range of warming spirits, schnapps and liqueurs to offer consumers après ski or work. Alpen Liquor Wholesalers has the complete range. Below are authentic and traditional European selections representing the four categories.



These traditional, sun-ripened fruit spirits were made for the winter season, with 40% ABV and a delicious, non-sugary, viscous fruitquality that warms and coats the mouth. The range includes Wild Raspberry, Williams Pear, Pear & Apple, Cherry and Plum.

The German Scheibel family has been producing a premium range of schnapps, spirits and liqueurs since 1921, using a unique small-batch distillation method over a gold leaf that presents real fruit flavour including Vineyard Peach, Forest Blueberry, Strawberry, Mountain Apricot, Wild Plum and Sour Cherry.



This smooth and fruity German herbal liqueur is not only the perfect winter warmer, but also the desired digestif, made from 15 unique herbs, fruits and roots including wormwood, ginger, orange peel and the medicinal Sauwurz, sourced from central and southern Europe at high altitudes.

Europe’s popular party liqueur, Kleiner Feigling, is a sweet mixture of vodka, fig and other fun flavours with a low ABV. This easy-drinking and smooth liquid is available in a range of flavours including Coconut, Fig, Strawberry, Bubble Gum, Mango and the new Cherry Banana.




HOW APRÈS-SKI CROSSED THE GLOBE It’s that romantic idea of the quintessential winter holiday that entices thousands to the snow each year – that inviting image of friends gathering by the fire with their favourite tipples in hand at the end of a long, exhausting day on the slopes. Contrary to what may seem logical, après-ski or afterski, as this practice came to be known, wasn’t sparked from ski tourism, rather its invention marked the beginning of snow holidaying. Words by Associate Editor, Steph Aikins


t was the first Norwegian and Swiss downhill skiers that invented après-ski in the 1800s. It started informally at first, with skiers stopping in at one another’s homes to share a well-earned schnapps or beer before avid enthusiasts began opening dedicated ski clubs, some of the first tourist destinations at the snow. The concept of après-ski was revolutionary for French and Swiss hotels that already existed in the Alpine areas as they realised that as long as they offered a few after-ski activities and purchased central heating, they could keep their hotels open and profitable during the freezing winters. This grew tourism in the Alps during the winter exponentially, to the point that the French were able to host the first Winter Olympics in 1924 with the hotels in the area accommodating thousands of guests. It was during this time that the actual term ‘après-ski’ came about to describe the celebration with good food and excellent drink held at the end of a long day of skiing.

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Just after World War I, après-ski travelled across the Alps into Austria’s mountain villages where it was called ‘Gemütlichkeit’, meaning, “a-good-time-was-had-by-all”. From that point onwards, the practice thrived across Europe among tourists and locals alike, as it became a way for all to meet new people, get out and have some fun during the isolating, harsh winter months. Fast-forward to 1949 and a seemingly unrelated announcement across the other side of the world would see après-ski spread to Australia. The Australian government declared the beginning of the Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme, one of its most ambitious schemes to date. The project was set to be the most complex scheme of its kind, with 80 kilometres of aqueducts, 140 kilometres of tunnels, 16 large

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dams and seven power stations to be built. To achieve a project of this scale, the government began targeting skilled European engineers and construction workers as well as those experienced in working and living in Alpine areas to migrate to Australia via assisted migration schemes. Thousands took up the offer, as many were eager to flee Europe’s deflated post-war economies. Over the 25 years, it took to complete the Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme, 10,000 people worked on the project. These workers came from over 30 countries, including Germany, Greece, Norway, Britain, Poland and the former Yugoslavia. People that had once been enemies back in their homelands became friends working and living in the tough Australian bush. At the end of a long shift in the snow, it was customary

to gather in the mess halls and sit at long wooden trestle-tables, relaxing with a beer or schnapps in hand. Thus Australia’s first form of après-ski was born. When work on the Scheme ended, the majority of the European workers chose to stay and create a new life for themselves in Australia. Many of the ‘new Australians’ chose to remain in the Snowy Mountains they had come to know and love, setting up ski infrastructure, resorts and restaurants, helping villages such as Thredbo thrive. European-style inns such as the Candlelight Lodge, established by Hungarian migrants in 1957, and the Black Bear Inn, formerly known as Sasha’s Lodge and started by Czechoslovakian ex-Olympic skier Sasha Nekvapil, began popping up, offering traditional après-ski schnapps and beer. These

Thredbo eateries and evening haunts continue to serve the wide selection of schnapps they did in this post-war settler period, including many of the traditional European favourites such as the Specht and Scheibel ranges, distributed by Alpen Liquor with mountain distribution from its Jindabyne warehouse and city distribution from its Brisbane warehouse. The après-ski custom is now widespread in the mountains, with it even giving rise to the

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region’s own schnapps distillery. Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery, near Jindabyne, draws on this European heritage as co-owner Monika Spalding spent her childhood in Tyrol, Austria watching her grandfather make homemade country schnapps. Alongside fellow co-owner and distiller, husband Brad Spalding, she creates traditional Austrian-style schnapps, including a Peach Nectar that recently won a gold at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards.

The popularity of après-ski has seen it become a key target for the major brands, with Jägermeister and Canadian Club known to spend big each year on activations for the skiing crowd. It’s clear that the dynamic tradition of après-ski will continue to thrive into the future, and we have to thank the thousands of humble European workers who brought with them to the Snowy Mountains that little taste of Alpine life.

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THE IN-CIDER SCOOP WITH MARTIN THATCHER The bona fide home of cider - we have often looked to the UK to understand what’s next for this fruitful category in Australia. Thatchers Cider, located in the south west of England, has long been a well-associated name there and fourth generation Managing Director, Martin Thatcher, is full of useful insights. Here, he talks about future cider trends we can expect, as well as the affects of Brexit and new things to come from Thatchers themselves. Drinks Trade: Cider trends in Australia have traditionally followed on from trends in the UK, what would be your predictions for us based on that? Martin Thatcher: There’s been a lot of change and consolidation in the British market; a lot of new brands have come and gone. There have been a lot of takeovers as well. Aspall Cyder has just been taken over by Molson Coors, so it’s quite a fast-changing market. At the end of the day, consumers seem to come back to what they trust in terms of brands and what they like in terms of a quality product. If new players don’t have good, strong brands and good quality products, then they will probably fall by the wayside. Therefore, the market will change quite quickly and we’ll end up with brands that are established and known for doing things right. DT: In terms of flavour profiles, are you seeing a growth still in traditional ciders or is there a movement towards fruit-based ciders? MT: Fruit has grown a lot in the UK over recent years, driven by Rekorderlig and Kopparberg. But the gloss seems to have come off a bit. Where it was growing in double figures, I believe the growth has slowed substantially. I predict that fruit cider will have its day and we’ll come back to what we term as ‘proper’ apple cider. DT: Brexit has obviously been at the forefront of minds for British import and export businesses. Are there any concerns over how Brexit may impact Thatchers’ trade? MT: At the moment, with the way the currency is going, it’s good for exports. Bad for imports, but good for exports. I suppose every business is concerned about what will happen because there seems to be no clear indication of what is to come. Europe seems to want to do one thing, while the British Government is trying to do another. It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen and that potentially makes it difficult for business. I suppose that’s the problem - you can’t plan for what you don’t know. 40|drinks trade

Martin Thatcher and his father John

Certainly, it’s very important and it will determine how successful we are in the trade, either in the near future or in the longer-term. I think most people who had the opportunity to vote, in hindsight, didn’t take into account just how complicated it was going to be to sort it out in the long-term. DT: For context, is the European market a big market for Thatchers? MT: Well, no. We export to Spain and Portugal, where British people go for holidays, but it’s not a large part. Not as big as you might think being so close. DT: What has Thatchers been up to recently in the UK? MT: In terms of the running of the business, we continue to invest a lot of money in plants and equipment. Last year, we put in a new canning line, because in Britain there’s certainly a massive move towards cans. It seems to be by luck of judgement that we decided to install our first canning line two years beforehand, and as the market has started to move towards cans it’s been very successful for us. We’ve probably done more than double the cans that we’d expected to do in the first year, which is fantastic. And I think the Australian market may follow suit. Looking very quickly last night in the bottle shops,I see more cans of beer and cider than I did a year ago.

CONNECT Eric Ottoway, Brooklyn Brewery and Tim Cooper, Coopers Brewery


A CHAT WITH BROOKLYN BREWERY’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE From humble beginnings in a Brooklyn warehouse in the late 1980s, Brooklyn Brewing has grown exponentially to become the eleventh biggest craft brewer in the United States with an annual revenue of $US70 million. In light of this leading position within the market, Drinks Trade took the opportunity to speak with Eric Ottaway about current US trends, his predictions for craft beer in both Australia and America, and what’s next for Brooklyn Brewing. Drinks Trade: Australian beer trends seem to follow the US, and currently we’re hearing a lot of buzz about fruit beers. How quickly did that trend start in your home country? Eric Ottaway: They always existed to some extent, certainly on the fringes, but as a much larger segment it’s really only been in the last four to five years that it’s evolved in the US. Largely through fruit flavoured IPAs, which are using fruit to accentuate some of the natural flavours that already exist in the hops. A lot of hops have those grapefruit and pine notes to them, so they’re being blended in juices or with grapefruit and orange peel to accentuate some of those notes and really bring that citrus flavour forward. The citrus flavoured IPA category is a really hot category that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down soon. DT: What do you think will be the next trend to hit the US in terms of brewing? EO: I think sours will be the next category to become popular. So far, there’s been a lot of buzz around sours, but very little volume. I think it’s a whole flavour category that, as craft brewers become better at producing approachable sours, will take off.

Heretofore, I think the craft beer industry has kind of left that flavour profile alone, even though there are some historic styles of sours. However, it brings in a whole reach of new consumers to craft beer, pulling in consumers from sparkling wine, prosecco and rosé. Sours are very refreshing, nice and tart, and can be a really exciting category for a lot of people. DT: Is Brooklyn Brewery experimenting with sours currently? EO: We have a product called Bel Air Sour, which we introduced in the US as our spring seasonal release in 2017. It flew off the shelves. We were surprised and, actually got caught a little flatfooted; we had to scramble to get our next seasonal beer out to replace it. So this year, we decided to launch it as a permanent addition. It’s rolling out in the US as we speak and, shortly internationally too. We hope to get it out to Australia by the second half of this year. DT: Do you think sours will be a big thing for the Australian market? If not, what do you see as the next big trend for Australia?

EO: I think sours probably have a way to go here still. I think it’s an even smaller category in Australia than it is in other places. That being said, I think it is a category that is ready-made for Australia. You have much longer stints of warmer weather than we do and people seem to enjoy lighter and more refreshing categories over heavier, darker beers. I could see those taking off here quite quickly some day. DT: What else is Brooklyn Brewing up to in Australia at the moment? Are there any new releases that we can expect? EO: Well, speaking to the two trends, the other beer we’re going to be releasing in Australia later this year is our orange peel pale ale. It’s called Naranjito, which means little orange in Spanish. It’s brewed with organic, dried orange peel in the kettle and has a nice, vibrant citrus aroma and flavour, without being too juicy. We chose to use dried orange peel instead of fruit juice to emphasise more aromatic citrus notes instead of the sweeter notes. We’re excited to bring it to the market here.

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This issue, we’re turning the spotlight back on you, the retailers of Australia. A while back, we asked you to vote for your peers that are dedicated to stocking a wide range of local and international beers in their bottle shops. You voted from across Australia, and here they are – 10 of the country’s best beer bottle shops.

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Sturt Street Cellars

Oldfield Cellars

BEER CARTEL: SYDNEY, NSW Ask any beer-centric Sydneysider where they get their beer from and the chances are that you’ll hear the name Beer Cartel thrown into the mix. What began as an online beer club, run by business partners Geoff Huens and Rich Kelsey, has blossomed into one of the biggest beer retailers in the country. As Australia’s craft beer scene has taken off, they’ve added a Sydney store stocking over 1,000 beers to their original online service. The shelves are filled with beers from across the globe, with a sizeable range from the brewing nations of Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Scandinavia. The largest quantity is of Australian beers, including the entire ranges of Pirate Life, Stone & Wood, Two Birds and James Squire. The team also stocks a constantly changing list of limited and seasonal releases. For those living outside of the Eastern capital, all beers available in-store can also be purchased online and delivered anywhere in the country.

OLDFIELD CELLARS: GOSFORD, NSW It might come as a surprise to some that one of Australia’s best bottle shops for beer lies in the sleepy seaside suburb of Gosford, NSW. Garth Oldfield, owner and operator of Oldfield Cellars, had been in the liquor game in Sydney for nearly 20 years before opening his Central Coast store and his expertise have seen this small town venture thrive. With a range of around 300 beers, both Australian and international, and a selection of locally produced snacks, customers

Dutch Trading Co.

Slow Beer

EMPRESS CRAFT BEER: DEVONPORT, TAS can find a food and drink pairing whatever their palate; this includes sweet, sour, smoked and rare brews. To help set up his bottle shop, Garth hired local staff with extensive beer knowledge, making this business 100% Central Coast owned and operated. This dedicated team has written printable tasting notes for every one of the stocked beers so customers feel encouraged to try something new. It’s obvious why the bottle shop won the NSW Liquor Stores Award for Excellence in Innovation in 2016.

DUTCH TRADING CO: PERTH, WA Located in the beer bar of the same name, this bottle shop houses over 300 bottled beers including a number of rare brews from the USA and Europe. This list is constantly changing to showcase a range of beer styles, brewers, traditions, regions and flavour profiles. There is also a CANary machine that allows for beer from the 18 rotating taps to be canned and taken home for enjoyment. Finally, the highly knowledgeable staff are the cherry on top of this great beer bottle shop.

Empress was opened in March last year by the team behind Launceston’s craft beer Mecca, Saint John Craft Beer. The well-stocked fridges house over 200 different beers from the island, mainland and internationally. The team also makes their own mixed six-pack weekly to encourage their customers to try something new.

CELLARBRATIONS CARLISLE: PERTH, WA Stocked full of almost every worthwhile beer you can get your hands on in Australia, Cellarbrations Carlisle is a celebrated addition to the local beer scene. Rare and craft beers are housed within walls covered with colourful artwork by local artists. Step through to the back room and you’ll find the Grain Cru, a beer club that hosts regular educational evenings focusing on new trends in beer around the world. Family-run for more than 30 years, the store is dedicated to hosting regular beer, cider, wine and spirits tastings on Fridays and Saturdays. The store is also home to eight rotating draught beer taps, which can also be bottled and taken home.

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STURT STREET CELLARS: ADELAIDE, SA Housed inside the King Street Hotel, Adelaide this is the only bottle shop in Australia stocked with 100% South Australian brands. The majority of brands are family-owned and strongly independent, with the store showcasing producers intent on pushing the limits in their fields. Guests can either take their beers home or drink in store in either the al fresco or deck areas for an added $15 corkage fee. Four regularly rotating taps pour a range of limited release brews and keg-only offerings from smaller breweries, which can be bottled via the store’s impressive crowler machine. The machine seals the brews in 948ml cans that can be stored for up to two weeks. There are also weekly tasting events and masterclasses held in the old keg room beneath the hotel. Rotating art installations adorn the walls and Gareth is known to often work with local wine and beer producers to host launches at the venue.

MCCOPPINS: MELBOURNE, VIC McCoppins bottle shops are an institution in Melbourne. With stores in Fitzroy and Abbotsford, as well as two delis, it is the responsibility of each retailer’s team to do the ordering, meaning each location has a unique selection. The 500-strong range of beers includes a number of genuine imports, rather than beers brewed in Australia under license, and local breweries. As the bigger location, the Fitzroy store hosts free weekly tastings alternating 44|drinks trade

between beer and wine. The stores are splashed with artwork that reflects the beers housed within, such as a massive Mountain Goat mural.

SLOWBEER: MELBOURNE, VIC Slowbeer deserves a mention not least of all because it was the first 100% dedicated craft beer store. The 1,000 bottled beers on offer are predominantly small-scale breweries and rare imports from cult breweries across the globe. Takeaway growler fills from the four taps at Richmond or five at Fitzroy can be purchased alongside a selection of artisanal cheeses, cured meats and preserves from local and international producers. The idea for Slowbeer came from the European slow food movement that places emphasis on regional character, quality ingredients and the experience of dining or drinking.

CELLARBRATIONS HAWTHORNE CELLARS: BRISBANE, QLD Hawthorne Cellars started as one of three linked Brisbane bottle shops before coming under the Cellarbrations umbrella. Each of these bottle shops were established with a strong beer offering and Cellarbrations Hawthorne Cellars has chosen to continue this legacy. Here, classic Aussie commercial brews sit side-by-side with rare, experimental brews living up to the store’s promise of offering something for everyone. To help the less knowledgeable consumer, the staff post brief but ingenious descriptions of common beer styles

Cellarbrations Carlisle

above the fridges. Guided tastings are also often held with the discerning staff to open consumers’ minds and palates to the wide world of craft beer.

PLONK: FYSHWICK, ACT This independent, family-owned bottle shop stocks an impressive 1,300 beers from Australian craft breweries and over 60 countries worldwide. What started as an alleyway shop has expanded into a large Fyshwick store and a second location in Belconnen, both carrying a range of glassware, books, accessories and local produce on top of the abundant beer offering.

CONNECT 1. REKORDERLIG CIDER COCKTAILS RRP: four-pack ($22) • Distributor: Coca-Cola Amatil Rekorderlig’s new Cider Cocktails - Strawberry-Lime Swedish Punch, MangoRaspberry Daisy and Wild Berries Bramble – are a blend of original Rekorderlig Cider flavours, vodka or rum, and a few other ingredients like mint and lime. Look familiar? Minus a few alterations to the names and recipes, these are effectively the same RTDs Rekorderlig released in cans in 2016 but were recalled due to an issue with the packaging. The solution was moving to a glass bottle and we think they hit the mark - they offer consumers (probably aged 18-25) something different to try, they’re attractive on the shelf, there’s a slightly higher ABV in each bottle, they’re sweet and easy to drink.



2. WILLIE SMITH’S WHISKY AGED SPECIAL RESERVE APPLE CIDER RRP: 750ml ($50) • Distributor: Willie Smith’s This Whisky Aged Cider is the result of an innovative collaboration between whisky (and now brandy) producer Sullivans Cove and the Willie Smith’s cidery in the Huon Valley, Tasmania. It’s a dry cider from Willie Smith’s that’s been aged for 16 months in ex-bourbon American oak casks that were previously used by Sullivans Cove. We think the limited release is the perfect purchase or gift for cider lovers looking for something new and different to try this winter. It has a slightly cloudy appearance. The aroma and flavour are in balance, they both have depth and strong notes of whisky, toasty oak and a slight apple sweetness. What’s impressive about this cider is the flavour that lingers on the finish.

3. TWO BIRDS TRAIL BLAZER AUSSIE LAGER RRP: six-pack ($20) • Distributor: Two Birds Brewing The Trail Blazer Aussie Lager was created by Two Birds Brewing and the Western Bulldogs in Footscray, Melbourne, which just so happens to be brewery co-owner, Danielle Allan’s, favourite team. The new brew celebrates another successful season of Two Birds sponsoring the AFLW team and will be served at games at the Victoria University Whitten Oval this year. It is also available nationally. The packaging features a trail blazing through the middle, which is surrounded by two birds and miniature trophies. We thought it was a straightforward lager that would be easily enjoyed alongside the footy.




4. 4 PINES BIG BREKKY PORTER RRP: 500ml ($11) • Distributor: Carlton & United Breweries A new one from 4 Pines’ creative Keller Door Small Batch project – the Big Brekky Porter. It sure is big and it’s a kick-back to nostalgic breakfast favourites, Weet-Bix and Milo added from the malts. It looks, smells and tastes like a dark ale, so it’s not for the fainthearted, but the extra chocolate and Weetbix flavours that also give it a nice creaminess make this beer fun and packed with nostalgia. It was originally brewed for the 2015 Sydney Craft Beer Week’s Brewers Breakfast and has been tweaked slightly for a national release.

5. JAMES SQUIRE THE WRECK – PRESERVATION ALE RRP: On-tap only • Distributor: Lion Beer Australia According to Lion, this is the “world’s oldest surviving beer brought back to life,” and that might just be true, created in partnership with the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, Tasmania. Apparently, it’s been made using 220-year-old yeast found in old beer bottles at the bottom of Australia’s oldest merchant shipwreck, Sydney Cove, which sunk in water off of Tasmania’s Preservation Island in 1797. While the yeast is old, the brewing techniques used are modern, ensuring the flavour profile can be enjoyed by many. We haven’t been able to try the beer yet, but it has been described by the brewery as “dark, malty, spicy and stormy.”

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Cabernet from Watershed

DISCOVERING TOP CABERNET AND CHARDONNAY FROM WA The recent national show results for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay provide compelling evidence that Western Australia has emerged as the pre-eminent producer of these important varieties. A quick snapshot of the capital city shows in the last two years makes for remarkable reading. Words by Wine Writer, Ray Jordan


or instance, in 2016, WA cabernets won all seven capital city cabernet trophies and its chardonnays accounted for four of the seven. In 2017, WA wines won five of the seven cabernet trophies and five of the chardonnay trophies. Critical and anecdotal acclaim merely confirm these results. On a recent trip to Perth, Chateau Cos d’Estournel CEO Raphael Reybier said there was no doubt that Bordeaux sees Margaret River cabernets as competition. “Margaret River wines are not like those from any other New World wine country,” he said. “There is an elegance and balance about them

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which is quite different from other places such as the Napa in California, where the wines are generally big and extracted. “Although it is still a relatively young region in terms of wine, there is a real sense of maturity about how the wines are being made. In the last eight to ten years, I have noticed a lot more people, including those in Bordeaux, talking about the wines from Margaret River.” The highlight of the past two years has been the phenomenal 2014 vintage, which many argue is the finest yet in Margaret River, but in other parts of the state, such as Frankland River and Mount Barker,

the wines have been equally stunning. On the show circuit, wines from the 2014 vintage continue to dominate. Highlights in this time included the 2016 Jimmy Watson for the 2014 Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet and the stunning success of the 2014 Watershed Awakening Cabernet, which at last count had won eight trophies and 13 gold medals. Of course, many producers such as Woodlands, Cullen and Cape Mentelle no longer show their wines, but they have been highly rated and continue to produce wines of great consistency and quality.

A Houghton owned vineyard in WA and the Houghton C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Malbec and Thomas Yule Shiraz


BELOW: Watershed’s Head Viticulturist, Leonard Russell and the award-winning 2014 Watershed Awakening Cabernet

Evans & Tate vineyard in WA

Highly respected national and international wine writers like Jancis Robinson, Lisa PerrottiBrown MW, Huon Hook, Tyson Stelzer and James Halliday have all bestowed high praise on the 2014 wines. Recently, two wines from the Houghton stable - the Thomas Yule Shiraz and C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Malbec both point to the greatness of the 2014 vintage in Frankland River. And most recently, Vasse Felix released the 2014 Tom Cullity Cabernet Malbec, made in honour of the man who started the whole thing 51 years ago. The wine is being hailed as the equal of any cabernet based wine yet, released from Margaret River. Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock said: “In many ways, this is all part of the maturity of the region. In the first four years, there were great wines made that in some ways were more by accident. We were very young then and really didn’t know. But now, there is greater alignment across the region so that in a year like 2014, there are just so many great wines. “It comes with maturity. We understand the vines and the seasons and how to get the best out of them. And we know that bigger doesn’t mean better.” Other new releases due out soon include the McHenry Hohnen Rolling Stone, Juniper Estate, Voyager Tom Price and Leeuwin Art Series

cabernet sauvignon (the best Leeuwin cabernet I have tasted), which will provide further evidence to the quality of the vintage and the region. Then there is chardonnay, which continues to draw praise. Margaret River remains as a powerhouse, but other regions such as Mt Barker and the Porongurups, in particular, are producing outstanding wines of striking individuality. In Margaret River, chardonnays from producers such as Xanadu, Flametree and Evans & Tate are taking this variety to another level of complexity and power. While those from Jeff Burch’s Marchand and Burch in the Great Southern are stunning pointers to the future of this region and to

specific sites that are starting to strut their stuff. Of course, the big guns, Leeuwin Estate, Cullen, Vasse Felix and Pierro are making exceptional chardonnays that retain the essential style and power that has made them famous. The latest Leeuwin Art Series and Cullen Kevin John are stunning wines. A recent development and one of the most exciting has been the emergence of alternative shiraz styles. Frankland River and Mt Barker have always produced excellent shiraz, especially in the opulent riper style, but recently it has been the arrival of slightly less robust more atypically Australian styles such as the Castelli Empirica. The Swinney vineyard in Frankland River

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Virginia Willcock, Chief Winemaker at Vasse Felix in Margaret River and the Tom Cullity Cabernet Malbec

New releases Juniper Estate (left) and Leeuwin Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon (right)

Castelli Estate in Denmark, WA, producer of the Empirica Shiraz

supplied fruit from its Hermitage clone for the Empirica and is also providing different clonal fruit to other producers. This brilliant vineyard is shaping up as one of the best and most exciting in the state and it will be interesting to see what other wines come from it. The classic WA blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc has been one of the casualties of the flood of New Zealand sauvignon blancs with sales having fallen. However, at the same time, winemakers are producing some of the best examples of this style using a combination of oak fermentation and maturation, plus some lees influence in some cases to create wines of more complexity and palate interest. Bruce Dukes at Domaine Naturaliste is doing great things with this style, while Cape Mentelle’s famous Wallcliffe blend has been refined into a slightly more modern, appealing style. Riesling is a variety that has performed exceptionally well in the Great Southern, with Frankland River and the Porongurups producing a number of outstanding wines. Producers such as Frankland Estate, Castle Rock, 48|drinks trade

Bruce Dukes, Domaine Naturaliste winemaker and owner

Howard Park and Forest Hill are making first-rate Aussie rieslings. Recent vintages have been exceptional and point to wines of great finesse and delicacy, while the style retains power and palate length. At the time of going to print, winemakers were taking a well-earned rest after a vintage, which many believe will rival the 2014 for reds in particular. There is also tremendous excitement about the whites with chardonnay around the state showing some of the best fruit seen in years. The good news is that the excellent vintage, which is a result of a mildish warm Indian summer that rolled on to allow the fruit to ripen perfectly, was spread through the state’s wine regions. This follows the excellent 2017, from which some of the top chardonnays are just starting to be released. The next few years will see some of the best wines ever produced in Western Australia hitting liquor store shelves.

“An entry level cabernet, that many would love to have as their best wine.” 93 POINTS, RAY JORDAN ON THE 2015 FILIUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON

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*Drinks International’s ‘The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands’ 2017 survey

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Emma, Vineyard Nursery Viticulturist

Our winemakers and viticulturists are why we are #1 in New Zealand and fourth Most Admired Wine Brand* in the world. Their intuition and commitment to their craft has created wines that people love to drink. We don’t ever want to lose that so we give them the room to do what they do best. It’s a luxury that comes from being family-owned. And for us, that means always putting quality first. Next time you open a bottle of Villa Maria you’ll be opening a world of uncompromising dedication and a little touch of faith.



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Tasting Bench


Shiraz, it’s our most famous red wine, thanks to plantings of prephylloxera vines that are now the oldest continuously producing in the world. When we think of shiraz, the Barossa, Clare and Hunter Valleys and McLaren Vale usually come to mind, but nowadays, it’s also important to think of regions such as the Yarra Valley and Hilltops, which are producing high-quality, cool climate shiraz well worth stocking. This is one of the varietals that truly speaks to its region and it would seem that there is now a style to suit everyone, from rich, big shiraz to elegant, light shiraz. Interestingly, we see a return of smaller producers in the results of this tasting. Thank you again to Wine Ark in Alexandria for letting us use their space for the tasting. Wine Ark has a range of fantastic climate controlled wine storage solutions, which you can find out more about on their website – And finally, we received over 130 wines for this tasting, so congratulations to those who made it in; it is a true testament to the quality of your wine. drinks trade|51





Wine Buyer and Events Coordinator, Wine Ark

Business Manager – Fine Wine, Accolade Wines

Mark has worked in wine for as long as legally permitted, starting out in a wine store while he completed a Psychology degree. After this, he travelled the world but kept coming back to wine, finding his calling (a bottle of Pol Roger’s Winston Churchill 1996) while working for a wine distributor in London. Today, Mark is the Wine Buyer and Events Coordinator at Wine Ark, Australia’s largest wine storage facility, and is in the second year of his Masters of Wine degree.

Travis sees his role in the wine industry as much as a hobby as it is work. This passion has led him to gain 24 years of experience with some of Australia’s best-known wine brands including Penfolds, [yellowtail] and Hardys. Coupled with an interest in travel, Travis is a regular senior judge at local and international wine shows and is responsible for Accolade Wines’ premium wine portfolio covering 38 brands.

BENJAMIN HASKO MS Director, Luxury Beverage Group Ben became the world’s 236th Master Sommelier in October 2016 and received the inaugural Dom Ruinart Cup for completing the examination on his first attempt. While managing Luxury Beverage Group’s portfolio of around 60 producers, Ben is also responsible for wine education and training, and consults on wine list development.

MICHAEL MCINTOSH Fine Wine Brand Ambassador, Accolade Wines Michael joined Accolade Wines’ on-premise team in 2016 and progressed to the Fine Wine Brand Ambassador role late last year. Prior to this, he had held diverse roles across the wine and hospitality industries, including General Manager of the Sydney International Wine Competition. He was also a successful sommelier, curating both classic and contemporary wine programs in Australia and New Zealand.

MICHAEL HATCHER Sales & Marketing Manager, Tumblong Hills


A winemaker and horticulturist, Michael has created award-winning wines across NSW, most notably from his time with Hungerford Hill, working with fruit from the Hunter Valley, Tumbarumba and Hilltops. His passion and studies in marketing and consumer engagement have led to his most recent venture with Tumblong Hills.

Katherine has over twenty years of experience across sales, trade and brand marketing in the Australian and New Zealand liquor industries. In her current role as National Wine Specialist for Pernod Ricard Australia, she regularly hosts tastings for wine journalists, buying panels and educators. She sits on the NSW Committee of the Wine Communicators of Australia and holds the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Educator’s certificate.

XANTHE HATCHER Winemaker – Cockfighter’s Ghost, Angew Wines Xanthe’s nine vintages in the Hunter Valley have provided her with a solid foundation in appreciating the nuances of the unique region. She has been nominated for the Wine Society’s Young Winemaker of the Year award and in 2016, she was awarded the Hunter Valley Alasdair Sutherland Scholarship.

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National Wine Specialist, Pernod Ricard Australia

ADRIAN SPARKS Chief Winemaker - Mount Pleasant, McWilliam’s Wine Group Since joining McWilliam’s Wines in 1998, Adrian has received numerous prestigious awards, in particular for chardonnay, such as the 2013 NSW Wine of the Year, 2013 Best Young Dry White Table Wine of Show and 2006 Best Table Wine of Show. He is a regular judge of the Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, National Wine Show, Royal Queensland Wine Show and in 2017, he took part in the Len Evans Tutorial.

HOW IT WORKS All the wines are blind tasted and scored on the 100 points scale. The highest scoring wines are then tasted for a second time to ensure there is a unanimous decision between the judges on the wines to put forward, plus Best Value and the panel’s favourite - Judges’ Pick.

VIC | Yarra Valley One Block Yellingbo Shiraz 2015 RRP: $38 Region: Yarra Valley Distributor: One Block Judges’ comments: Notes of capsicum and white pepper from a lot of whole bunch, then liquorice and earthy herbs on the nose. The palate is fleshy and round, with a lovely mix of herbs, spices and cool blue fruits, finished off with drying, sandy shiraz tannins.

NSW | Hilltops Coppabella Procella Shiraz 2015 RRP: $45 Region: Hilltops Distributor: Moppity Vineyards Judges’ comments: Orange peel, red fruits, herbs and dried spices on the nose. Red fruits prevail on the palate and there are firm, drying tannins. A very pleasant and drinkable wine, yet still very complex.

Hunter Valley Moppity Vineyards Reserve Shiraz 2015

Tyrrell’s Stevens Single Vineyard Shiraz 2016

RRP: $80 Region: Hilltops Distributor: Young & Rashleigh Wine Merchants (NSW), Icon Beverages (ACT), Westwood Wines (VIC) Judges’ comments: Oaky, dried herbal aromas on the nose, followed by a hint of sweet blackberry jam. Searing acid cuts through jammy fruits on the palate. Good complexity and quite a well-balanced wine with a long, savoury and spicy finish.

RRP: $50 Region: Hunter Valley Distributor: Tyrrell’s Wines Judges’ comments: A nice mix of dried herb, leathery spice and red fruit aromas. Slightly sweet on the mid-palate with an almost spritzy taste due to the added acid. Good complexity and savoury notes. Overall, a very enjoyable wine.

SA | Various Mount Pleasant Heritage Collection Rosehill Shiraz 2014 RRP: $50 Region: Hunter Valley Distributor: McWilliam’s Wines Group Judges’ comments: Savoury, dry herbal notes on the palate. Not overly sweet, which is nice in a shiraz.

Langhorne Creek

Pertaringa Lakeside Shiraz 2017

St Augustus Shiraz 2017

RRP: $20 Region: Various Distributor: Wines by Geoff Hardy Judges’ comments: This wine is characterised by integrated fruit, spice and herbal notes, with a cleansing acidity that is accompanied by fine, drying tannins. A very smart wine.

RRP: $15 Region: Langhorne Creek Distributor: Kollaras Trading Company Judges’ comments: Perfumed white spice, florals and sweet juby fruits on the nose. Dark fruit notes prevail on the palate, with Christmas cake spice, juicy acid and fine tannins. Not an overly complex wine, but a very pleasant flavour profile.

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McLaren Vale Zonte’s Footstep Lake Doctor Shiraz 2016

Bleasdale Generations Shiraz 2015

Shingleback Haycutters Shiraz 2016

RRP: $25 Region: Langhorne Creek Distributor: Kingfisher (NSW), Sante Wines (VIC & TAS), Empire Liquor (SA & NT), Select (QLD), Off the Vine (WA) Judges’ comments: Aromas of green snowpea and musk. Nice, leafy notes of fresh mint and basil on the palate, with blackcurrant and liquorice anise. Good complexity and a nice, rich oak finish.

RRP: $35 Region: Langhorne Creek Distributor: Negociants Australia Judges’ comments: A rich and juby fruit nose with vanilla and cola. Juicy dark and red fruits on the palate, with bitter coffee and cola. Hints of sarsaparilla. A nice savoury finish with a good balance. Still youthful.

RRP: $18 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: First Choice, Vintage Cellars and Liquorland exclusive Judges’ comments: Bright, lifted nose of fresh fruits. The palate leads with youthful dark fruit, before giving way to wellintegrated, generous, fresh fruit notes. Nice long, soft tannins and crunchy acid.

Batch X Shiraz 2016

Hardys Tintara Shiraz 2015

Shingleback The Gate Shiraz 2016

RRP: $20 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: Bright red fruits and fragrant berries on the nose. Primary red fruits on the palate with fresh acid line and a slight tar character. Good strengths of dark fruit and bitumen without being heavy.

RRP: $27.99 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: Red cherries and raspberries on the palate. A very wellbalanced wine with mid-palate plushness and a medium to full body, balanced with spicy oak. A fresh acid finish with soft, drying oak tannins.

RRP: $35 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: Muster Wine (SA), Domaines and Vineyards (WA), Shingleback Wine (all other states) Judges’ comments: Bright, complex aromas of berries, spice and savoury oak precede a lively palate that is polished and complex, yet easy going. Balanced, vibrant and alive. A very good wine.

Pertaringa Over The Top Shiraz 2016

Grant Burge 5th Generation Shiraz 2016

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2016

RRP: $40 Region: McLaren Vale Distributor: Wines by Geoff Hardy Judges’ comments: A fresh and fragrant nose with bright red currants, ripe cherry, blackberry and cranberries. The palate is long and balanced with a smooth texture filled with juicy fruits and soft tannins. A nice wine.

RRP: $19.99 Region: Barossa Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: Black fruits and spice appear one the nose of this medium-bodied wine. Fine tannins hold the structure to finish.

McLean’s Farm Master Shiraz 2016

Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz 2012

Laughing Jack Jack’s Shiraz 2016

RRP: $169.99 Region: Barossa Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: Fine, plush black fruits characterise this wine. It has a distinct density and liveliness through the mid-palate for a six-year-old wine.

RRP: $25 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Options Wine Merchants (SA & NT), Bibendum Wine Co. (VIC, NSW, QLD & ACT), Liquid Specialty Beverages (North QLD), La Vigna Cellars (WA) Judges’ comments: This is a juicy wine, full of bright, black fruit, ample tannins and a soft finish.


RRP: $51.99 Region: Barossa Distributor: Cellar Masters exclusive Judges’ comments: This is a bright wine, with dense juicy fruit that maintains its finesse. Overall, a chewy, full-bodied wine with a long finish.

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RRP: $26.99 Region: Barossa Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: Wafts of dark berry fruit precede a wine with dense mid-palate spice and a long and youthful finish.

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Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2016

Atze’s Corner The Bachelor Shiraz 2016

Purple Hands Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016

RRP: $26 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Chateau Tanunda Judges’ comments: Reductive notes, along with char, sweet ferment and angular graphite. Chewy tannins round out the palate.

RRP: $30 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Lock Stock and Barrel (QLD), Claritas Marketing (SA), Pail & Cooper (VIC), In Cantina (WA) Judges’ comments: A medium-bodied, soft and spicy wine packed with dark fruits and a savoury, long and brooding finish.

RRP: $30 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Combined Wines & Foods (NSW), Nomadic Marketing (SA), Tirage Wines (WA), Wine Ways (VIC) Judges’ comments: A plush, aromatic, contemporary style of shiraz. Bright, juicy fruit leads to a soft and long finish. This would be a consumer favourite!

Clare Valley Zonte’s Footstep Baron Von Nemesis Shiraz 2016

Laughing Jack Moppa Hill Block 6 Shiraz 2014

After Five Wine Co. Single Vineyard Shiraz 2016

RRP: $35 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Kingfisher Wines (NSW), Sante Wines (VIC & TAS), Empire Liquor (SA & NT), Select Wines (QLD), Off The Vine (WA) Judges’ comments: Plush, dense, ripe fruit. A mouthful of blackfruits and spice. A traditional Barossa style of shiraz.

RRP: $35 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Options Wine Merchants (SA & NT), Bibendum Wine Co. (VIC, NSW, QLD & ACT), Liquid Specialty Beverages (north QLD), La Vigna Cellars (WA) Judges’ comments: Black fruits jump out of the glass. The palate is rich and dense, packed with black fruits and acidity. Lovely development and beautifully balanced.

RRP: $45 Region: Barossa Valley Distributor: Combined Wines & Foods (NSW), Nomadic Marketing (SA), Tirage Wines (WA), Wine Ways (VIC) Judges’ comments: Aromas of plum, raspberry and liquorice precede a palate of dark chocolate and raspberry with textural tannins. A long and delicate finish.

Adelaide Hills Taylors St Andrews Shiraz 2015

Taylors The Pioneer Shiraz 2013

RRP: $70 Region: Clare Valley Distributor: Taylors Wines Judges’ comments: Very complex aromas of white pepper, oak and warm spice. This wine has great intensity. Notes of plum, cassis, blackcurrant, cedar and toast. Minerality and chalky tannins. This gorgeous flavour profile will only benefit from further ageing.

RRP: $200 Region: Clare Valley Distributor: Taylors Wines Judges’ comments: This broody wine has aromas of rich mocha chocolate, spice and musk, along with leather and earth. It is a very structured wine, with flavours of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, mocha, dessicated leaves, leather, mushroom and thyme. It is integrated and balanced now, but is sure to only get better with age.

Elysian Springs Spring Lamb Shiraz 2016 RRP: $27.50 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Empire Liquor (SA, TAS & NT), Star Beverages (NSW), Select Wines (QLD), Grape Expectations Vintners (WA) Judges’ comments: Pungent aromas of green, fresh snow peas and soft oak. Good intensity of fruit weight with complementing vanilla and toast notes. Best described as berry mocha. Very well-balanced and evolves on the palate.

Padthaway Hahndorf Hill Shiraz 2016

Morambro Creek Shiraz 2014

RRP: $45 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Rogue Wines (NSW, VIC & QLD), Fine Wine Wholesalers (WA), Jack Simmonds (SA) Judges’ comments: This medium-bodied wine has very fine spice and other notes of plum and blackcurrant. Milk chocolate tannins. This wine shows a reasonable integration of complexity.

RRP: $34.95 Region: Padthaway Distributor: Morambro Creek Wines Judges’ comments: Spice, floral, and vanilla aromas give way to rich cassis mint, eucalypt and cloves on the palate. The juicy and rich flavours are a great balance between fruit sweetness and aciditiy, rounded out with savoury oak and tannin influences.

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If you would like more information about Drinks Trade’s Tasting Bench, contact

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THE PATRITTI WAY Patritti, Adelaide’s only 100% family-owned urban winery, has been around for over 90 years. Founder Giovanni Patritti was one of the first Italian immigrants to arrive in South Australia in 1926, after boarding a boat he thought was headed to the United States and unintentionally landed in Adelaide. Unable to speak a word of English, he progressed rapidly and, just a year later, he was leasing vineyards in the Brighton District and making European style table wine for other “new Australians”. By the late 1920s, Giovanni had built a winery that he continued to expand over the following decades.


oon, barrels of Patritti wine could be found across Australia, including the cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Alice Springs and Darwin; Coober Pedy and Andamooka in the outback; regional Victoria and New South Wales; and the sugarcane fields in Innisfail, Queensland. Patritti also owned bottle shops in Queensland and Adelaide. In 1960, Patritti needed new land to keep up with the growing wine business. The natural choice was the nearby region of McLaren Vale. Two sites, one in Blewitt Springs and the other in Tatachilla, were purchased and planted with shiraz and grenache. Today, these very mature, high-quality McLaren Vale vineyards produce excellent fruit for the family’s icon and premium wines. The Patritti winery also remains on the same site as its original construction; a fully operational winery surrounded by houses in the heart of Adelaide’s suburban south. Giovanni’s grandson, James Mungall, is Patritti’s current Winemaker and General Manager. He’s passionate about the heritage of the winery, “It means a lot to me, carrying on the business my Grandfather started. When my Nonno came from Italy, he leased, then purchased a piece of dirt. It is the same dirt we are still making wine from and using the original cellar.”

RETURNING TO ITS ROOTS When Giovanni passed away in 1968, his winemaking legacy was handed down to his three sons, Peter, John and Geoff, and daughter Ines. In 2001, Giovanni’s grandson, James Mungall joined Patritti, working alongside his uncles, before taking over winemaking duties in 2004. 58|drinks trade

The three brothers, Peter, John and Geoff in the barrel shed

James was joined by his friend and fellow oenology classmate, Ben Heide in 2006. At their hand, Patritti has undergone a total metamorphosis, refocusing winemaking efforts on the production of premium wine, most notably shiraz and grenache from the estate vineyards in McLaren Vale, and the addition of alternative varietals, such as saperavi and trincadeira. They have also worked towards re-establishing the company’s domestic wine distribution after focus was placed on international distribution from the 1970s onwards. Patritti has been awarded a red five-star winery rating by world-renowned wine icon, James Halliday, and maintains this ranking by receiving over 90 points for multiple wines each year. The first release of its flagship wine, JPB Limited Release McLaren Vale Shiraz, was given 96 points, with each of the four subsequent releases all scoring 97 points. In September 2017, Patritti launched its first range of wines curated specifically for the modern domestic market. The Merchant Series delivers premium wine from South Australia’s premier wine regions. The range was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Giovanni, with each label featuring photographs and stories that depict the lighter moments in its history. The range includes six wines: pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills, and GSM, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon from McLaren Vale. That same month, Patritti secured its first distributor in the domestic market, Vinsight in New South Wales, and is now working to grow their distribution across the eastern seaboard in 2018.

Current Patritti Winemaker, Ben Heide

Current Winemaker and General Manager and Giovanni’s grandson, James Mungall

ALTERNATIVE VARIETALS In the spirit of their father and grandfather, Patritti’s second and third generation winemakers have focused on innovation through adopting alternative varietals to further enhance its reputation for premium wine. During the late 1990s, a Georgian winemaker working at Patritti arrived at the winery with a bottle of saperavi - Georgia’s principal red grape variety. Everyone was impressed with the wine’s great colour, structure and acidity, and needed no further convincing. Saperavi cuttings were sourced and negotiations with Patritti’s oldest grower in the Barossa Valley started. Not long after, one of Australia’s first saperavi vineyards was planted for Patritti. Trincadeira originates from the north of Portugal and was historically used in Australia for fortified wine production. In the early 2000s, a vineyard in the Barossa, where Patritti had been sourcing grapes for many years, changed hands. The new owner found a small section of unkept trincadeira vines. The vines were tidied and the

fruit offered to Patritti the following vintage. The resulting wine was intense yet subtle with a delicious and complex flavour profile. With tiny plantings of this variety in Australia, it is likely that Patritti’s is the only example of an Australian dry red varietal trincadeira table wine.

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RRP: $26 each • Distributor: Angullong (NSW Central West), L’Atelier Wines (Sydney, Melbourne, SA and WA) We’re seeing more Australian winemakers innovate with European varietals for the fact that they’re well suited to our warm climate, but in the case of Angullong Vineyard, the winery is finding success with the Spanish tempranillo and Northern Italian barbera varieties due to Orange’s cool climate. Last year, the 2016 Angullong Fossil Hill Tempranillo won two trophies and two gold medals, while the 2016 Angullong Fossil Hill Barbera won two gold medals. The tempranillo is very quenchable; it’s low in tannin, extremely juicy with vibrant cherry flavour and smooth texture. The barbera on the other hand, is higher in acid and tannin and rich, but all in balance, with intriguing cherry, herb and spice flavours.





2. BATCH X SHIRAZ AND SANGIOVESE 2016 RRP: $20 each (exclusive to independents) • Distributor: Accolade Wines You’d be forgiven for thinking that this new release should appear in our beer releases section, but Batch X’s unusual packaging has a purpose, which is to break the traditional wine mould and meet evolving consumer demands, according to Accolade Wines. We think Batch X meets its purpose, standing out on the shelf and offering something different for wine drinkers to try or to take to an outdoor event. We also like the straightforward descriptors, which include scales depicting sweet to dry and light to full-bodied. Drinks Trade’s most recent wine panel was also impressed, trying the shiraz for the first time and putting it forward as one of the top wines. Find out what they had to say on page 54. The sangiovese is said to have crushed burnt spice, a touch of tang with berry jam and fine tannins. More varietals from Batch X are expected to follow.

3. KATNOOK ESTATE NEW VINTAGES RRP: Founder’s Block Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($18), Founder’s Block Shiraz 2016 ($20), Estate Shiraz 2015 ($40) • Distributor: Wingara Wine Group Katnook Estate’s Founder’s Block wines have always been affordable and aim to showcase Coonawarra character. The new Founder’s Block Sauvignon Blanc has everything you’d want from this varietal – guava, lime, passionfruit and zingy acidity. The Founder’s Block Shiraz has a pleasant rich berry fruit aroma and flavour when drinking now, but we’d like to see what develops in a couple of years. It was the 2015 Estate Shiraz that got us talking. It’s rich, with blackberries and pepper spice; beautifully integrated and made to age – up to 15 years.



4. RIDGE OF TEARS ORANGE AND MUDGEE SHIRAZ 2016 RRP: $45 • Distributor: Logan Wines Each year, winemaker Peter Logan creates two premium shiraz, one from Mudgee and one from Orange, to showcase the influence of terroir from the regions. Despite being relatively close together in NSW, the Orange vineyard experiences cool to mild days and cold nights, at 400 metres higher in altitude with volcanic soils. The lower Mudgee vineyard, which still sits at 564 metres altitude, has warm days, cold nights and ironstone and quartz gravelly loam soil. The 2016 vintage was a great vintage across the NSW Central Ranges and that is reflected in both wines. The Orange shiraz has red fruit, spice, savoury and smoky aromas, while the palate is complex and elegant with spice and red berry flavours. The Mudgee shiraz, on the other hand, is bright, juicy and textural with blue, black and red fruits, bitter chocolate and an earthy character.

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James Young holds the Champion Australian Distiller trophy at the 2018 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards


ORLANDO MARZO WORLD CLASS BARTENDER OF THE YEAR Orlando Marzo from Lume Restaurant in Melbourne was recently crowned the Australian Bartender of the Year at the Diageo World Class 2018 competition. Marzo rose his way up through more than 500 entrants and was the most successful bartender during four live cocktail challenges against 19 others at Fred’s Bar in Paddington. He will now go on to compete at the World Class Global Finals in Berlin this October. “I’ve met so many great people and made so many great connections during the competition. I’m incredibly proud to call Australia home and I cannot wait to represent you all,” said Marzo.

OLD YOUNG’S NAMED CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN DISTILLER Old Young’s in WA was named Champion Australian Distiller for the second year running at the 2018 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards held in Melbourne recently. The award came off the back of seven medals for a range of its spirits. Other winning distilleries included Hellyers Road, which was presented with the Champion Whisky trophy for its Slightly Peated 10YO Single Malt Whisky and Anther Spirits, which took home Champion Gin with its Anther Gin. Champion Vodka was awarded to White Light Beverages for its Vodka Original; Champion Rum went to Beenleigh Artisan Distillers for its Double Barrel and Champion Brandy was given to St Agnes Distillery for its XO Grand Reserve.

STOCKADE BREW CO. FINDS A PLACE TO CALL HOME Members of the public will finally be able to visit popular craft beer producer, Stockade Brew Co., when it opens its new brewery, tasting room and bar in Marrickville, Sydney this May. The young team of four has been making its beers in a brewery not open to the public in Smeaton Range, NSW since 2015. The success of the beers however, prompted them to decide to build a home open to the masses, giving consumers the chance to visit their space, try the beers, grab a bite to eat and take part in master classes and tours. Anton Szpitala of Stockade Brew Co. said, “We’ve been really fortunate to have earned a lot of support for our beers over the last few years, so opening a space in the home of Sydney micro-brewing felt like the natural progression. “A brewery is a place for a beer drinker to connect with brewers and the process behind it, so having the tasting room at the heart of the warehouse brings this to the forefront.” 62|drinks trade

Mount Pleasant Wines shows the visitors a range of its award-winning wines

WINE AUSTRALIA BRINGS INTERNATIONAL TRADE DOWN UNDER Influential wine trade and media from countries such as China mainland, Hong Kong, Canada and the US were invited to explore some of Australia’s top wine regions by Wine Australia last month. The tour was funded by the new Government Export and Regional Wine grant of $50 million. The group got to visit wineries, meet winemakers, try local wines and take part in master classes, helping them to learn about and promote Australian wine back at home. Hosting regions included the Adelaide Hills, Hunter Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Margaret River. Not everyone was happy about the initiative however, with winemakers from the Riverina - one of the regions missed from the tour - expressing disappointment about not being included. Speaking on behalf of the region, Andrew Calabria from Calabria Family Wines said to Area News: “We are an important part of the Australian winemaking fabric and we are continuously being over shadowed by other regions.”

International guests get their hands dirty at Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter Valley

RUM YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS? His Royal Highness Prince Charles decided to pay the Bundaberg Rum Distillery a visit during his trip to Australia in April. The Prince of Wales was joined by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and was hosted on a private tour and Blend Your Own Rum experience at the distillery. During the special tasting inside the Bundaberg Rum Barrel House, Prince Charles said he could detect “fruit cake” overtones, according to sources present. Later, when he was shown how to blend his own Bundaberg Rum to take back to the UK, he expressed that it reminded him of “chemistry class.” His Royal Highness also said: “I’m thrilled that this distillery’s proving to be one that produces some of the most famous and special of all rums around the world.”

Prince Charles finds “fruit cake” overtones during a special private tasting at the distillery

His Royal Highness gets down to business in a Blend Your Own Rum experience, creating two bottles to take home to the UK

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(L-R) Blair Joscelyne, Gregory Llewellyn, Naomi Hart and Marty Mulholland

AN UNUSUAL PARTNERSHIP What happens when a couple of car geeks join together with one of Sydney’s most successful hospitality duos? A bar/restaurant… Naturally! Renowned names in the industry, Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart of Hartsyard fame, have collaborated with good friends and celebrity YouTubers Blair Joscelyne (Moog) and Marty Mulholland of Mighty Car Mods to open their new venue, Wish Bone. The décor is a definite nod to Moog and Marty’s motorcycle world, with ‘wish bone’ suspension used to support the tables and a colour scheme based on their favourite Duco colour, Nissan 240Z white. It wouldn’t be called Wish Bone without serving Hartsyard’s famous fried chicken as the speciality either, while behind the bar it will be all about the slushies and thickshakes with a nip of bourbon or tequila and pre-batched cocktails.

OUT OF THIS WORLD BEER A while back, Sydney-based brewery 4 Pines joined forces with Saber Astronautics to create Vostock, a venture dedicated to creating the world’s first beer that can be consumed in space. Not only did they succeed, they also recently decided to send one lucky consumer 32,000 feet above Earth on a zero gravity research flight to try the bevvy. Consumers could enter via Vostock’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign by pledging to buy a space beer bottle for $90USD and submitting a 50-word essay. The grand prize included a return flight from Australia, the United Kingdom or the United States to Cape Canaveral, Florida; accommodation for three nights and a seat on a ZERO-G Weightless Lab parabolic flight to test the specially formulated beer in zero gravity conditions.

SHOO ROO! Some very cheeky roos have devastated a vineyard in Canberra’s nearby wine district, costing the owners more than $80,000. Jenny Gordon and her husband, Professor Brian Schmidt, said they lost about 4,000 bottles worth of high-quality pinot noir after their Maipenrai Vineyard was ransacked by a mob of around 200 kangaroos. Ms Gordon believed that the lack of grass available due to the extremely dry winter and spring provoked the kangaroos to eat the vines; something they’d never done before. As a result, the couple picked only 50kgs from their 1.1 hectare vineyard that usually yields up to five tonne of grapes. Ms Gordon remained positive, however. She told ABC News, “Maipenrai means ‘she’ll be right’ in Thai. ‘She’ll be right’ means that when disaster happens, you’ll get through it. I guess it kind of fits.”

MELBOURNE BITTERS MADE ESKYS EVEN COOLER Iconic Melbourne beer brand Melbourne Bitters joined forces with a team of artists to breathe new life into the humble esky. Beloved used eskys were purchased from Gumtree, eBay, vintage and charity stores and were carefully hand-painted to vamp up their tired appearance and turn them into true works of art. Renowned illustrative artists Clare Hampshire, Andy Murphy, Salvador Gnarly and Steve Cohen were all brought onboard for the project, and their upcycled eskys were then sold off via silent auction to provide funds for Support Art, a charity that assists musicians and artists in need.

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A vibrant new look For over 20 years, Promised Land has been a favourite for Australian wine drinkers. Now for its 20th anniversary we've given this iconic range a contemporary and striking new design painted by internationally renowned Australian artist Catherine Abel. Still featuring its iconic seahorse, the new label pays homage to the discovery of fossilised seahorses on our family's estate and the promise of its rich fertile soils.

For more information speak to your Taylors Wines representative or call on 1300 655 691. 66|drinks trade

Discover the Promised Land

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The Spirit of the Caribbean:





Havana Club





Coruba Smith & Cross






Pyrat Rum






Brinley Gold GUATEMALA

Chairman's Res8erve Elements



Ron Zacapa








Pampero Diplomatico

Malibu Gay t n u o M ra Angostu Bumbu y a B n lio el Reb






The Spirit of the Caribbean:


A region rather than a single entity, the Caribbean is a series of islands that has long captured the imagination of everyone from empire-minded monarchs to singers, artists and of course, rum distillers. Discover the rum brands made in this beautiful part of the world and what makes them unique.










Available from Bacardi-Martini Australia | RRP $44.99 | ABV 37.5% | 700ml | Casa Bacardí, Puerto Rico

Available from Campari Australia | RRP $53.99 | ABV 40% | 700ml | Appleton Estate, Jamaica

Available from La Rumbla Imports | RRP $340 | ABV 41%| 700ml | Distillery Ron Cubaney, Dominican Republic

Available from Cerbaco Distribution | RRP $99 | 43% ABV | 700ml | Rhum Barbancourt distillery, Haiti

Available from Cerbaco Distribution | RRP $99 | 42% ABV | 700ml | Damoiseau distillery, Guadeloupe

Available from Cerbaco Distribution | RRP $93 | 40% ABV | 700ml | Habitation Sainte Etienne distillery, Martinique

Available from Cerbaco Distribution | RRP $107 | 40% ABV | 700ml | St. Lucia Distillers Group of Companies, St. Lucia

Available from Quittin’ Time | RRP $89.99 | ABV 40% | 700ml | Foursquare Distillery, Barbados

Available from Quittin’ Time | RRP $79.99 | ABV 40% | 700ml | Demerara Distillers Limited, Guyana

From the very beginning, Bacardí founder Don Facundo understood that to make a rum that was light-bodied, smooth and well-balanced, it was important to control every element of the production process. As a successful importer of European wines and spirits, Don Facundo had established a working knowledge of the production techniques used by European spirit producers. Along with the firsthand distillation experience he picked up, he began to develop a revolutionary rum-making process that would change the way that rum was made forever. The flagship Bacardí rum, Bacardí Superior, is a light and aromatic white rum that is ideal for mixing, with delicate floral and fruity notes. The blend is complex, due to being shaped by the Maestros de Ron Bacardi to ensure that no single flavour note dominates. The primary flavours of Bacardí Superior are floral notes of orange blossom, lavender and rose, and fruity notes of apricot, lime citrus, light coconut and ripe banana. These are supported by hints of almond, marzipan and light vanilla, which gives it a creamy mouth feel.

The beautiful Appleton Estate is located on fertile land nestled in the lush Nassau Valley, hidden deep in the heart of Jamaica. It is here that a distinct rum using a single estate approach to express terroir is created. The unique influence of the weather, soil and geographic demarcations in the Valley make Appleton Estate rum like no other. Further emphasis is placed on sourcing ingredients locally. Sugar cane used in the rums is grown and processed in the Valley, the spring water is filtered through local limestone hills and a natural culture of yeast is propagated by the Estate. The production of rum at Appleton Estate is considered an art and a craft, and one that goes back for over two and a half centuries, each year capturing the spirit of Jamaica. Every rum is made using copper pot and column distillation and then aged in first select American oak barrels. The Signature Blend is a flagship rum of Appleton Estate, created from a blend of 15 different aged rums. It has a bouquet of complex citrus, fruity and sweet notes, dried apricot, fresh peach, a hint of molasses and wood, and subtle orange peel. It is this last note that is the hallmark of Appleton Estate rums.

Cuba has always enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s foremost producers of rum and in the late nineteenth century, the Oliver family was producing some of the finest local examples. It all started with Juanillo Oliver, a Catalan and Mallorcan, who migrated to Cuba with his family. They began cultivating tobacco and sugarcane, and shortly thereafter artisanal rums and brandies. That all came to a halt, however, when the revolution arrived, forcing many of the Oliver family to flee for fear of their lives. It wasn’t until the 1980s that a new generation of the family, Pedro Ramon Lopez Oliver, started up the family’s rum production once again after returning to Cuba and stumbling on the legacy. He chose the Ron Cubaney name to acknowledge the rum’s Cuban ancestry. The award-winning Ron Cubaney Centenario Ultra-Premium Rum is aged for up to 30 years and has an extensive, balanced bouquet that shows notes of vanilla, chocolate and toffee, as well as orange, plum and mango. On the palate, the rum is warm, firm and complex, with a creamy consistency.

A distillery that prides itself on using production methods over 150 years old. Established by Dupre Barbancourt in 1862, a French man who emigrated from Cognac to Haiti, these unique methods were used then and are still used today to create a rum that was as good as or better than Cognac. Such methods include double distillation and ageing in limousine oak barrels. Further to that, the distillery only uses locally grown, pure sugar cane purchased directly from the farmers of Haiti. As such, most of Barbancourt’s rums are labelled with the Rhum Agricole designation, which translates to cane juice rum. Barbancourt’s Réserve Spéciale Rum, at last count, had won 22 medals. It is aged for at least eight years and is a powerful and fruity rum with notes of vanilla, pepper, cooked and citrus fruits of prune and orange.

Damoiseau rums are made on the unique Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, famed for its terroir, which is perfect for sugarcane cultivation. The quality of this sugarcane is expressed in Damoiseau’s rums, which only use freshly squeezed sugar cane juice instead of molasses. It was Mister Rimbaud who found the lands of Guadeloupe, leaving his home in Martinique to establish the Bellevue Distillery in the village of Le Moule at the end of the 19th century. But it was Roger Damoiseau who bought the distillery in 1942 and founded the Rhum Damoiseau brand name. Damoiseau rums are aged in ex-bourbon oak barrels, which give them their hallmark amber colour and notes of wood. The Damoiseau VO is aged for a minimum of three years in these oak barrels and has rich and complex aromatics and flavours of wood, dried fruits and spices.

The home of Habitation Saint Etienne or HSE rum is the French-esque island of Martinique in the Caribbean. Like many rum distilleries in this vibrant part of the world, HSE started out as a sugar refinery in the early 19th century. It was the young entrepreneur Amédée Aubéry who later purchased HSE and converted it into a distillery. Today, HSE is well known for ageing its rums in cask-finished woods, including Cognac, whisky, sherry and bourbon casks that impart a unique and distinctive character and flavour on the rums. HSE has also pioneered the same principles of maturation with its rums that many innovative single malt Scotch whisky producers use. The Black Sheriff is a blend of three to four-year-old rums, mainly aged in American bourbon barrels from Kentucky and Missouri. The hallmark style of HSE is light and drinkable and the Black Sheriff is well balanced, with a round mouthfeel and subtle fruity aromas and flavours.

Admiral Rodney tells the tale of the British admiral who captured St Lucia from France. Resilient by nature, today the Saint Lucia Distillery is the last remaining on the island and the most awarded distillery in the Caribbean. Its Extra Old Rum, as an example, has won an impressive 27 awards. Admiral Rodney’s signature method is to create rums in small batches from pot and column stills and then age them separately in oak barrels before blending them and ageing them again. The Extra Old Rum is a super premium blend of rums aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon and whisky American oak casks. As a result, the rum has an intense mahogany colour; the nose is complex with rich honey fruit aromas of prunes, sweet raisins and wellintegrated oak toast; and the palate is concentrated with velvety caramel crème brûlée, vanilla, spice and chocolate.

The history of Doorly’s rum starts with Martin Doorly & Co., the first to export rum from the island of Barbados under the Doorly Macaw Rum trademark. Prior to that, the 1906 Rum Duty Act, which made it difficult for many to get a licence and meant distilleries had to sell in bulk, had forced Martin Doorly to operate as a bottler only. Later down the track, Doorly’s Rum was sold to the Foursquare Distillery. It is here tucked away in the middle of a sugar cane plantation in the countryside of Barbados - that Doorly’s is made under the expert guidance of Richard Seale. Seale is a very well respected distiller and has won many awards globally for his rums. A trademark of the Foursquare Distillery is that they blend before and after ageing. To that effect, Doorly’s XO is a blend of six to ten-year-old rums that are first aged in American oak and then finished in Spanish oloroso sherry casks, which adds a lovely character to the rum. Doorly’s XO has no added sugar or flavouring and is well worth a try if you can get hold of a bottle.

Rum production in the county of Demerara in Guyana dates back to the first days of Dutch colonisation and the beginning of sugar production in 1658. Eventually, there were over 300 sugar estates that were also producing their own rum locally. As the global export market opened, these Demerara Rums became famed worldwide and today, the name is protected for use by only those still producing in the county. Demerara Distillers Limited, home of El Dorado rum, is the last remaining distillery in Guyana at Plantation Diamond, on the east bank of the Demerara River. Here, they have consolidated or recreated all of the old stills originally used by the producers. The 12 Year Old is a unique blend of specially selected aged rums from the Enmore and Diamond Coffey stills and the very old Port Mourant double wooden pot still. The result is a luscious tropical fruit and spice nose, with extra hints of honey and dark sugar. On the palate, the rum is round, mellow and full-bodied with powerful fruit, tobacco, orange, leather and toasty oak flavours.

Drinks Trade issue 64 May/June  
Drinks Trade issue 64 May/June