your news, your views March/April 2018 issue 63
JAMES IRVINE Talks Tools of the Trade Behind The Trend:
APÉRITIFS & DIGESTIFS Australia’s Love Affair with the
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN WINE, SWIFT & MOORE EXCLUSIVE, AUSTRALIA’S BEST BEER BARS, WOMEN OF THE INDUSTRY
06 Meet: James Irvine, Swillhouse Group
34 New Product Releases: Spirits
08 An Open Door to Swift & Moore
42 New Product Releases: Beer and Cider
23 Just Can’t Get Enough: Australia’s Love Affair
16 Meet: Shane Richardson, Coca-Cola Amatil
48 Tasting Bench: Chardonnay
18 Accolade Winemakers:
61 New Product Releases: Wine
with Coffee Cocktails
52 The Story of Yalumba
65 Trade Activity
36 Australia’s Best Beer Bars
The Wines You Should Try in 2018
66 The Eye 44 Apéritifs and Digestifs: Behind The Trend 55 Grenache, Chardonnay and The Cube:
20 Anti-Competitive of Just Fair Game:
Beer Tap Contracts
59 Something Old, Something New:
A Fresh Look at Australian Grenache
62 #PressforProgress: Women of the Industry
PUBLISHER the drinks association
Welcome to a jam-packed edition of Drinks Trade. We cover everything from legislation to the latest trends, hot topics, newest distributors and product recommendations in this issue - I am sure you’ll find something of interest. I am amazed that it’s March and so much has happened between the break over Christmas and New Year that seems like an all too distant memory, and now. In particular, there’s been a lot of noise in the regulatory space with the Container Deposit Scheme in NSW still causing issues, new reforms to the Liquor Control Amendment Bill in WA and a minimum floor price on alcohol introduced in the NT. I am led to believe this final piece of legislation could also roll out into other states. More on these in our news pages (10-14). We also throw the issue of the competitive (or anticompetitive) nature of beer tap contracts back onto your radar with a lawyer’s thoughts on page 20. Winemakers have been busy across the country with vintage well underway and already wrapping up in places like the Hunter Valley. I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings us. For more on wine, find the results from our Chardonnay Tasting Bench on page 48, an in-depth profile on leading Australian wine business Yalumba on page 52 and the ever-entertaining Ben Canaider’s wrap-up of SA wine on page 55. A topic close to home for myself and many others in our industry, and one that got brought to the surface at Women in drinks’ International Women’s Day Lunch on 3 March was gender balance and diversity - two things statistics show that we as an industry could be doing better at. Read my thoughts on page 62, where I also list the groups open to women in hospitality and other areas to join for peer and career support. I’m excited that we have our first on-premise focus on the front cover of this issue. For those that don’t already know James Irvine, he’s the 2017/18 BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition Australian winner and Group Beverage Director at Swillhouse Group. A young and humble guy, he shares how others behind the bar can progress their skills, even without access to direct training programs or competitions, starting on page 6. I know a few of you have been interested in finding out what’s been happening at Swift & Moore, and we finally got the exclusive on pages 8-9. Discover the latest trends in drinks including coffee (page 23) and aperitifs and digestifs on page 44 onwards. Don’t miss the best beer bars on page 36 either, as voted by you. We’ll look at the best beer bottle shops in the next issue.
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Other drinks association publications include: drinks bulletin drinksbulletin.com.au drinks guide drinksguide.com.au drinks yearbook
EDITORIAL PUBLISHING EDITOR Ashley Pini .......................... firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Hannah Sparks ....................................... email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Stephanie Aikins................... firstname.lastname@example.org DIGITAL EDITOR Alana House............................... AlanaH@drinks.asn.au DRINKS CURATOR Ben Davidson........................... email@example.com PHOTOGRAPHER Ryan Stuart CONTRIBUTORS Ben Canaider, Brett Heffernan, Fiona McLay, Kellie Northwood, Mary Parbery, Sam Reid, Sandy Hathaway, Simon Strahan and Simone Allan
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I hope you have a great trading period over Easter (1 April – not far away now). Always feel free to reach out to me with suggestions and ideas about what you’d like to see in the magazine to help support your businesses - firstname.lastname@example.org Hannah Sparks, Editor - Hip Media
TALKS TOOLS OF THE TRADE James Irvine had no idea when he started bartending at university that it would be this, not his studies, that would drive his future career. From humble beginnings, Irvine has worked his way up to Group Beverage Director at Swillhouse Group (behind The Baxter Inn, Shady Pines Saloon, Frankie’s Pizza and Restaurant Hubert in Sydney) and to win the Australian finals of the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2017/18 with his drink the Bocado. It’s been an incredible few months for Irvine, who will head to Mexico City in April to take on the global stage. Talking to Irvine, you quickly realise a few things that have been key to his success. It’s not about investing in expensive training programs or working in top end bars straight away, but practise, books and a strong team behind you that will get you far in this game. Discover the tools that Irvine used to succeed his trade.
Drinks Trade: How did you first get into hospitality? James Irvine: There’s no romance behind my origins, I had to work nights because I was at university, and the best way to do that was to pick up a bar job. I started earning some coin as a bar back in a big pub in Darling Harbour. Ironically, I spent most of that on booze on my nights off (laughs). Then one night the venue needed extra hands on the bar – I had no idea what I was doing, but they kept training me up on the fundamentals of service and I eventually worked up the ranks to the cocktail bar upstairs. I had no original endeavours to be in hospitality, but when I finished my degree I found myself still working at the cocktail bar and it just kind of went on from there. DT: Are you still glad that you chose this career path? JI: Yes, but I’m also glad that I finished my degree. A lot of people who start off the same way as I did don’t end up completing their degrees, but I think it’s important to finish what you’ve started - that’s a piece of advice I’d give to all young 6|drinks trade
bartenders out there. It’s a good life skill to be able to apply yourself to something. DT: How old were you when you joined Swillhouse Group? JI: I started working at Shady Pines aged 23. I was the Creative Assistant to Marketing Manager Barry Chalmers at the time, so was coming up with new drinks for the menu. It took me two years to work my way up from that role to Beverage Director. DT: That was quite a young age to be involved in creating drinks for the menu. Did you feel confident in what you were doing then? JI: I look back at those drinks now and go hmm. The first one I ever made was like a diabetic coma waiting to happen (laughs). I don’t think it had anything to do with the Group or the direction; it was just how we made drinks five years ago. But I like to look back and see that the way I make drinks now has changed. It’s all about adaptability – don’t rest on your laurels, you can change your stride.
DT: From your first role behind the bar to your role today, what has been key to your learnings? JI: I think it’s a combination of what you have in front of you and what you can research on your own. I’m a firm believer in that you can look at great bars around the world and ask yourself, ‘How can I make drinks like that?’ I think it’s as easy as doing a few shifts a week, making sure that you focus on one component at a time and building up your skill-set from there. One thing that we focus on for young, rookie bartenders is the way that they build their drinks. It could be the garnish, the amount of ice they use or if they use the jigger properly – the amount of bartenders you see using their tools incorrectly is incredible. I also recommend reading in your own time. There are great manuals and guides that you can use. Some bars have their own cocktail manual such as PDT and Dead Rabbit in New York, then Eau de Vie back in Australia, which you can replicate at home to some extent. Then if you’re looking to expand on that, there’s The Modern Cocktail by Matt Whiley,
Drinks by Tony Conigliaro and Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold. DT: Jason and Anton are behind Swillhouse Group. How old were they when they started their hospitality portfolio and how did it all happen? JI: Before Swillhouse Group came about, Sydney was mostly made up of big venues and beer gardens. There’s nothing wrong with those, however, the boys saw a gap in the market that they could take advantage of with a small bar licence. Also, the bars that were doing cocktails at the time were maybe doing them a little too seriously. The boys saw the opportunity to open a dive bar that you could go to in jeans or shorts and thongs, have a good time and order a really good cocktail, but it wasn’t promoted in that way. So they opened Shady Pines eight years ago. Anton would have been around 26 at the time and Jason around 36. About a year later, they opened The Baxter Inn and in between that two of their staff opened Tio’s Cerveceria. Then between Baxters and Frankies Pizza, other staff started branching
BOCADO GLASSWARE: Skyscraper coupette INGREDIENTS: 50ml BACARDÍ Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum 12.5ml DeKuyper Creme de Bananes 10ml Noilly Prat Original Dry Vermouth 10ml Palo Cortado Sherry 3 Drops Rosemary Oil METHOD: Stir all ingredients (except rosemary oil) in a mixing glass filled 3/4 full of quality ice. Once chilled and diluted, strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a single, dense (preferably spherical) piece of ice. GARNISH: Garnish with three drops of rosemary oil, creating a drizzle effect.
off and opening Earl’s Juke Joint, The Cliff Dive and Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern. Now Anton and Jason have Restaurant Hubert as well. DT: So it sounds like they inspired others to open their own small bars? JI: They didn’t just inspire people, they actually drove it and helped them. There’s no sight of competition with someone that’s worked with them and wants to open their own venue. It’s actually one of the first questions they ask you: ‘What are your aspirations?’ ‘Do you want to stay in this industry?’ And when someone says they want to open their own place, they think it’s great. It’s one of the good foundations of Swillhouse; we think we can teach anyone the ropes of the industry. DT: When you’re not going out for a fancy drink, where are you going? JI: The Lord Dudley Hotel in Woollahra. I love it. And recently in the CBD, The Duke of Clarence, which was just opened by Mikey Enright and Julian Train.
DT: You entered BACARDÍ Legacy five years ago and made it into the Top Five. In 2017, you came back to the competition and just recently won. Firstly, congratulations. Secondly, what has that journey been like for you? JI: It was my first competition the first time around (I was working in Hinky Dinks, which has since gone) and Fred Siggins won it, rightfully so. I didn’t enter again until last year, not because I was jaded or anything, but because I didn’t know how to do it again. This time, however, it felt right. We had a really, really good campaign and I say we, because the Bacardi NSW team really got behind me and the campaign and pushed it. I think we got it out to over one million people in three months. We made the drink 750 times and got about
22,000 likes on social media – it was big and those are the numbers you want to take to the global finals. That all came about from entering a drink into a round of 250 other people. Anyone can do it. And the beautiful thing about BACARDÍ Legacy is that it’s not just about the liquid in the glass and the serve, it’s also about the story that you present, how you present yourself and your creativity outside of the bar. It comes down to how you interact with customers to make the next classic cocktail. It’s been a great experience. DT: What made you enter the first time? JI: It was one of my first mentors, Jeremy Shipley, who’s now the Group Bars Manager at Solotel. He was like, ‘just give it a go mate’
(laughs). That’s a very Jez thing to say and it’s true – what have you got to lose? Just apply yourself and put in the effort. DT: Do you think entering both times has improved your skill set? JI: Absolutely. I mentioned some of the drinks I was making a few years ago. The one I entered the first time around was probably one of those! But I gave it a go. It’s all light-hearted fun and allows you to look back and assess yourself. You don’t want to look back and think ‘those were the best drinks I’ve made’ five years on. You want to be continuously improving. BACARDÍ is really good at fostering talent as well and has helped me a lot along the way.
PROMOTE L-R: Raff Palermo, Karen McWilliam, Bruce McMullen, Michael McShane (owner) and Taya McColl
AN OPEN DOOR TO
SWIFT & MOORE Many will know Michael McShane from his days as Managing Director of Brown-Forman Australia, a role he worked up to over 17 years and held during the company’s acquisition of Swift & Moore in 2006 and until he announced his ‘supposed’ retirement in 2016. Anyone that knows McShane well enough would have known that retirement was never really on the cards, and possibly never will be. He’s a man that loves working with people and couldn’t refuse the opportunity to do just that when it came up. So instead of golfing or heading off on luxurious cruises as most do when they retire, McShane has instead been busy rebuilding what was once one of the drinks industry’s most valued distributors. McShane knows this business better than most, having been a part of its transition to Brown-Forman back in the day and was amongst the many in the industry that thought highly of Swift & Moore’s unique way of doing business. Established by the Swift brothers in 1898, Swift & Moore has always been about people and will continue to be today. Forget emails or the odd phone call, Swift & Moore is about getting together, meeting up face-to-face, building relationships and finding the best ways to work together to grow great brands. 8|drinks trade
Little more had been said by Swift & Moore since our small news story in the July/August issue, so you could say that when we were invited in for this interview, we were a little surprised to find a full office in the quiet suburb of McMahons Point, and a drinks trolley full of brands. So, our first question of course was… Drinks Trade: Which brands are in Swift & Moore’s portfolio currently? Michael McShane: We are privileged to be able to represent some great brands. Recently joining our portfolio have been G’Vine Gin, Tullibardine Single Malt Scotch, Highland Queen Scotch Whisky, Shortcross Gin, George Remus Bourbon, Till Vodka, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal, June Liqueur, Nouaison Gin, Four Fox Sake and others. Each of our portfolio additions have been designed to meet consumer and customer needs and ensure focus for our brand partners. In spirits, we are represented in each of the key categories. Likewise, for wine we seek to ensure we represent each of the key regions across Australia, New Zealand and Champagne. We will continue to announce new brand partnerships over coming months. DT: Who is the team at Swift & Moore? MM: We are blessed to have been able to secure some great talent to date. Building our culture and diversity across the organisation has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of reintroducing the business. Within our Leadership Team is Karen McWilliam as Finance Director. Karen is a sixth generation wine family ambassador and WSET educated. Karen has over 20 years of experience as a Chartered Accountant in the agribusiness sector, having worked at both Fine Wine Partners and McWilliam’s Wines previously. Taya McColl is National Business Manager and has been in the industry for over 17 years with extensive experience in the wine and spirts sectors having
worked for Gruppo Freixenet, Campari Australia and Taylors Wines. Our Operations Director is Bruce McMullen, who has over 25 years in the industry and joins Swift & Moore after 17 years with Brown-Forman as Insights and Business Services Director Asia Pacific and previously Nielsen Research. Raff Palermo is Sales and Marketing Director. Raff has over ten years of experience across the US, UK and Asia Pacific region with Lion and Coca-Cola South Pacific and was previously Managing Director and Wine Marketing Director of Fine Wine Partners. DT: Is there room for more brands to join the portfolio? MM: With consumer tastes and preferences constantly evolving, our portfolio strategy will also continue to evolve over time. Innovation, flexibility, engaging with our trade customers while remaining focused on our consumers will constantly shape our portfolio thinking. DT: How do you remember the people and culture at Swift & Moore before and when it became Brown-Forman? MM: Swift & Moore was one of the most respected and valued beverage businesses of its day. While at various times it has represented some of the finest brands in the market, it was equally known for its customer focus, its business relationships and as a developer of talent. Relationships, people and building brands were all hallmarks of this great business. DT: What does Swift & Moore look like today in terms of its culture, people and the way of doing business? MM: Swift & Moore today seeks to
replicate some of the best attributes of this once famous brand. In a market place that is increasingly dominated by trading behaviours brought about by economic and industry changes, Swift & Moore is seeking to take learnings from the past and apply them to the current market place. A focus on developing and nurturing great talent, recognising the importance of relationships and taking the time to understand the business needs of our key trading partners, while remaining focused on consumers and building brands for the long-term will be at the core of all we do. DT: Was retirement ever really on the cards for you after leaving Brown-Forman? MM: I love working with people and the challenges that come from being a part of a team that can build brands and continue to build great businesses. Spending time with people you care about, learning every day, and interacting with businesses you enjoy doesn’t feel like retirement. There must be truth in the old saying that “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” DT: Swift & Moore announced its come-back mid-way through last year. What has the business been up to since then? MM: To reintroduce a brand such as Swift & Moore can never be taken lightly. Swift & Moore is very much a legacy and testament to the many people that developed this famous brand over many years. Our focus to date has been about acquiring the talent necessary to ensure we continue that legacy. Meeting with customers, brand owners and integrating our team and ensuring the systems and controls necessary
to support a modern enterprise are key focus areas. At the end of the day, Swift & Moore is very much a promise which can never be taken for granted. DT: Swift & Moore is based in Sydney but distributing its brands nationally. How is the business making this happen? MM: Developing a national business model requires key business partners. Being able to meet the future needs of our largest customers to our smallest, to understanding our consumers, their buying patterns and behaviours, are also key. We are lucky to have been able to develop a national logistics platform with long-term business partner Mainfreight supplying infrastructure along with our brand building relationships with key customer groups right across Australia. DT: What can we expect from Swift & Moore in the next 12 months? MM: The next twelve months will see Swift & Moore continue to integrate existing brands and introduce new brands to market while continuing to develop our culture and our people. Spending time with our customers and listening to their needs are also key. To be successful and develop our community of brands, we will continue to quietly go about business the Swift & Moore way. Success will be knowing that we have been true to the legacy that has been afforded to us.
NEWS FIGURES AND FACTS, PEOPLE AND POLICY, CORPORATE & COMMUNITY
INDUSTRY DIVIDED OVER WESTERN AUSTRALIAN LIQUOR REFORMS
CRAFT BEER TO PROVIDE JOBS New research from IBISWorld predicts that craft beer will be among the industries set to provide the strongest employment growth over the next five years. Senior Industry Analyst James Thomson from the research company chalks this up to a growing interest in premium beers, a greater emphasis on quality across liquor retailing and a shift towards craft production processes. For those eager to get involved now, TAFE NSW, The University of Newcastle and Federation University Australia all offer courses in brewing. Cicerone also provides a range of TDIS.pdf 1 12/3/18 11:56 pm courses for those looking to become a Certified Beer Server through to a Master of Beer.
Recent reforms to the Liquor Control Amendment Bill that aim to enliven hospitality and subsequently improve tourism in Western Australia, have sent the on-premise and off-premise in different directions in terms of their views. For venues, most were pleased with the changes. These included allowing restaurants and cafés in the state to serve patrons alcohol without a meal; previously, businesses had to apply for a special permit if they were under a 120-seat capacity. The changes also allow existing licensed properties to activate in areas adjacent to the venue to establish pop-up bars, participate in micro-festivals and cater short-term events away from the licenced premise using only a long-term permit. This is what Bradley Woods, CEO of the Australian Hotels Association, had to say: “The ability for existing venues to activate a space will have a direct and positive impact on job creation and ensure that Western Australia’s bars, pubs and taverns satisfy modern customer demand.” “It is encouraging to see reforms that will deliver a more tourism-friendly hospitality culture and one that will facilitate growth and job creation.” Other changes, however, were not so welcomed. In particular, the reform that bans liquor outlets of a certain size from opening within a specified radius of each other. The Government is proposing venues of 400sqm have a distance of 5km. Shane Tremble, General Manager of Corporate Services for Endeavour Drinks - the business behind Dan Murphy’s and BWS - expressed his concerns: “We strongly support the Western Australian Government’s vision to reform licensing laws to create a more modern and vibrant hospitality sector, but it makes no sense for Government to create diversity in the on-premise sector with liberalising reforms, while taking it away from the off-premise sector with greater restrictions.” He went on: “Claims that limiting store size or location will increase diversity are unfounded, not backed by any credible evidence, and clearly fail the pub test.” Get all the latest news on the WA reforms on www.drinksbulletin.com.au
EXPERIENCE THE COLOURS OF LOIRE VALLEY WINES
Enjoy Autumn... with Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc www.loirevalleywine.com @AusLoire
NORTHERN TERRITORY TO INTRODUCE MINIMUM FLOOR PRICE ON ALCOHOL The State Government in the Northern Territory has announced that it will become the first Australian jurisdiction to implement a minimum floor price on alcohol. In an interview with Darwin’s Mix 104.9, Northern Territory Attorney General Natasha Fyles specified that the Government hopes to have a minimum $1.30 floor price per standard drink for all alcoholic beverages in place by July 1; that’s 20 cents less than recommended in an alcohol review commissioned by former Northern Territory Supreme Court Chief Justice Trevor Riley in October 2017. What does that mean? A standard drink must be priced at $1.30 or above, no less. Expectedly, this stirred concerns amongst the industry, including with Fergus Taylor, Executive Director of Alcohol Beverages Australia: “Broad based consumption measures like minimum unit pricing punish responsible drinkers with big price increases but do not effectively target harmful drinkers because they are least responsive to price rises… It is very important that any trial is carefully evaluated to see exactly what impacts the new minimum price has on alcohol misuse.”
TREASURY WINE ESTATES ISSUES LAWSUIT AGAINST ‘COPYCAT’ WINE PRODUCER Treasury Wine Estates has initiated legal action over trademark infringements in the Federal Court of Australia, claiming that a ‘copycat operator’, named as Rush Rich, has exploited its famous Penfolds brand. One of the infringements includes Rush Rich using Treasury Wine Estates’ BEN FU trademark (the Chinese transliteration for Penfolds) without authorisation, which could significantly damage the reputation of the brand. Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke warns that such behaviour is unacceptable: “We are putting on notice any bad faith operators in Australia, and anyone working with these operators, that this exploitation will not be tolerated.”
NEW FACELIFT FOR YALUMBA’S 2 LITRE WINE CASK From this month onwards, Yalumba will be rolling out a new look across its Traditional and Premium Collection of 2L casks – the first major refresh of the formats since they were released over 30 years ago. The 2L cask has been an important format for the Australian wine business for some time now, with Yalumba’s Managing Director and Proprietor in 1984, Robert Hill-Smith, responsible for introducing the 2L varietal cask to this market. Despite declines in cask wine in recent years, Yalumba believes there is still an opportunity for growth in the category. Director of Strategy and Trading at Samuel Smith & Son, Paul Midolo explains: “Yalumba has long been a leader in the convenience category, maintaining significant market share for many years. Despite the challenges faced by the broader cask category, Yalumba’s 2L collection has shown resilience that is most heartening.” Yalumba’s research shows that the decline in sales of 2L casks has begun to stabilise and go so far as to return to growth for varietals such as sauvignon blanc and shiraz. “Our research has shown that 2L cask wine is a habitual and staple purchase for shoppers. Consumers embrace the many benefits our 2L cask offers; quality, single varietal, vintage wine at an affordable price and convenience. We find many shoppers purchase casks straight from the fridge while grocery shopping to enjoy with a meal. The small cask allows shoppers to enjoy wine responsibly over time, with the confidence of quality,” says Matt Taylor, Yalumba Marketing Director. The refresh includes a contemporary pack design with eco-values that still includes some of the key identifiers to keep the format recognisable among consumers. Taylor describes the new packaging further: “To ensure our consumers still recognise the pack on shelf we continue to use the key pack identifiers that were highlighted through research - the colour of the pack, the image panel and the ribbon. Not only will they stay on pack, but through the new, more contemporary look, they are now more obvious and stand out straightaway on shelf.”
New Look same great taste
CASCADE TO EXPAND BREWERY With the craft beer category set to take-off in the Asia Pacific region, Cascade has announced a major upgrade to its brewery in Tasmania. To realise this vision, parent company Carlton & United Breweries is injecting $10.3 million into the project, with $1 million contributed by the Tasmanian Government, which will result in a 65% increase in production at Cascade. Local Tasmanians will also reap the benefit of more jobs, as positions are set to open in construction as well as ongoing full-time jobs.
Will Hodgman, Premier of Tasmania with Cascade Brewery Manager Anita Holdsworth
[YELLOW TAIL] VOTED WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL WINE BRAND It’s time to revisit wine brand [yellow tail] in your stores and venues after it was voted as the most powerful wine brand in the world by Wine Intelligence’s Global Brand Power Index this month. The research is based on the strength of a brand’s connection with consumers and surveyed 30 brands and 16,000 wine drinkers in total, in 15 global wine markets. [yellow tail] scored the highest on awareness, purchase, conversion, consideration, affinity and recommendation, placing it at the top of the list. [yellow tail] was also the only Australian wine brand to make it into the top five. John Casella, Managing Director - Casella Family Brands said of the news: “The vision behind [yellow tail] was to make a wine that everyone could enjoy with friends and family, no matter what the occasion. [yellow tail] is approachable, easy-drinking, and a wine that consumers happily reach for to enjoy a second glass of.” “Being recognised as the world’s number one most powerful wine brand by consumers highlights our commitment to embracing innovation while still remaining true to [yellow tail]’s brand promise. [yellow tail] is proud to offer outstanding Australian wine that consistently delivers quality, taste and value.”
COLES LIQUOR JOINS ALCOHOL BEVERAGES AUSTRALIA Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) recently welcomed Coles Liquor as a new member. Coles is the second large liqour retailer to join the panindustry body, alongside Endeavour Drinks Group (the business behind Dan Murphy’s and BWS). This is what ABA Chairman Bryan Fry had to say of the news: “Coles Liquor is a leading voice in Australian business and its membership is a great boost for the ABA operation.” As for Coles, Liquor Director Greg Davis said: “Coles is committed to promoting the responsible consumption of our products and we look forward to working with other ABA members to ensure best practice across the industry.”
SKEWED STRATEGY SKEWERED
HOW TO DRINKWISE
Brett Heffernan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Brewers Association of Australia
Simon Strahan is the CEO of DrinkWise
Bereft of scientific rigour while making unsubstantiated claims, the draft National Alcohol Strategy ignores fact and evidence to be driven by dogma. Of its 64 footnotes, only ten are peerreviewed and just four of those are from the last five years. It even cites media reports as evidence. By contrast, the Brewers Association’s submission quotes 187 scientific and factual references exposing the seismic faults in the misguided draft and debunks the bunkum within. The draft strategy is even at odds with its stated aim of a “10% reduction in harmful alcohol consumption.” Instead, it proposes population-wide reductions in consumption that disproportionately target low-to-moderate consumers. Evidence consistently shows that this population-wide approach does not equate to reducing alcohol harms. The draft strategy is intellectually dishonest and completely out-of-step with community expectations. Many of its policy prescriptions are based on questionable, discredited or cherry-picked research. Meanwhile, scant acknowledgement is given to official government data demonstrating consistent improvements in Australia’s drinking culture over the last 40-plus years. These include consumption per capita falling decade on a decade since the 1970s and underage drinking continuing a steep decline, with 82% of 12-17-year-olds abstaining in 2016, compared to 54.3% in 2004. The draft strategy explicitly seeks to exclude industry from all future consultation and denies the sector a seat on the proposed Alcohol Reference Group, despite industry-led initiatives that effectively target alcohol harms through DrinkWise Australia and the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code. If a workable, evidence-based National Alcohol Strategy is to be achieved, the industry needs to be a partner not ostracised.
The success of DrinkWise programs over the past year was underpinned by a sustained focus on evidence-based campaigns and the understanding that coordination and collaboration with suppliers, stakeholders, industry and government can deliver exceptional results. Our research shows that more Australians are drinking within health guidelines and that the rate of underage drinking is decreasing, mirroring government statistics (more info in the DrinkWise lauds AIHW alcohol findings media release on drinkwise.org.au). While these results are encouraging and suggest that our nation’s relationship with alcohol is fundamentally changing to one that is more mature and responsible, DrinkWise will continue to focus on the misuse of alcohol that causes harm at the individual, family and community level. DrinkWise will also undertake a comprehensive engagement program with government, stakeholders and industry in 2018 to ensure that program benefits are widely known and understood. This will pave the way for our partners and stakeholders to proactively identify opportunities for moderation message integration. Industry can assist by adopting the DrinkWise developed messages within their own sponsorships or retail promotions wherever possible. Active support by all producers, large or small, is key to amplifying our work beyond what we could achieve on our own. Get the Facts and pregnancy messaging on products and packaging are very simple ways to demonstrate support, for example. For further information about DrinkWise and how our moderation messages can be easily incorporated into your advertising, sponsorships and activities, please contact email@example.com.
PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CIDER Sam Reid is the President of Cider Australia If any of you have been following what we do at Cider Australia, you would know that provenance is incredibly important to us. We believe that like wine, all drinkers should know where the apples used to make their cider are sourced from. It’s been a longrunning position of ours; one that myself and Cider Australia have spent many hours lobbying, cajoling and generally being as noisy as we can about. Unfortunately, from a regulatory position, we have generally been hitting our heads against a brick wall as there are many more powerful and far better-funded industry bodies that don’t want to see this happen. From a position of despondency, I can now say I’m feeling really positive about the future of the Australian cider industry as we have recently entered into a funding agreement with Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) to certify producers using Australian apples with the ‘100% Aussie Apples’ logo. While this doesn’t mean all producers will be required to clearly label where their fruit is sourced from, by default, those not supporting Australian growers by using Australian apples will be easier to identify. Of course, at Cider Australia, we aren’t against foreign apples or ciders quite the opposite; some of the best ciders in Australia are imported from the UK and France, and proudly labelled as such. We just hope that this initiative will start drinkers asking questions about where the apples in their cider are sourced from and begin to understand and question the differences. The certification process will take time to establish, however, I would expect to see the 100% Aussie Apples logo on the first products later this year, with the logo likely to hit shelves at scale by next summer. The program is only available to Cider Australia members, and so we’d encourage anyone who wants to get involved to join as soon as they can.Cheers!
TALKING SHOP: AMATIL’S ALCOHOL AND COFFEE MANAGING DIRECTOR, SHANE RICHARDSON
After another positive year for Alcohol and Coffee at Coca-Cola Amatil (up by 11.2% in earnings before interest and tax, representative of $49.7 million through the year), we decided to sit down with Shane Richardson, Managing Director of the business, to find out what drove growth in 2017 and what’s on the cards in terms of trends, acquisitions, new releases and the contentious NSW Container Deposit Scheme in 2018.
Drinks Trade: Looking back on the year, what were the biggest trends driving growth for the alcohol and coffee business? Shane Richardson: Across our portfolio, we saw brands such as Canadian Club continue to experience the same accelerated growth it has experienced for the last four or five years. Our beer portfolio continues to evolve; both in the premium imported and craft beer segments, and the acquisition of Feral Brewing helped to round out a strong beer offering for the business. In terms of coffee, this is becoming more of a continued offering in bars, pubs and clubs, rather than a new offering. What we’re seeing is an increase of better quality coffee in all of these types of venues. We’re working in that space with our capsules to give people whose core offering is not coffee the opportunity to deliver a great coffee. DT: What are the key trends you’re predicting for this year? SR: Many of the trends have continued on from 2017. Canadian Club is still driving exceptional growth; it continues to bring new consumers in, working off its refreshment ques. 16|drinks trade
We’re the number one CC RTD market across the globe, which means we have overtaken the US. As I said before, we see the craft beer evolution growing not slowing. We have also recently seen a return to growth in the RTD category. That has been a good turn around for us; we started to tail off in that category in 2016, but 2017 ended up delivering some good growth. DT: Going back to the growth you talked about in craft beer currently, would the business look at anymore acquisition in the category? SR: If portfolio opportunities emerge, we would absolutely consider them. It’s a growing category that we’ll remain active in. DT: Can you talk about any upcoming new releases? SR: I can talk to one that we just recently released, our Vonu Export range, which we’re building into a lifestyle brand. We’ve rolled it out very slowly because it’s not a big, in your face sort of brand. Instead, we’re working with coastal regions and building the brand into the lifestyle there; it’s a clear glass product with a craft beer strategy behind it.
DT: In Amatil’s 2017 results, it mentioned that the NSW Container Deposit Scheme had some impact on trading. Does the business have any plans in place to better manage it now and when it roles out into other states? SR: We are still in the very early stages of the rollout. You wouldn’t say that the rollout has been very successful and the cost of the system is not very well understood. Even curbside collections haven’t been factored into the price, so it’s really, really hard to tell what the impact is going to be. This is why no one has a simple answer for you, and we’re in a holding pattern to understand what the true impact of the cost of the scheme will be. DT: Amatil is currently passing on the cost of the scheme to trade; would the business ever change that? SR: We have to pass on the cost to retailers because we are being charged with the cost of the system. This is not an opportunity for suppliers to make money; it is a big cost to run this system. I don’t think we can say we’ll make it easier, because it’s not up to us, it’s up to the government in respective states to make it easier.
Enjoy St Hallett responsibly
THE WINES YOU SHOULD TRY IN 2018 Accolade’s Finest Expo took to the road for the first time in February, making its way through Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney over the course of two weeks to showcase an impressive 250 wines from its premium portfolio to 1,300-plus members of the trade. While in Sydney, Digital Editor Alana House got to meet nine of the winemakers and managers behind several of the 34 brands on display, and asked them what their must-try wines are currently.
Senior Winemaker, Brookland Valley
Senior Winemaker, Houghton Wines
National Sales Manager, Kirrihill Wines
Must-try wine: “Our 2017 Estate Chardonnay comes from an amazing patch of fruit.” This year’s highlight: “We’re doing some clonal plantings this year for our chardonnay and cabernet, which is very exciting. We’re also releasing our first small batch rosé - and our first rosé in many years.”
Must-try wine: “The Wisdom Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is a wonderful expression. 2013 is one of the great years and I think we’re selling it too cheaply in terms of what it delivers!” This year’s highlight: “We’ve just finished the northern intake and the quality looks very good. We harvested our chardonnay in Margaret River last week and it’s looking exceptional after two difficult years.”
Must-try wine: “Our Regional Selection Riesling 2017 is a really, really good vintage. It’s drinking well now but will have a lot of life to come. It’s great value for money.” This year’s highlight: “Vintage is looking really good for both reds and whites. The quality is certainly up.”
Winemaker/Brand Ambassador, Petaluma
Sales and Marketing Manager, Willunga
Must-try wine: “Our riesling is our longeststanding wine. The 2017 is a beautiful, simple translation of the fruit. It’s a great riesling year.” This year’s highlight: “We’ve revamped the labels on our Petaluma Project wines. As the name suggests, they’re new varieties from old regions or old varieties from new regions, or other experimental wines. We only bottle 200-600 dozen and they’re only available from the cellar door, by mail order, and at some independents and restaurants.”
Must-try wine: “The Hundred Grenache is from our best vineyard. The 85-year-old vines are grown in sand and it really typifies what Mclaren Vale is all about. We’ve been giving our grenache a push over the last two years and it’s really coming into its own as a variety.” This year’s highlight: “It’s looking like it’s going to be a great vintage. It’s dry at the moment, perfect growing conditions, and our yields are up by 20%.”
Must-try wine: “The Foundation Shiraz 2014 is a pure single vineyard wine. It’s from the Clarendon edge of the Adelaide Hills and ripens about three weeks later than our other shiraz in hard, beautiful soil.” This year’s highlight: “We don’t have a cellar door, so I’m going to spend 2018 taking the brand to people. I drive a campervan I’ve converted into a mobile wine tasting counter that I drive all over the country.”
Winemaker, David Hook Wines
Winemaker, Yarra Burn
Director, Premium Winery Operations
Must-try wine: “The 2015 Central Ranges Barbera is such a food-friendly wine and has beautiful acid. I’ve been making barbera for 15 years and it’s a great Italian varietal.” This year’s highlight: “It’s looking like another great year in the Hunter; it’s really going to be a vintage to look out for.”
Must-try wine: “The Yarra Burn Vintage 2015 is a lovely complex sparkling wine with aromatics of brioche and Anzac biscuit.” This year’s highlight: “We’re doing a 100% Yarra vintage,;it’s two years in the making and the best sparkling I’ve worked on.”
Must-try wine: “The Eden Valley Riesling 2017 is amazing. In a year like 2017, nature gives you every opportunity to make a good wine and riesling is such a window to the vineyard.” This year’s highlight: “All our shiraz has ripened together, which has kept us working 24/7, but the fruit looks awesome and the weather has been great.”
ANTI-COMPETITIVE OR JUST FAIR GAME:
BEER TAP CONTRACTS IS THE CONVERSATION REALLY OVER?
Since the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) published its decision on the nature of beer tap contracts by the bigger brewers last year, it’s all gone, well, quiet. Eerily quiet. The last article we could find on the topic was just a few days after the news came out. So what are people thinking? Is there still an argument for anti-competitive behaviour or is it just fair game now? Find out what Fiona McLay, a Special Counsel with the law firm Harris Freidman, has to say.
he gathering storm of competitive rivals in craft beer has clearly spooked major brewers into believing that big brand devotion by Australian drinkers is on its way out. It’s a situation driving a turbulent marketplace where buyouts and competitive contracts are thrown around to prop-up revenue models for major brands whose sales are going backwards, because of – according to a lot of commentary – bearded hipsters. Call it what you want, the fact is that craft beers continue to eat away at major brewer’s market dominance with growth rates around 20 per cent each year. It’s a change that’s just another facet of a movement that rejects corporate style mass production over smaller bespoke alternatives. Within this evolution of consumer habits, ideas about health and environmental sustainability predominate throughout branding that bolsters a sense of individuality in the mind of the consumer, which is more than a little ironic given all of the invective about people covering their faces with beards. Competition is fierce, all the same, in takeovers and buyouts, and, more recently,
over questions about exclusive arrangements in the allocation of taps in bars. Eventually, the ACCC was stirred to action, launching an inquiry that took three years to finalise, and which, the statutory authority will not make available to public scrutiny. This is a shame, because scrutiny might allow a proper evaluation of the ACCC’s methodology, and, with due respect to the higher standards of proof required by the courts, sharing the information can only help to inform public debate on the all-important question of market power and the potential for its misuse. Of course, the ACCC has a reasonable track record safeguarding consumer interests in the fragmenting beer market. In 2014, it acted as a statutory authority defending consumer interests when it fined Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) for misrepresenting Byron Bay Pale Lager as a tipple brewed by a small brewery in Byron Bay when it was actually brewed over 600 kilometres away. The $20,000 fine levelled at CUB, which is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev) with estimated annual sales of $55 billion, will go some way towards providing a warning shot that
is really of little to no consequence. In truth, bigger interests have been gobbling up craft beer operations for years now, whenever it looks as though anything close to a significant threat is emerging. Last year, ABInBev bought Adelaide craft brewers Pirate Life and Sydney’s 4 Pines Brewing Company. Coca-Cola Amatil purchased Feral Brewing in Western Australia. Asahi bought Mountain Goat and Lion took over White Rabbit, Byron Bay Brewing and Little Creatures. All the way back to 2012, Woolworths secured exclusive rights to sell Sail and Anchor, while Coles has also launched its own private label, Steamrail Ale. From conflicts over containers, the battle has turned back to the allocation of taps. After allegations from craft brewers that major brewers were locking them out of beer taps in pubs, the ACCC’s investigation found last year that “Although some venues had exclusivity arrangements, most pubs and clubs said they did not feel constrained from allocating taps to smaller brewers and could make taps available for craft beer if necessary.” They looked at “contracts and practices at 36 venues across New South Wales and Victoria,”
which they considered a reasonable enough sample size in a nation that has over 6,000 hotels. The ACCC looked at contracts from 33 small brewers and 140 from the larger brewers; none of which are available because the ACCC values a fair approach to commercial-inconfidence as they relate to the companies and business it investigates. One contract for the supply of tap beer, the details of which were published by Choice Magazine in 2015, details arrangements between SABMiller (purchased by ABInBev in 2016) that grant “exclusive supply of all” Light Strength Draught Beer; Low Carbohydrate Draught Beers; Domestic Premium and Sub-Premium Draught Beers; Imported Draught Beers; Specialty & Craft Draught Beers; Draught Spirits & Cider, which amounts to a total lockout. According to the ACCC, its investigation found “some contracts included minimum volume requirements that could make it harder for craft brewers to gain access to taps in these venues,” but concluded that exclusive arrangements from bigger brands “in exchange for rebates, infrastructure investment, and refurbishment loans” were not a problem because “venues were responding to consumer demand for certain beer brands.” Already, hotels around the country are allocating taps to craft beers at venues where it’s clear the clientele are less likely to use razors, but as far as the allocation of taps is concerned in other venues where major brewers have an interest and contractual arrangements, it’s up to the ACCC to come up with the evidence necessary to put the matter before a court. And here the legal definitions really matter. Clearly, the ACCC won’t have to prove that major brewers have market dominance with around 85 per cent of the market currently in their hands, what matters is the question of whether - or not - major brewers are “engaging in conduct for the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.” The ACCC has taken large corporations all the way to the High Court in the past for abuses in market power. Famously, the High Court overturned a successful appeal in the Full Federal Court in the ACCC’s favour when it pursued Boral for predatory pricing and misuse of market power. Since then, the ACCC has found it difficult to secure prosecutions for abuse of market power, and, while the statutory authority recognises “a significant growth in craft beer sales” during their investigation and vows to “continue to monitor for anti-competitive behaviour,” the battle for beer sales will continue.
JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH:
AUSTRALIA’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE COFFEE COCKTAIL Ask any foreigner what Australia is known for and alongside the general consensus of sun, surf and sand, you’ll also likely hear, “oh, and good coffee.” It’s a reputation we are proud of, and indeed one that we will loudly propagate ourselves if given the opportunity, with expressions of, “I’m dying for a flat white,” often the easiest means of picking out a fellow Aussie when travelling abroad. It therefore, was a natural progression of our obsession with the drink of the blessed bean that we began mixing it with our other favourite elixir: alcohol. Words by Stephanie Aikins
ur love affair with the coffee cocktail owes much to our passion for café culture. To the American bartender, ordering an espresso martini is the equivalent of ordering a sex on the beach; it’s outdated, over-the-top and kind of tacky. Now, it may be true that their bar culture is well ahead of our own, but the Starbucks phenomenon has meant that, frankly, we leave their coffee scene for dead. So for us, it’s neither unfashionable nor absurd to crave a cocktail that appeals to our palate, shows off a premium product and gives us a little buzz to boot. Many attribute our current coffee crazed reality to the mid-1940s mass wave of Italian immigration. In a wondrous mixture of ingenious engineering and chance fate, this coincided with the release of the first commercially produced piston-drive espresso machines to the Australian market. Combine these two events and you get Australians able to order espresso coffee from every pub, bar, sandwich shop, café and restaurant from the 1950s onwards. It was during this era that an Irish chef gave to the world what was to be one of the most popular coffee cocktails of all time, the Irish Coffee. The story
goes, that Joe Sheridan was working the kitchen at the Foynes airport in Ireland when a plane bound for New York was forced to turn around due to poor weather over the Atlantic. Joe was told to whip up something that would warm up the tired and cold passengers, so decided to put a hefty drop of quality Irish whiskey in their coffees. When a thankful passenger approached and asked if he used Brazilian coffee, legend has it that Joe replied: “No, it was Irish coffee!” News of the winning combination of searing hot coffee, brown sugar or sugar syrup, Irish whiskey and heavy cream soon spread to the United States, and Joe was even recruited to work in San Francisco’s famous Buena Vista Café. It’s not a great stretch then, especially considering the Irish influence, to assume that coffee cocktails were likely first experimented with in Australia around the same time. However, the coffee cocktail revolution didn’t fully take effect until a little tipple called the Espresso Martini hit our shores. This now crowd-favourite was invented in the late 80s in Fred’s Club, London when a young model (who is now believed to be famous)
came up to bartender Dick Bradsell and forthrightly asked for a drink that would, “wake her up and f*** her up.” Bradsell’s concoction soon became a staple of the London scene, spreading to Australia throughout the 80s and the 90s, as many young British bartenders took advantage of relaxed visa programs and moved Down Under. From this point on, it is really the bars of the budding cocktail scene in Melbourne in the early 2000s particularly hospitality favourite Supper Club - that we have to thank for carving out a place for the Espresso Martini on cocktail lists across the country. As the concept of the craft cocktail bar started to take off, many of the venues took inspiration from the city’s popular late-night cafés and restaurants and offered dessert-style drinks. One such venue was Supper Club. Open until 5am most nights, the evening to early morning haunt specialised in coffee with each shot ground to order. It was here, that the Espresso Martini became embedded in the hearts of Melbourne’s hospitality greats, a love they took with them as the cocktail scene grew and eventually exploded on a national scale. Fast forward to today and you’ll be hard-pressed
Little Drippa is a cold drip extracted coffee that is designed to increase efficiency of coffee based cocktails.
It is smooth and consistent in flavour that results in a perfectly balanced Espresso Martini with amazing crema everytime.
Due to the method of extraction Little Drippa has a shelf life of 6 months.
FOR MORE ENQUIRIES
e: ORDERS@THINKSPIRITS.COM ph: (O2) 4577 7800
to find a cocktail bar that doesn’t have its own take on this classic, as well as a few delightful and often unusual coffee-based offerings on the drinks menu. As the specialty café scene continues to grow alongside craft cocktail bars, many bartenders and baristas work closely to experiment with new styles of coffee and develop bespoke drinks. This includes many bars experimenting with cold brews in their coffee cocktails, maintaining that it preserves the nutty, chocolatey flavours of coffee better than the standard fast pour, and/or serving up ready-made espresso martinis in jars, to assist with speed of service. “The difference now is that we’re interested in pairing coffee with seemingly contrasting flavours that read obscurely but work a treat,” says Tim Phillips, renowned bartender and co-owner of Sydney’s Bulletin Place and Dead Ringer. With this level of innovation and our seemingly insatiable quest to find the best coffee, it seems Australia’s obsession with the coffee cocktail won’t wane anytime soon.
LITTLE DRIPPA Little Drippa is a true invention of necessity. The idea came to now company Director, Lewis Kneale, while he was running a club in Melbourne. He noticed that of the seven to eight bartenders he had behind the bar, often at least three at a time would be stationed at the coffee machine, frantically extracting shots for Espresso Martinis. At a bar, rows deep with 300 waiting customers, it was obvious to Lewis that this method just wasn’t working. From there, the bar team tried a variety of options, including preextraction, before finding that cold drip extracting coffee was the only technique that produced a consistently high-quality coffee cocktail base. Lewis then set about researching cold drip coffee and how it is used overseas, before setting about developing Little Drippa. Little Drippa maintains that cold drip extracted coffee is the only means of preserving the fruity, chocolatey, nutty and spicy flavours found in good coffee. When a fine grind is quickly pushed through an espresso machine at a hot temperature, the coffee develops highly acidic flavours. Indeed, Little Drippa claims that research it has conducted finds only one in 20 espresso shots poured by a bartender are perfect and just half will be of average standard. As well as ensuring a consistent and premium pour every time, Little Drippa highlights that they are a cost-effective alternative to espresso coffee for bar owners. Most bars pay around $28-$32 per kilo for their coffee beans and grind around 20-22g per 30ml of espresso. This results in a general wastage of 10%, alongside the misuse of manpower when bartenders are stuck operating the coffee machine rather than working the bar. Little Drippa worked out that this equates to bars spending 92c to $1 per cocktail, while using Little Drippa would save 32c. Little Drippa also has a shelf life of over six months from the day of bottling versus the two minute recommended consumption time of espresso machine coffee once it’s been extracted. “We’ve put a lot of time and energy into researching what makes it work for bartenders and what gets us the best result,” says Kneale. “We’ve gone through some of the ups and downs of a new product, but from that we’ve learnt and we’ve created the best possible product that we can for what bartenders need.”
CAFFE BORGHETTI Created by bar owner Ugo Borghetti in 1860 for the inauguration of the Pescara – Ancona railway, Caffe Borghetti is made in the tradition of Italian digestif, with a balanced and tart flavour, rather than sweet. This taste is achieved through the use of real Italian espresso coffee without added aromas, extracts or distilled additives. Made in the same way as the original recipe, Caffe Borghetti is the result of premium grain alcohol added to an espresso coffee blend of Arabica (from South America) and Robusta (from Africa). The Arabica beans give a smoothness and subtlety to the taste, while the Robusta levels out any acidity and provides depth and consistency. The way the espresso is prepared is in a similar style to the way the average Italian prepares his/ her coffee at home. In the moka machines, the water is boiled to increase pressure and cause the water to rise and spread across the ground coffee, creating a liquid. From there, sugar and alcohol is added and, thus, Caffe Borghetti is created. This premium digestif won a bronze at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2015.
“The jar has had strong growth in bottle shops. It is the future of RTDs in Australia that’s for sure,” co-owner Matt Faulkner told Drinks Trade. “It is a legitimate Espresso Martini, without preservatives or fake ingredients, made by guys who do this for a living. In the on-premise, we do this exact same product on keg, poured on tap. We’ve seen a massive growth on that particular brand, the idea being that we can get traction through key accounts in the on-premise that hopefully have the product drawn out to bottle shops.” This pioneering product won a bronze at the highly respected San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017.
TIA MARIA ONYX COFFEE SPIRITS
The brainchild of Central Coast cousins Matt and Mitch Faulkner, Onyx started with the production of an original, Australian-made coffee liqueur. After receiving numerous accolades for the liqueur and selling out of the product in droves, the pair and their team of fellow coffee connoisseurs turned their attention to the creation of a pure cold brew that would serve as the ideal coffee cocktail base and an alternative to the timely batching of espresso in bars. It was this creation that caught the eye of many of Sydney’s premier bars, who are now partnered with the brand. To create their products, they grind together silky, chocolatey South American coffees; complex and fruity East African coffees; and rich Indian beans, with aromas of honey and cocoa, and create a cold brew through an innovative cold water extraction process. Cold brew extraction is used instead of hot water extraction as the hot water method often brings through unwanted bitter oils and fatty acids that negatively impact the naturally smooth, sweet and full-bodied flavour of the coffee. The pure cold brew coffee that is produced by this method, Onyx Coffee Pure, has become the flagship for the brand due to its consistently high quality. With a coffee brewery and alcohol distillery under one roof, the brand also produces a pre-batched Espresso Martini that, once shaken, produces the same foaming effect as one made in a cocktail shaker. 26|drinks trade
The story of Tia Maria tells of a closely guarded recipe that was narrowly saved by a beautiful, young refugee of the Jamaican colonial war. This recipe was tucked away, only to be found in the 1940s by Dr. Kenneth Leigh Evans who brought to the world Tia Maria as we know it today. The liqueur has distinctive notes of roasted coffee, refined hints of fragrant Madagascar vanilla and the complex depth, body and structure of bottle-ready Jamaican rum. The use of 100% Arabica beans adds a smooth texture and intricate aromas to the drink. The brand has recently launched its Tia Maria + Coffee Project, which brought renowned bartenders and expert baristas together to create a series of interesting and innovative coffee cocktail serves. This was spurred by research Tia Maria received from The Future Laboratory, which suggests that coffee cocktails will continue to grow in popularity due to the emphasis millennials place on a ‘sense of connoisseurship’ and photogenic experiences. “Coffee is at the very heart of Tia Maria – and we are obviously very focused on supporting the expansion of coffee as an integral ingredient and flavour in bars across the world,” says Tia Maria Brand Ambassador, Matteo Fabbris. “Now we have a suite of coffee cocktails that challenge perceptions of how and what Tia Maria can be mixed with.”
MONIN One of the world leaders in non-alcoholic syrups, fruit purees, sauces and concentrates, MONIN has an array of products that work perfectly to create unique and delicious coffee cocktails. The Espresso Martini Discovery Kit is ideal for the offpremise, encouraging consumers to make their own cocktails at home. The set contains five 50ml
bottles of different flavours – Caramel, Vanilla, Roasted Hazelnut, Gingerbread and Chocolate Cookie – which equates to ten full-sized flavoured Espresso Martinis. For trade looking to take their coffee art to the next level, MONIN also produces the world’s first topping solution specifically designed for this. The Cocoa and Caramel topping solutions allow both amateurs and professionals to make beautifully intricate coffee art quickly, without extensive practice. One of MONIN’s newer additions to the range, the Orange Spritz Syrup, is also recommended for use in twists on classic coffee cocktails and creating new ones like the Coffee Spritz. The gentian aromatics, orange zest notes and lingering bittersweet orange finish cuts through the smooth, rich coffee to form the perfect balance of contrasting flavours.
BLACK WIDOW Glass: Highball Ingredients: 30ml Caffé Borghetti 15ml Fernet-Branca 30ml Little Drippa Cold Drip Cocktail Coffee 15ml Sugar Syrup 1 x Scoop vanilla ice cream Soda water Method: Build in glass. Add all ingredients except for soda water and ice cream to a Highball glass. Fill the glass two-thirds with cubed ice and top to the same level with soda water. Add ice cream and then slowly top with more soda to form a nice foamy head. Garnish: Orange twist
KING GEORGE Glass: Old Fashioned Ingredients: 60ml Caffé Borghetti Freshly brewed coffee Whipped cream Method: Build in glass. First pour Caffé Borghetti into a heat resistant glass and top with hot, fresh black coffee. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy while warm. Garnish: Cinnamon sugar or nutmeg
TIA MARIA CAPPUCCINO Glass: Coupette Ingredients: 30ml Tia Maria 30ml Vodka or rum Shot of espresso Method: Pour Tia Maria, vodka and espresso into shaker. Shake together and pour into glass. Top with foam and garnish with grated chocolate.
TO MAKE THE FOAM Ingredients: 100ml Salted caramel syrup or MONIN Morello Cherry Syrup 200ml Water 2 x Egg whites Method: Add 100ml salted caramel syrup or MONIN Morello Cherry Syrup, 200ml water and two egg whites into a cream gun. Charge with two cream chargers and shake well. Garnish: Grated chocolate
ICED POPCORN FRAPPE Glass: Old Fashioned Ingredients: 50ml Tia Maria 50ml Milk 20ml MONIN Popcorn Syrup Double shot of espresso Method: Pour the Tia Maria, espresso, milk and popcorn syrup into a shaker. Add ice and shake the ingredients together. Using a strainer, pour the ingredients into a glass full of ice. Top with fresh popcorn and add a paper straw to serve. Garnish: Popcorn and paper straw
Onyx Advertorial 1.indd 1
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COLD BREW NUT CRACKA ESPRESSO MARTINI Glass: Coupette Ingredients: 30ml Vodka 45ml Onyx Coffee Pure 15ml Onyx Coffee Liqueur 5ml Sugar syrup 3 x Dashes (150ml) Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters Method: Shake and double strain into chilled coupette glass Garnish: Three coffee beans
Lâ€™ISLE DE FRANCE Glass: Nick and Nora Ingredients: 10ml Onyx Coffee Pure 40ml H by Hine VSOP Cognac 20ml Cointreau 10ml Suze Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Garnish: Flamed orange peel
LUCKY 8 Glass: Martini Ingredients: 30ml Little Drippa Cold Drip Cocktail Coffee 30ml 666 Butter Vodka 10ml Pedro Ximenez 5ml Joseph Cartron Apricot Brandy 5ml Orgeat Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into a Martini glass. Garnish: Dark chocolate Credit: Joe Sinagra, Venue Manager at Halford Bar
COFFEE NEGRONI Glass: Old Fashioned Ingredients: 20ml Little Drippa Cold Drip Cocktail Coffee 30ml Martin Millerâ€™s Gin (or a quality London dry gin) 30ml Italian bitters 30ml Antica Formula Vermouth Method: Stir all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Pour over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish: Orange twist
SPIRITS & LIQUEURS
1. D’USSÉ COGNAC
RRP: VSOP $100/XO $300 • Distributor: Bacardi-Martini Australia The famous D’Ussé Cognac adopted by the likes of Jay Z, Beyoncé and Lil Wayne has made its way to Australia. The bold, new range is made up of two expressions including a VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) and XO (Extra Old) qualities. Aged for almost five years, D’USSÉ VSOP is a full-bodied blend layered with cinnamon and floral notes, while D’USSÉ XO is an ultra-premium spirit, aged for ten years, and has flavours of ripe blackberry with hints of dark chocolate and walnut.
2. FOUR PILLARS SHERRY CASK AND CHARDONNAY BARREL GIN RRP: $80 • Distributor: Four Pillars Gin Four Pillars is at it again releasing the newest additions to its barrel-aged program. The first, the Sherry Cask Gin, is an all-new gin, joining the other two in the program - the Chardonnay Barrel Gin (previously named Barrel Aged Gin) and Christmas Gin. It’s made up of 42-casks that vary in ages from 15 to 35 years old, sourced from the likes of Spain and Australia. It has a deep, rich colour with pine needle qualities and hints of coriander. The second, is the newly named Chardonnay Barrel Gin, released for the ninth time this year. It’s aged for a full year in a chardonnay barrel and has ginger notes, richer spice and oaky sweetness.
3. THE GRANDEUR BATCH 9 RRP: $1,200 • Distributor: Brown-Forman The GlenDronach Distillery has released the Grandeur Batch 9, an exceptionally rare batch of single malt whisky. The 24-year-old expression is composed of Spanish oak sherry butts distilled in 1990, 1992 and 1993, each carefully selected by The GlenDronach Master Blender for their distinct flavours and aromas. Fresh oak balsam comes through on the palate before a finish of dark chocolate mint, raisin and angelica root. Bottled at 48.7% ABV, The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 9 is non-chill filtered and of natural colour.
4. NAKED GROUSE BLENDED MALT RRP: $55 • Distributor: Spirits Platform Spirits Platform is bringing the relaunched Naked Grouse blended malt whisky out to Australia. It includes single malts from The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenturret and Glenrothes and has been matured in first fill oloroso sherry oak casks. This results in a black cherry, cocoa and oak aroma, as well as a palate of dried fruit, cinnamon and nutmeg. Elaine Miller, Naked Grouse Global Marketing Manager, said: “The transition from a blended Scotch to a malt is being made in response to the increasing popularity of single malts and demand from bartenders for an accessible whisky with a ‘distinctive flavour’.”
5. SANTA TERESA 1796 SOLERA RUM Distributor: Bacardi Martini Australia Bacardi Martini Australia is now distributing Santa Teresa Rum in Australia. A single estate rum produced at a family-owned distillery in Venezuela, St Teresa is a blend of rums between four and 35 years of age. It’s dry, smooth and balanced and tastes like dark chocolate and maple syrup, plus a dense richness and notes of pepper on the finish.
6. TANQUERAY & TONIC
RRP: $24.99 four-pack • Distributor: Diageo Diageo has launched its latest premix beverage, Tanqueray & Tonic with 5.3% ABV. Now consumers on the go or heading outdoors can enjoy a gin and tonic easily. Drewe Letchford, Head of Strategy & Innovation said, “We know that consumers are looking for everyday premium experiences they can enjoy at home where convenience doesn’t compromise on quality.” The new premix is best served over ice.
Lou makes a FIFO worker an offer he can’t refuse
When it comes to the liquor game, Lou has it wrapped up tighter than a Cuban cigar. Whether you come in for a bottle of wine or to have chat & cappuccino, Lou will look after you. On a Thursday afternoon the annoying drone of a hipster talking shit about wine rings out through the shop. A man whose top-knot appears to be trying to communicate with his home planet of Wanktopia is at the tastings table. “Oh ma gawd darling, refrigerated Sav Blanc? Should be far warmer, I would know, I’ve been to France twice” The pretentious gourmand is an unfortunate casualty of gentrification, an ever creeping presence in suburban bottle shops. Lou signals for a manager to talk to him, “please educate our friend over there, a
Sauvignon Blanc is a wine best served cold”. A few hours pass and a FIFO worker blows in like a Pilbara cyclone. He has the undeniable thirst of a man eager to throw a handful of pineapples into the blender of hedonism and get juiced up. The man is loudly serenading the store with an ode to his own spending power, “does this $200 one go orright with coke or nah? Moiggght just go the Makers Mark ay”. Like Natalie Imbruglia with one ply toilet paper he is torn. How one man can sound like an entire wet-mess at an end of child maintenance payments party is a mystery. Nevertheless, the noise is interfering with a meeting Lou is having. He gestures for his manager to approach, “this man has no respect, I want you to make him an offer that he cannot refuse”.
A dramatic pause falls over the meeting room. The manager nods, “yes, sir”. He knows what must be done. The manager approaches man, “I see you’re looking at that Glenfiddich 21 year, fantastic Scotch, best served neat. Although, I’ve been instructed to make you an offer. Buy both bottles and we’ll throw in this Jim Beam promotional cool bag?” Ah, alcohol related paraphernalia is the kryptonite of the bogan. The man appears hypnotised by the free bag and as predicted by Lou, he is unable to refuse the offer. “DEAL mate”. Peace falls over the store, Lou has restored balance.
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ON OUR RADAR:
10 OF AUSTRALIA’S BEST BEER BARS It’s news to no one that Australia’s craft beer scene is going from strength to strength, with no signs of the expansion slowing down. As the offering grows, so do the amount of venues dedicated to showcasing and educating consumers about the wonderful world of craft beer. This issue, we wanted to highlight some of the best bars in this category and so turned to you, our readers, to vote for your go-to craft beer hubs that more than hold their own against the big pubs. These ten bars represent some of the best beer-centric venues across Australia, so it’s time to put them on your radar.
CARWYN CELLARS Tucked away out the back of Thornbury’s local bottle-o, Carwyn Cellars, you’ll find this little “bar that could.” This hideaway, a favourite of the locals, features 20 taps, 18 of which are usuallytaken up by craft beers. The majority of these tap beers are one-off offerings, allowing guests to try less common styles, including sours, Belgians and big flavoured IPAs and stouts. Both coming from winemaker families, owner Ben Carwyn and manager Ben Duval don’t conform to convention and beers aren’t chosen based on Australian or international heritage. Simply put, if it’s good, they’ll give it a go. In the front bottle shop, you’ll also find a further 200 beers that can be purchased either for takeaway or to drink in the bar (with corkage fee, of course). 877 High Street, Thornbury, VIC 3071 Tel: 03 9484 1820 Web: www.carwyncellars.com.au Opening hours: Sun-Tues: 12.00pm-10.00pm Wed-Sun: 10.00pm-late 36|drinks trade
FOGHORN BREWHOUSE NEWCASTLE In a city known for its strong industrial roots, it’s no wonder that the down-to-earth, hard-working locals of Newcastle embraced their first craft brewery with open arms. Foghorn Brewhouse is a product of this past, with the site of the restaurant, live music venue and brewery once an abandoned art-deco warehouse, complete with exposed roof trusses. The space can cater for up to 250 people and includes a 1,800 litre capacity brewery and four 1,800 litre serving tanks, allowing guests to experience the freshest beers possible. Of the 16 taps, three to four are reserved for crowd favourites – usually the Boganaire IPA, The Ideas Beer, Pivo Pils and/or the Summer Ale – and the rest are constantly rotating brews, ranging from twists on classics to innovative styles. 218 King St, Newcastle, NSW 2300 Tel: 02 4929 4721 Web: www.foghornbrewhouse.com.au Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 11.30am-10.00pm Fri-Sat: 11.30am-11.30pm Sun: 11.30am-9.00pm
NOLA This small New Orleans-inspired venue is a trailblazer in the world of craft beer bars. None of the 16 rotating taps are under contracts with the big players, thanks to the ingenious thinking of the owners. Before the bar first opened, the team launched a Pozible campaign offering businesses or individuals the opportunity to buy a tap for a six-month period, and thus choose what is poured. They well exceeded their target and have since been dedicated to working with small batch independent breweries from across the seven states and further abroad. To enhance these beers, theyâ€™ve also installed an infuser, which allows them to add a range of ingredients to a glass tube through which the beer is poured, imparting interesting and innovative flavours into the brews. 28 Vardon Ave, Adelaide, SA 5000 Web: www.nolaadelaide.com Opening hours: Tue-Thurs: 4.00pm-12.00am Fri-Sat: 12.00pm-2.00am Sun: 12.00am-12.00am
PETITION BEER CORNER This one will be especially enticing to the beer aficionados out there. Like a good wine bar ensures it has accredited somms, this beer bar only hires staff that are Cicerone Program certified. Prescribing that each staff member possess this highest form of beer tasting training means that youâ€™ll find a bar team that seriously know their beer. The result is an extensive bottled list and 18 taps filled with independent beers, from conventional classics to unique brews. With the tap beers, three different sized pours are on offer (150ml, 300ml and 450ml) . Initially launched by the founders of Little Creatures, this is a beer bar for beer people. Cnr St Georges Terrace & Barrack St, Perth, WA 6000 Tel: 08 6168 7771 Web: www.petitionperth.com Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 11.30am-late Sun: 12.00pm-late
THE NOBLE HOPS
SAINT JOHN CRAFT BEER BAR Despite having a strong independent brewing scene, for many years Tassies lacked a craft beer focused venue. That is until Saint John came along in 2014. Inside the industrial-chic space you’ll find a main bar built around a wall featuring 14 taps, rotating quality international and Australian craft beers. The taps pour straight from the cool room behind the wall, ensuring minimum exposure to the lines before hitting the glass. Guests are told what is pouring on the day via a quaint magnetic board. Opposite to this is a wall of more than 170 bottled beers, available for takeaway or to drink in bar (with a corkage fee, of course). This bar is known for throwing killer events, from low-key meet the brewers to the incredible annual hop harvest where every tap is filled with a new harvest beer. 133 St John St, Launceston, TAS 7250 Tel: 03 6333 0340 Web: www.saintjohncraftbeer.com.au Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 12.00pm-late Sun: 2.00pm-late 38|drinks trade
With the gentrification of Sydney’s eclectic hotpot Redfern, has come the opening of a number of niche, small bars. On the beer front, The Noble Hops has stepped up to the plate. The hole-in-the-wall bar, which accommodates a maximum of 60 people, is home to ten taps and a 100+ range of bottled beers. 10 taps are constantly rotating, from quirky Scandinavian brews to our very own local Marrickville drops. All tapped beers are available to taste before purchase, meaning you’ll never regret trying something new. The bottled offering consists mainly of imports from big brewing nations, like the USA and Belgium, making it particularly interesting to the beer connoisseurs in our midst. This range changes dependent on the season, with the winter seeing heavier dark beers in stock and the summer giving way to pale ales and the like. Despite its size, The Noble Hops is determined to sit up with the big boys of the craft beer bar scene, with no expenses spared on the beer system, and will be launching their own line of beers in the very near future. 125 Redfern St, Redfern, NSW 2016 Web: www.thenoblehops.com Opening hours: Mon: 4.00-10.00pm Tue-Fri: 4.00pm-12.00am Sat: 3.00pm-12.00am Sun: 3.00pm-10.00pm
WEST THEBBY SOCIAL CLUB
POT BELLY BOUTIQUE BAR
When the Reserve Group decided they wanted to take the bones of the West Thebarton Hotel’s tired front bar and build a lively beer-centric venue, they knew they’d need the help of real experts. Cue the entrance of the Big Shed Brewing team. The collaboration saw the birth of West Thebby Social Club late last year, serving up good live music and even better beer. Of the 12 taps, half of them pour Big Shed’s beers, with the other half rotating between local and interstate independent breweries. All tap beers are available to sample before you buy, and if you find something you especially like, you can take home a growler or squealer to keep the good times coming.
Although this bar is one of the oldest on the Canberra scene, its 2015 revival saw it transform into Canberra’s go-to destination for craft beer. The three young couples that took ownership, one party of which is Joel ‘Beer Baron’ Baines, former President of Canberra Brewers, have breathed new life into the venue by showcasing craft beers you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the capital city. With no locked-in tap contracts, Pot Belly poured over 380 different beers from a range of craft brewers in the first two years of operation alone. They’re famous for their $10 Tasting Panels, which allow guests to choose three beers served in 200ml essentially a pint made up of three unique craft beers. The young owners have deliberately kept the dated wood interiors, in a nod to the rich history of the venue. Guests can take a seat on one of the specially made church pews at the long bar or in the charmingly rustic beer garden. As of mid-last year, the venue received its small-scale brewery license and hopes to soon exhibit its own bespoke brews.
51 South Rd, Thebarton, SA 5031 Tel: 08 8443 5922 Web: www.thewestthebby.com.au Opening hours: Thurs-Sun: 11.30am-late
5/26 Weedon Close, Belconnen, ACT 2617 Tel: 02 6251 4540 Web: www.potbellybar.com.au Opening hours: Mon: closed Tues: 4.00pm-9.00pm Weds: 12.00pm-10.00pm Thurs: 12.00pm-11.00pm Fri-Sat: 12.00pm-12.00am Sun: 2.00pm-10.00pm
BITTER PHEW Heaven on earth for beer geeks exists, and it’s located up a non-descript, dark staircase on Sydney’s famous Oxford Street. Craft beer bar Bitter Phew is home to a 300-strong beer list, including nearly every type of international and Australian craft beer style you could imagine, from imperial stouts to bourbon-aged brews, barleywines to sours. Co-owner Aaron Edwards is responsible for sourcing most of the beers, however, he does receive the odd weird and wonderful variety from his fellow co-owner Jay Pollard, who is actually based in Copenhagen and runs a bar there. Upon entering the bar, guests can choose from one of the 12 daily-rotating taps. The list is scribbled on a backlit whiteboard above the bar, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, ask to see the full beer list. A word of warning though, it’s as big as the bible. If all of this is a bit overwhelming, ask the friendly bartender for a recommendation as these guys have some serious beer knowledge. 1/137 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Web: www.bitterphew.com Opening hours: Mon: 5.00pm-12.00am Tue-Thurs: 3.00pm-12.00am Fri-Sat: 12.00pm-1.00am Sun: 12.00pm-12.00am 40|drinks trade
BREWSKI A venue defined by beer, not just in the name. They love it here, particularly the craft kind, with over 150 bottled craft beers and 12 regularly rotating taps. Pick from local, national and international beers; saisons, sours, IPAs and imperial stouts. One day you might be drinking something from Bacchus or Newstead Brewing, the next day it could be from Feral or Modus Operandi, or something fresh off the water. There’s always something untried here to wash down the famous double Brewski burger, loaded fries or tacos with. 22 Caxton St, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4059 Tel: 07 3369 2198 Web: www.brewskibar.com.au Opening hours: Mon: 4.00pm-12.00am Tue-Sun: 12.00pm-12.00am Fri-Sat: 12.00pm-1.00am
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BEER & CIDER
1. BONAMY’S APPLE CIDER RRP: $18 four-pack • Distributor: Carlton & United Breweries The Tasmanian Cider Co. has launched a new product named after French cider and winemaker, Auguste Bonamy. As such, Bonamy’s Apple Cider has been made from Tasmanian apples and similar methods. The fruit was 100% whole pressed, white wine yeast was added and minimal intervention was used to let the ingredients do their thing and flavours flourish. The final cider has no concentrates or added sugar and has a mild, dry palate, which balances the fullness of the fruit. 4.0%ABV
2. COOPERS SESSION ALE IN CANS AND BOTTLES RRP: $60 carton • Distributor: Coopers Brewery Only available previously on tap, Coopers Session Ale is now available in 375ml cans and bottles. In January, the beer was the brewery’s second largest selling keg behind Coopers Original Pale Ale. Coopers Sales and Marketing Director, Cam Pearce, said that the decision was made in response to high consumer demand. The beer has a cloudy appearance created from the same secondary fermentation process that all Coopers Ales go through, plus citrus aromas, subtle fruit overtones and a mild bitterness. 4.2% ABV
3. LITTLE CREATURES BREWING NEW PACKAGING Distributor: Lion Little Creatures Brewing has unveiled new packaging across all of its beers, making it the biggest change to its packaging yet. Marty Ferguson from Little Creatures chalks the decision up to fans of the craft beer wanting to know more about them. The new packaging features hand-drawn illustrations that depict the colourful story behind each beer’s creation and provenance.
4. WHITE RABBIT CHOCOLATE STOUT RRP: $26 six-pack • Distributor: Lion Calling all beer and chocolate fans, White Rabbit Chocolate Stout is back in circulation for Easter. The beer combines Pana Chocolate Cacao powder with a dash of French brandy, which makes for a silky mouthfeel, as well as a bitter, hazelnut profile. ABV 5.6%
5. WILLIE SMITH’S KINGSTON BLACK SINGLE VARIETY CIDER RRP: $32 • Distributor: Willie Smiths Award-winning producer Willie Smith’s has released a new limited-edition single variety cider. Kingston Black is named after the type of apple that it’s made from, which is found in Somerset, Britain. Thanks to the milling and pressing process, the cider is a deep golden in colour. On the palate, it exhibits apple fruit sweetness, followed by notes of spiced caramel and crisp acidity. ABV 6.2%
6. XXXX GOLD COMMEMORATIVE CANS RRP: $50 carton • Distributor: Lion In celebration of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and backing the Australian team as they “Go for Gold,” iconic beer brand, XXXX Gold, is releasing a series of commemorative cans. Each can exemplifies a recreation of those released by the brand in 1982 for the Brisbane Commonwealth Games and showcases a different sporting event including cycling, sprinting and swimming. The 375ml cans are available in 30-packs to Queensland outlets.
APÉRITIFS AND DIGESTIFS BEHIND THE TREND
Not only are we seeing more bars, pubs and restaurants serve highquality aperitifs and digestifs, but also the number of winemakers in Australia making these types of drinks is growing. We asked a wine bar owner and winemaker for their thoughts on these pre- and after dinner tipples.
Christian Blair, Manager and Owner, Annata Christian Blair, manager and owner of Sydney wine bar and restaurant, Annata, knows his aperitifs and digestifs. As the former manager of Eau de Vie and ex-Rockpool Bar & Grill as well, Christian has a strong knowledge of the category, and now stocks a large range at Annata. Here he explains their rise in the onpremise and what he sees for their future. Drinks Trade: When did you first see aperitifs and digestifs being used regularly in bars and restaurants? Christian Blair: Aperitifs and digestifs have been prevalent in restaurants (well, the ones with decent beverage programs) for quite some time. I think it was in my first job in a restaurant around a dozen years ago that I started to become aware of products like Lillet and Aperol and their use in both cocktails and over ice. DT: Do you think consumers are aware of their properties and how they are designed to be enjoyed before or after a meal? Or do you think they’re just consuming them in cocktails without really knowing? CB: I think the level of knowledge guests have in general is growing; more people are getting hip and starting their meal with a vermouth or aperitif liqueur. And I think while the market for the Aperol Spritz would have initially been built simply on flavour, that as a gateway to the category has played an important role in people’s education of these products’ properties. DT: Which aperitifs and digestifs are you stocking currently? CB: I love these kinds of things and I like to push my guests towards them. We have a nice range of vermouth and quinquina including the Cocchi range; things like Carpano, Punt e Mes and Oscar 44|drinks trade
697 from Italy; French aromatics like Dolin and Byrrh; and Aussie styles such as Regal Rogue. We carry a decent range of bitters and amari as well, such as Braulio, Strega, Averna, FernetBranca, Cynar, Becherovka, Chartreuse...the list goes on. DT: What excites you about using aperitifs and digestifs in cocktails or serving them on their own in your venue? CB: It’s a great opportunity to introduce them to people that may not have thought about it before; things like vermouth have a bit of a stigma among some people so we love to serve them in matched wine degustations. It’s interesting to see people who may have never thought to drink vermouth start their meal with it and almost unanimously people come back to us and say it was the highlight of their drinking experience. DT: Have you seen an increase in the number of Australian winemakers making their own winebased aperitifs? CB: Absolutely. It wasn’t too long ago that an Australian vermouth was nearly unheard of. Now, with the rise of pioneers like Maidenii and Regal Rogue, it’s good to see some winemakers following suit. Whether it’s Applewood in South Australia (from Brendan and Laura of Unico Zelo), or wineries like Ravensworth, Castagna and Turkey Flat releasing vermouths and bitters under their
own label. It’s a natural progression for the wine industry to further their relevance not only to the on-premise but to the growing number of people embracing aperitifs and bitters in their own homes. DT: Do you think we’ll see the use of digestifs and aperitifs in the on-premise continue to grow? CB: Definitely. The category has been a relative mystery to consumers for a long time but with a growing number of Australian bars and restaurants embracing it, the flow on effect has been more educated consumers calling for it. It won’t be long before the days of one dusty bottle of vermouth sitting up high on the back bar are totally behind us, and bitter, herbaceous and delicious drinks become par for the course in a night’s drinking.
Alex Schulz, Brand Ambassador, Turkey Flat Vineyards Alex Schulz, brand ambassador for his family’s South Australian winery, Turkey Flat, made his very own wine-based aperitif back in 2015. Before venturing into creating the Turkey Flat Quinquina, Alex conducted extensive research about QQs or white-aperitifs. His aperitif is made with everything he and Turkey Flat’s winemaker could find, from berries and fruits, to tea and fresh flowers. As the trend of winemakers making their own vermouths grows, we turned to Alex to find out more about the popular beverage. Drinks Trade: What inspired you to make your own aromatised wine? Alex Schulz: The inspiration to make an aromatised wine was born out of hours of chatting with Luke Monks and Pat Underwood behind the bar at City Wine Shop (CWS). Conversations would bounce from vinegar making, fizzy rosé in cans, the importance or not of sulphur in winemaking and sometimes aromatised wines (amongst other things).We served Cocchi Americano over ice with
a dash of soda and a wedge of orange. This aperitif would spread like wildfire once ordered through the bar, similarly to Aperol Spritz. This got the ball rolling on my interests in vermouth. Before, all it really was to me was a crusty old bottle of Cinzano at the back of the bar fridge. Shortly before I moved back to the Barossa, Taras Ochota came into CWS and told Pat and I about his Weird Berries in the Woods Gewürz and I thought, bugger it, I might have a crack this vintage (2015).
DT: Do you think more Australian winemakers will start to make their own wine-based aperitifs or vermouths as aperitifs grow in popularity? AS: Yes definitely. The movement is particularly strong in places like Spain and the US. Punters have so many options when they walk into a wine bar, restaurant or pub now and can take their experiences home with them. It’s all part of bookending a complete dining experience. I hope this movement encourages the longevity and embrace of Aussie fortified wines and their deserved place. I love that you can buy Lillet, Fernet-Branca and Averna at Dan Murphy’s now. DT: There are quite a few ingredients that you’ve selected for the QQ. Why did you select those? AS: It was a process of aromatising a base wine with as many botanicals as we could find. Mark (Turkey Flat’s winemaker) and I found that stripping back herbal ingredients and focussing on citrus flavours and floral aromas to be most successful. This ultimately led us to a style closer to quinquina or americano. DT: And the aromatic wine is infused with quinquina for three months as opposed to adding an aromatised spirit to the wine. Why did you choose this method? AS: This was our method the first time around. Infusing botanicals in a base wine lifts the aromatic profile, but we found the final wine to be a little too ‘vinous’ and lacked the concentration found in our favourite vermouths. I have since gravitated closer to traditional infusion methods to encourage more texture, bitterness and concentration of flavour. DT: When doing your research, what were you most surprised to discover? AS: I was surprised to find a few other Aussie producers experimenting with different styles, with Maidenii leading the way. I had to search a little further to find styles similar to ours. The most interesting quinquinas I found came from Switzerland and South Africa. I was also surprised to discover the early origins of vermouth come from unexpected places like China and the Middle East as a healing elixir, and then later in American cocktail culture. Adam Ford’s book ‘Vermouth’ is the definitive source on the history of the drink.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN Mixologist Ben Davidson breaks down the apéritifs and digestifs category.
ut simply, apéritifs and digestifs are flavoured spirits, aromatised and fortified wines, bitters and liqueurs, created to aid and enhance a consumer’s experience of food. The French word apéritifs comes from the Latin word ‘aperire’, which means to open – fitting, considering that their purpose has always been to begin the dining experience, preparing the palate for a meal. It’s a clever concoction really, with the herbal complexity, subtle bitterness, low sugar and high acidity in apéritifs causing the mouth to salivate and stimulate appetite. Common examples of apéritifs include Aperol, Campari and the new grapefruit apéritif Pampelle; aromatic or fortified wines such as Lillet or dry vermouth such as Noilly Prat, as well as anise spirits like Pernod Absinthe or Ricard that are trendy in Europe. They can also include drinks like fino sherry or a gin and tonic; even a glass of Champagne. The natural extracts used to flavour apéritifs are usually obtained through the process of maceration. This is when the plants and spices are steeped in a mixture of water and alcohol. Once the flavours from the plants and spices have dissolved into the liquid, it is decanted and filtered to concentrate the flavour, and added to a wine or spirit base.
Wine-based apéritifs or aromatic wines specifically are often made from a minimum of 75% wine. The rest can be made up of added alcohol and the natural flavour extracts. They can also be sweetened and may be coloured. A couple of apéritifs and a scrumptious plate of food later, a digestif is in order. As the name suggests, digestifs were created to aid digestion after a meal, with properties such as a richer body and complexity, higher sugar content and variety of herbs, spices and botanicals. After dinner drinks often include Italian sweet vermouths such as Antica Formula, amari (the plural or amaro – a type of digestif growing in popularity at a rapid rate in Australia) like Montenegro and Mr Black Coffee Amaro, plus bitters including FernetBranca, Jägermeister and Schwartzhog. They can also include classic liqueurs such as Bénédictine or Chartreuse; even a single malt Scotch or Cognac can work as a digestif. Liqueurs have been made for centuries, rooted in herbal medicine. The word liqueur comes from the Latin liquifacere, which means ‘to dissolve’, explaining the dissolving of natural flavourings to capture the medicinal properties of an ingredient. As such, liqueurs can be made from an almost infinite range of flavourings.
It’s difficult to classify each and every liqueur, but the four main types are: • Plant-based: made with leaves or flowers; sometimes verbena, lime blossom, mint, violet and rose. Many plant-based liqueurs also include seeds and fruit • Fruit based: the main ingredients include oranges, cherries, peaches, apricots and blackcurrants • Seed and nut-based: based on seeds, beans or nuts, such as coffee, cumin, anise, caraway, hazelnut, almond and coconut • Root based: usually liquorice, angelica, orris and gentian Similarly, bitters were prized as cure-all tonics many centuries ago. A herbal alcoholic preparation, bitters can take the form of an apéritif or digestif, and are often enjoyed neat or in a cocktail mix. They often contain carminative herbs, which are thought to aid digestion. Bitters have a pungent aroma and mildly biting flavour due to a sugar content of fewer than 100 grams per litre. A liqueur, on the other hand, must have a minimum sugar content of 100 grams per litre spirit base and at least 15% ABV. Crème liqueurs are an exception to this rule, with a minimum sugar content of 250 grams per litre.
ONE OF THE WORLD’S OLDEST DIGESTIFS, BUT ONE YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF…
SCHWARTZHOG MADE BY THE VON HARDENBERG FAMILY An extremely smooth and fruity flavour, perfectly enjoyed over ice, mixed in cocktails or straight as per tradition. This German herbal liqueur contains more than 15 herbs, fruits and roots of the forest, such as wormwood, ginger, orange peel and Sauwurz. It is this last ingredient that has been sourced for many years across central and southern Europe at high altitudes, believed to aid digestion and fortify the immune system. In fact, it is told by ancient legend that the wild boar still shown on the label today sought after the Sauwurz of the Black Forest mountains for its aphrodisiac qualities.
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Tasting Bench CHARDONNAY Are we coming back around to chardonnay? It’s funny. Winemakers in Australia have been moving away from those big, ripe, oaky styles that led to the ABC slogan of “anything but chardonnay” in the late 1980/90s for some time now. Yet, every time we get to our annual chardonnay tasting, or the suggestion to crack open a bottle of chardy is uttered at home (at least in mine), people have the assumption that they won’t like it. Unfortunately, it’s still associated with those big, buttery, cut your teeth kind of styles, despite descriptors like bright; tropical and stone fruit; balanced; and importantly – well-integrated oak appearing more often in our judges’ notes than the former.
Discover the 20 chardonnays that had our judges raising their glasses for more over the next few pages. And trust us, there are some corkers in there. Including the 2017 Whistling Duck Chardonnay - for just $8!
THE PANEL ALISON EISERMANN MW
Winemaker and Wine Educator
Educator and Judge
Alison has worn many hats in the wine industry. Not only has she completed degrees in Oenology and, Biochemistry and Microbiology; a diploma in Education and the revered Master of Wine course, but she has also tried her hand at wine retailing, consulting, winemaking, lecturing and judging, among others. It is the last three that she continues to happily pursue today.
Michael Quirk is an accredited WSET Wine Educator/Brand Ambassador and also the Chief Steward at Sydney Royal Wine Show. Michael has worked across all levels of education, as well as wine, hospitality, sales and marketing with trade in Australia and internationally for over 30 years.
MARK FABER Wine Buyer and Events Coordinator, Wine Ark
Mark has worked in wine for as long as legally permitted, first working in a wine store as 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 for Wine Ark, Australia’s largest wine storage facility, and is in the second year of the Masters of Wine degree.
Samantha is a sommelier and wine consultant working on multiple lists around Sydney. She also writes regularly about wine, spirits, food and travel for various publications including Concrete Playground, Broadsheet, Decanter (UK) and Conde Nast Traveller (USA), as well as hosting her own wine video channel ‘How to Drink Wine with Samantha’ on The Guardian website.
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.
Sharyn is a Drinks Consultant based in Sydney with expertise in wine retail, FMCG operations and customer service. She is an experienced show judge and holds a Bachelor of Science and Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 3. Sharyn also enjoys writing and telling stories that bring people and wine together (as often as possible!).
Marketing Officer – Asia Pacific, Wine Australia
Director, Sydney Wine Academy
Kati’s fascination with wine began at a young age when she discovered the joys of sampling (and spitting!) different wine varietals. Her passion led her to complete a Bachelor in Hospitality Management at home in Finland, before travelling overseas. Today, Kati works for Wine Australia in Sydney and is currently studying the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits.
Educator Clive Hartley has been involved in selling and promoting the virtues of wine for over 30 years, in both the UK and Australia. He is the Director of Sydney Wine Academy, as well as the author of the Australian Wine Guide. Clive is also an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Sommeliers Association and a life member of the Wine Communicators of Australia.
Sommelier, Communicator and Wine Consultant
NSW 2017 Whistling Duck Chardonnay RRP: $8 Region: Riverina Distributor: Calabria Family Wines Judges’ comments: A surprisingly bright little number. Racy acid and freshness. Structured. A touch of chalk on the midpalate adds complexity to the wine. There are also lovely tropical and stone fruit flavours. Great value for a sub-$10 wine.
SA 2016 d’Arenberg The Olive Grove Chardonnay RRP: $15 Region: McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills Distributor: Off The Vine (WA), Empire Liquor (SA), Young & Rashleigh (ACT), The Wine Company (VIC), The Wine Tradition (QLD), Inglewood Wine Merchants (NSW) Judges’ comments: Stone fruit and apple aromas. Flavours of nectarine and lees, plus a touch of cashew. A straightforward, commercial style.
2017 Two Rivers Reserve Chardonnay RRP: $26 Region: Hunter Valley Distributor: Inglewood Wine Merchants Judges’ comments: A super expressive and classy wine. Perfumed floral and tropical aromas, plus a touch of oak. On the palate, there’s vanilla oak and fruit flavour, plus a creamy texture. It’s bright. It’s balanced. And it’s good value at this price point.
2017 Tempus Two Pewter Poppy’s Block Chardonnay
2016 Tempus Two Pewter Poppy’s Block Chardonnay
RRP: $65 Region: Hunter Valley Distributor: Australian Vintage Limited Judges’ comments: This wine ticks all of the boxes of a Hunter Valley chardonnay (and you’d want it to at this price point). Great structure, balance and integrated oak. On the nose, there are notes of jasmine and green apples – it smells like an orchard. The palate has acid, spice from the oak, texture and nice length.
RRP: $65 Region: Hunter Valley Distributor: Australian Vintage Limited Judges’ comments: Knocks it out of the park – drink now and lots of it, or keep it and watch it become more expressive. It has aromas of perfumed green apples and a touch of olive brine. The palate is textural and complex, with flavours of toasty honey/ caramel and fresh orchard fruits.
2016 Paracombe Chardonnay
2016 Elysian Springs Honey Block Chardonnay
RRP: $24.99 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Inglewood Wine Merchants Judges’ comments: A generous and satisfying chardonnay with lots of primary fruit. There are well-defined peach and melon aromas on the nose, as well as some struck match and oak. Creamy, nutty and peachy flavours lead on the palate. It’s textured and has a long finish.
RRP: $27.50 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Empire Liquor (SA, TAS, NT), Star Beverages (NSW), Select Wines (QLD), Grape Expectations Vintners (WA) Judges’ comments: Oatmeal aroma and ripe fruit flavour akin to apricots and peaches. A dry, firm palate with lots of varietal definition.
2016 Henschke Archer’s Chardonnay
2016 Penny’s Hill The Minimalist Chardonnay
2016 Zonte’s Footstep Dusk Til Dawn Chardonnay
RRP: $35 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: House of Fine Wine Judges’ comments: Nutty and buttery aromas, plus some malo characters and vanilla oak spice. A rich, long, elegant palate with nicely balanced acidity and fruit. Perfectly weighted.
RRP: $35 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Mezzanine Wine Judges’ comments: Cheesy, buttery and nutty aromas on the nose, displaying strong winemaker influence. Ripe stone fruits on the palate with well-balanced acidity. A firm and richer style of wine, but one that retains its elegance.
RRP: $35 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Select Wines (QLD), Kingfisher Wines (NSW), Sante Wines (VIC, TAS), Empire Liquor (SA, NT), Off The Vine (WA) Judges’ comments: Hints of biscuit and citrus on the nose. A dry, fresh, lively and racy palate with some stone fruit flavour and cool climate elements.
2017 St Hugo Chardonnay
RRP: $39.99 Region: Eden Valley Distributor: Pernod Ricard Australia Judges’ comments: Smoky oak and toasted nuts, underpinned by yellow peach on the nose. The palate is rich and layered. There is phenolic texture and fruit weight - both in balance. And there is persistence in length.
2016 Taylors St Andrews Chardonnay
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RRP: $40 Region: Clare Valley Distributor: Taylors Wines Judges’ comments: Complex lees notes woven in with spicy cedar oak. It’s quite textured on the palate, showing some chewy minerality. The fruit fades away to leave an oak-dominant finish.
Chardonnay is most popular with female shoppers aged 55 and older. These customers, according to Shopper Tracker research, are more likely to buy chardonnay from the fridge than shelf. They would also like more knowledgeable and helpful staff to guide them through the range of chardonnays on shelf.
VIC 2014 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay
2016 Jones Road Nepean Chardonnay
2017 Soumah Equilibrio Chardonnay
RRP: $65 Region: Mornington Peninsula Distributor: Combined Wines & Foods (NSW), Nelson Wine Co. (VIC), Global Food & Wine (QLD), Off The Vine (WA) Judges’ comments: A high-quality wine. It has a slight struck match character on the nose. The palate has fine acidity and persistent minerality, but is still tightly wound.Purchase a few bottles and stow them away for a while.
RRP: $68 Region: Yarra Valley Distributor: Soumah Vineyards Judges’ comments: This wine has a fuller texture and vibrant acidity, combined with a crushed rock character that shows the potential to age. Overall, a beautiful chardonnay.
2016 Deep Woods Estate Hillside Chardonnay
2014 Evans & Tate Redbrook Chardonnay
2016 Deep Woods Estate Reserve Chardonnay
RRP: $25 Region: Margaret River Distributor: Fogarty Wine Group Judges’ comments: A well-balanced wine overall. Prominent use of oak, ripe fruit and lifted florals are displayed on the nose. Balanced ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours, with a background of vanilla and oak characters are shown on the palate.
RRP: $49 Region: Margaret River Distributor: Fogarty Wine Group (WA), McWilliam’s Wines Group (all other states) Judges’ comments: A vibrant and wellmade wine. This chardonnay has an oakdriven nose and palate with a background of ripe tropical and stone fruit.
RRP: $50 Region: Margaret River Distributor: Fogarty Wine Group Judges’ comments: A rich style of wine. On the nose, there are aromas of ripe fruit, lees and oak. On the palate, soft acidity and ripe fruit sit behind the prominent oak.
RRP: $44.99 Region: Mornington Peninsula Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: A nice sawdust character on the nose. The palate has fine texture and well-integrated oak. It’s tightly wound at the moment, but shows the potential to evolve – put this one away for a while and see what comes.
AUSTRALIA-WIDE 2015 George Wyndham BIN 222 Chardonnay
2015 Hardys Eileen Hardy Chardonnay
RRP: $10.56 Region: South Eastern Australia Distributor: Pernod Ricard Australia Judges’ comments: Hints of struck match on the nose. A nutty palate with a creamy finish. This chardonnay is mediumbodied, firm and round. It’s nicely balanced with acidity and some complexity. A wellmade wine.
RRP: $98 Region: Australia Distributor: Accolade Wines Judges’ comments: Struck match and flint smoke. Grilled nuts and oyster shells. On the palate, the wine is quite savoury and very textured. The oak and fruit are tightly woven together, carried by medium-length.
Enjoy Days of RosĂŠ responsibly
Left: Workers loading products for dispatch onto Yalumba truck c1970 Right: Samuel Smith
YALUMBA Planting vines by moonlight, Sidney Smith glanced up at his father, Samuel, and reflected briefly on how much his young life had changed. This is the story of Australia’s oldest family-owned wine business.
or the love of family, adventure and prosperity, Samuel Smith and his family had made their home in the small settlement of Angaston, thousands of kilometres from their native Dorset. Here, Samuel and Sidney planted their garden and, as a naturally gifted horticulturist, Samuel recognised the region’s potential to nurture grapes. For the love of the land, in 1849 Samuel named his patch Yalumba – an indigenous word that celebrated all the country around them. For the love of wine, Samuel passed his passion, experience, dedication and knowledge onto his son, who in turn passed it onto his own sons, Walter and Percy. Onwards Yalumba moved, through conflict, depressions and droughts, to fourth generation brothers Sidney,
Donald and Wyndham, and then to the current generation of leaders. For the love of family, for the love of wine, for the love of success, for the love of continuity – little did young Sidney know the roots he was carefully planting in the soil would still be so deep more than 168 years later.
ALL THE LAND AROUND In 1849, English migrant Samuel Smith planted vines on a 30-acre parcel of land on the eastern edge of the Barossa with his son Sidney. Father and son worked under the moonlight, planting shiraz and mataro – varieties that are naturally suited to the loamy soils underfoot. Luck at the Bendigo goldfields and the hard work put in by the duo led to their
purchase of further land in 1852 and 1853, establishing Yalumba and the Barossa as a renowned wine region. By the mid-19th century, Samuel started Yalumba’s first nursery in Angaston, growing seedlings and stocking many of the first wine grape varieties brought to the Barossa by the father of the Australian wine industry, James Busby. More than 40 years later, Samuel’s grandson, Fred Caley Smith, rejuvenated his grandfather’s vision. Fred was a gifted and passionate horticulturist with a scientific eye for agriculture and a passion for adventure. Fred travelled the world, returning to Yalumba with a wealth of knowledge and re-establishing the Yalumba Nursery. In 1975, the Yalumba Nursery was established as a commercial supplier to wineries and viticulturists throughout Australia. It is now a specialist varietal, clonal and rootstock provider to Australian wine growers, and continues Samuel and Fred’s work in researching vine health, sustainability and the future of our viticultural wine community. Fred’s legacy is also carried on the label of one of Australia and Yalumba’s greatest wines today. The Caley is a great tribute to an extraordinary man and is released annually - if vintage conditions permit - showcasing the very best fruit Yalumba has to offer. The first, a 2012 vintage (released in 2017), was an expression of Coonawarra cabernet (52 per cent) and Barossa shiraz (48 per cent) drawn from special sites - a portion of the Menzies vineyard for the cabernet and two patches in the Barossa for the shiraz; one planted in 1971 and the other, 1901. It then spent nearly two years in French barriques, coopered at Yalumba, plus three more in bottle before release. It is a wine of power and finesse,
Yalumba’s rare and fine wines, including The Caley and Signature
firm tannins and rich fruit flavour that is sure to stand the test of time for many years to come. Throughout its 168-year history, winemakers at Yalumba have always been guided by one fundamental truth - while the grape provides wine with body and flavour, it’s the dirt and the site that gives wine its unique essence. Today, Smith’s descendants continue to instinctively choose vineyard locations that are best suited to individual grape varieties viognier in the cool, harsh conditions of the Eden Valley, shiraz on the Barossa floor and cabernet sauvignon in Coonawarra’s rich terra rossa soils. Investments of time and patience, along with an innovative mindset, have led to these vineyards producing some of the best and most celebrated wines of their variety around the world. Four generations after Samuel started his own nursery, Yalumba’s wines of provenance continue to add a distinctly Australian flavour to the old world ideology of terroir – that distinct characteristic bestowed on a wine by a particular place.
SUSTAINABILITY With the 20th century still in its infancy, secondgeneration Vigneron Sidney Smith made the decision to visibly commit to the Barossa and to wine. Led by sons Walter and Percy, the family commissioned Adelaide architects, local
stonemasons and utilised Angaston marble, quarried on-site, to build Yalumba’s iconic clock tower building, completed in 1908. Sidney’s vision was long-term - such a grand building was created to stand the test of time, to be sustainable. It was crafted as a physical presence of Yalumba’s dedication to all the land around. In the years and generations that have followed, Yalumba’s commitment to sustainability has never wavered. Decisions are made after thorough research – how will this impact the environment, the local community, the people who work for the company? Behind the 155-foot wall of the clocktower, Yalumba leads the way in economic and environmentally-conscious winemaking. Social inclusion is integral – the local community must benefit from the work they undertake and the wine they make. A fairly recent example of this was Yalumba’s decision to completely overhaul its bottling line – comprehensive research weighed up the social and environmental consequences of bulk transporting wine destined for the UK market to the UK for bottling there. However, it was decided that the social impact on the Barossa community could be too great and instead the Hill-Smith family reinvested significant capital in upgrading its bottling hall onsite in Angaston – a project that was completed mid-2015.
Yalumba Tasting Room
Within the winery, Yalumba winemakers are committed to minimal intervention wherever possible, extensively using natural yeast ferments in both whites and reds and stopping the use of animal-based fining agents. All of Yalumba’s bottled wines have been vegetarian and vegan-friendly since 2011. Vineyards are managed sustainably – pesticides are kept to a minimum and a focus on returning parcels of land to native vegetation has seen the planting of thousands of trees and native plants in the past few decades. Yalumba’s growers are also involved in an on-going sustainability education program that encourages them to follow Yalumba’s lead. More than 100 years after Sidney, Walter and Percy celebrated the opening of their iconic marble building. Yalumba continues to work hard to ensure their long-term vision extends well into the future. Yalumba has created, cultivated, nurtured and invested in a number of attributes that provide a
basis for differentiation and leadership. Each may only make a very small difference in their own right, but collectively, they continue to help build the unique Yalumba thumbprint. The crafting of oak barrels is a proud tradition at Yalumba, with a coopering history dating back to the turn of the 20th century. With oak playing such an important part in the winemaking process, Yalumba is one of a small group of winemakers in the world to exercise full control over the quality of oak used to age their wines. Unique to Yalumba are 100-litre octaves, after which their premium old vine Barossa shiraz, The Octavius, is named. The term octave was coined by early coopers to describe a barrel an eighth of the size of a standard cask. For a small barrel like the Yalumba octave, oak contact could dominate the wine. However, Yalumba has proven through seasoning in the country of origin, together with careful grape/wine selection, that 18 months in an octave provides a balance of wonderful richness and complexity. The Yalumba cooperage works closely with several French cooperages and Hungarian and American stave mills to select the very best oak. These staves are then stacked and left to season in France and America for two years before arriving at the Yalumba cooperage. This seasoning process in the country of origin provides a climate and annual rainfall that is conducive to the gentle seasoning of the wood that naturally extracts the undesirable tannins while augmenting the sweet oak and spice aromas sought by the winemakers. In 2007, Yalumba Proprietor Robert HillSmith and Winemaker Brian Walsh launched Yalumba’s Old Vine Charter to, in Robert’s words, “celebrate the intrinsic merit of old vines and hopefully encourage regions to start a register 54|drinks trade
of vine planting by vineyard and variety.” The Charter has since been adopted by wineries throughout Australia and cemented Yalumba’s position as an industry leader. It was closely followed by the development of The Reserve Charter, which aimed to contain the excessive and indiscriminate use of the term Reserve on wine labels. Yalumba continuously seeks to craft wines that reflect a thoughtful interpretation of grape, terroir and house-style. Wines of individuality – that are both timeless and contemporary; wines of conviction, provenance and leadership. It is this philosophy, at the heart of Yalumba, that is encapsulated in the release of The Signature. A concept that began in 1962, each release proudly wears the unique signature and story of
Yalumba’s valued people. As the saying goes at Yalumba, “you can’t do much with a bunch of good grapes unless you have already picked a bunch of great people.” And this fine and iconic cabernet and shiraz blend has carried the names of 55 people across 55 vintages so far. Listen closely enough in Yalumba’s Museum Cellar, and you might just hear names like Samuel Smith or Alf Mader (1971), a winery foreman; Vic Di Biase (1997), a cellarman; or Andrew Murphy (2017), Yalumba’s current Director of Wine, who started his working life in the cellar. Wines such as The Signature and other premium wines from the Yaluma stable can be tasted by guests in the Yalumba Wine Room - a cellar door that reflects the brand’s 168-year history. With both artwork and history abound, the knowledgeable staff are on hand to offer guests an understanding of the Yalumba collection. Today, it is Nick Waterman as CEO who will guide Yalumba into its new and exciting, next chapter. Nick’s first foray into the business was in 2002 when he joined as General Manager of Negociants Australia. He later became Executive Director of Strategy and Trading and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. A year later, he was appointed to his current role, following Robert Hill-Smith’s transition from CEO to Chair. A significant change, marking the end of 30 years of Robert at the forefront of Yalumba. Robert is recognised for his leadership during the period in which Yalumba became one of Australia’s most respected wineries.
Walking down Port Willunga’s Esplanade the other day (note well: there’s no “The” precursing Esplanade; a bit like there’s no “and” in Campari Soda…) I walked passed Star of Greece (once again, no definite article...) - that fabulous McLaren Vale restaurant atop the cliffs and caves and the sea. Like the fool I am I was going for a swim, but Star of Greece had other ideas. Seven or eight winemakers and seven or amillionty drinks later I finally got a quick plunge in St Vincent Gulf, fully debriefed (pardon the Benny Hill pun) by the winoscenti. By wine writer, Ben Canaider Credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone
alking back to my multi-million dollar two-storey beach house (which someone else owns…) it dawned on me that without any effort, planning, resource or endeavour I’d managed to garner an all too neat recension on what was happening today, not just around McLaren Vale’s wineries and vineyards, but around a lot of South Australia’s as well. (I also got some juicy gossip, but that’s never for publication…) A few days later, the highly-esteemed editrix of this superb organ - Drinks Trade - contacted me via electric letter, saying she wanted a round up of what was happening in South Australian vine lands. (It was more of an instruction than a commission; but that’s the way some of these career-crazed editrixii nowadays operate…) It was for me the work of an instant to electronically reply: “Madam; but of course.” So, let’s start from the top with the strange wine thing that everyone in South Australian winedom is talking about - particularly in McLaren Vale.
GRENACHE, CHARDONNAY AND THE CUBE:
Chester Osborn (right) with his father d’Arry Osborn in front of The Cube
THE CUBE Yes, the d’Arenberg Cube. That is what South Australian wine seems to be all about right now. The $15 million, five-storey, sort-of black-andwhite and green glass, sort-of un-finished Rubik’s Cube. It is a tasting room? A gallery? A home for the Alternative Realities Museum? An olfactory and gustatory sensual perception laboratory? A timeline or time machine? A wine inhalation chamber? A virtual fermenter? A statement of local and broader Australian and South-East Asian cultural evolution? An architectural triumph? A wardrobe? A TARDIS? The overall opinion - based on no other data than the anecdotal stuff I’ve heard from a wide range of weird and wonderful wine and non-wine people (yes, that latter group does exist…) - is that the Cube is… is… the Cube. It seems to be generally liked. And given it’s had - since its opening late last year - about 1,000 visitors a day over the summer holiday period (paying a $10 tasting fee), it is a success. What I think it is though is a bit like that film from 1999 - Being John Malkovich. The one where an out-of-work puppeteer takes a filing job in a cramped office building. On the seventh and a half floor he discovers a hidden tunnel through which he enters the mind and real-time life of actor John Malkovich. His first visit sees him in Malkovich for 15 minutes, before the puppeteer is somehow dumped into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. The Cube is a bit the same, except you’re in the mind and life of d’Arenberg’s winemaker/puppeteer Chester Osborn. All these weird things happen around you and to you and through you and the next thing you know you’re dazed and standing next to a vineyard ditch in McLaren Vale thinking to yourself: “yeah…” The Cube - and Chester Osborn, for they 56|drinks trade
A colourful world inside d’Arenberg’s new cellar door
are the same - a highly organised piece of engrossing disorganisation that derailingly demonstrates mad, purely impure, bemusingly beguiling near-genius. It transcends wine, in a way. Go. This is MONA with a glass in hand. Which makes it heaps better.
GRENACHE Still in McLaren Vale, I discover that all the recent hype about grenache being the new new is just the starting point. For yonks, grenache was made in a dryish red style, where the juicy-fruitiness of the varietal was the lead player and gave you plush, generous wine with a not-so-small amount of alcohol by volume, often at a reasonable price. It was - back in the 1980s - blended to critical acclaim with shiraz and mataro/mourvedre. GSM. This was when Australian wine marketers discovered the Rhone Valley in France. (It was about this time that Australians stopped driving Holdens and bought Peugots, by the way…) Interestingly enough, Hardys Tintara has decided to wade back into these GSM waters with a McLaren Vale 2016 GSM - and it is a good thing they have, because the blend suits the region and suits the macroeconomics of a big company. They also make a GST (ba-ha…), which is grenache shiraz touriga. More and more touriga - the backbone red grape
A red wine pump over at Hardys Tintara Winery
of Portugal - is finding its way into wine in SA. And it will only become more popular, if tastings are anything to go by. Yet back to grenache, which is now being re-invented. Not so much being sent off to a Swiss Finishing School to improve posture, decorum, and etiquette; but being brought up from birth in an entirely different parenting style. Winemakers like Stephen Pannell have lead the way in this regard; it was Pannell who I first heard talking about McLaren Vale grenache in a respectful, complex and even noble way - as if this red grape variety was a Duke of Burgundy rather than Sir Les Patterson. Indeed, Pannell was behind this notion that grenache could be, well, grenache noir. That is, it could be perfumed and aromatic and restrained in flavour and full of balance and some precision and more linear as opposed to a slab of passed-out flabby fruit treating your tongue as if it were a mattress. Grenache could, in fact, be a little like pinot noir. This is but the tip of the grenache story, however. More and more winemakers are utilising the truly diverse vineyard sites, soils, elevations and aspects of Mclaren Vale to make wines unique and true to their place.
TIM DOLAN – SENIOR WINEMAKER TONY MARSHALL – VITICULTURIST
NIGEL WESTBLADE – CHIEF WINEMAKER
NATHAN MARSCHALL – CELLAR HAND SARAH BITTNER – CELLAR DOOR
ANGELA SCHRAPEL – GROWER
WAYNE GROPE – GROWER
LINTON PRITCHARD – CELLAR MANAGER MITCHELL BECKMANN – CELLAR HAND
I T TA K E S A V I L L AG E TO R A I S E A V I N TAG E F o r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n co n t a c t yo u r C a s e l l a Fa m i l y B ra n d s re p re s e n t a t i ve Enjoy Responsibly
Alfresco at Shaw + Smith Wines in Adelaide Hills Credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone
Chardonnay is sampled from the barrel at Shaw + Smith
ADELAIDE HILLS CHARDONNAY This cooler-climate South Australian white wine just gets better and better. Those crazy, whackedout college kids, Michael Hill-Smith and Martin Shaw, from Shaw + Smith, started this quest nearly 20 years ago, when they decided that planting the right clones in the right place in the Adelaide Hills could give you an acid-backed, structured, and maturable white wine. Just like the superbly bottle-conditioned white burgundies we all drank at lunch that day. Of course, now everyone in the Hills is going bonkers for chardonnay (or gruner veltliner…). Grapes are being picked a little earlier; grapes 58|drinks trade
are being pressed and run a little more gently; artifact like oak is being used more and more sparingly. I don’t think we are seeing so many chardonnays from the Adelaide Hills that are Chablis impersonators (as we did in Victoria’s Yarra Valley five years ago), but we are seeing wines that are real crossover white burgundy/ Chablis transmogrifications. And I for one like that. Dandelion Vineyards Twilight of the Adelaide Hills Chardonnay is an excellent example of this enduring and worthwhile trend.
BAROSSA Two words ring out when the Barossa comes into conversational play: Lehmann and Casella. Although the sale of Peter Lehmann to NSW’s Casella Wines happened just over three years ago, Casella has navigated slowly and intelligently through the brand’s acquisition. The 2017 advertising campaign “It takes a village to raise a vintage” might make not-for-profit CEOs turn purple, but it at least demonstrates that Casella understands - in principal - the importance of brands like Lehmann to local Barossan communities. You can’t dis that; and
they haven’t. They’ve chucked everything at premiumisation, which can only be good for the Barossa all around the world. The other Lehmann name is that of Phil Lehmann, now in cahoots with Jon Hesketh at St John’s Road - and other places. Lehmann is bringing some of his family’s hard-working effortlessness to wine, and is also producing wines in his own style, where the emphasis is on balance and drinkability. As he commented to me regarding his unlikely Parker Estate Coonawarra Pinot Noir Rose - “It’s smashable. It’s a two-bottle wine, no worries.” Yet, it is the St John’s Road Block Eight Shiraz, from a higher Ebenezer sub-region of the Barossa, that shines a light - for me - on how Barossan reds are changing for the better. This wine has a life and pertness, a minerality and freshness, and a sense of tension that you rarely find in Barossan reds. The old clone, the vineyard, the winemaking… Between Chester Osborn’s Cube and Phil Lehmann’s wines, you can see both the future and the past in South Australian wine’s endeavour, risk and imagination.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
A FRESH LOOK AT AUSTRALIAN GRENACHE
Among some wine consumers, grenache may not be as well-known as Australia’s major red varieties of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. However, it has a distinguished history in global wine production and writers – including Jancis Robinson and James Halliday [editor’s note: now Ben Canaider too - p.55-58] – have written about the rise of Australia’s fine grenache table wines. In a 2017 article for the Australian Financial Review, Max Allen said, “I would like to suggest that if you want a grape variety that most faithfully expresses terroir – that captures the unique combination of country, climate and culture in a glass – then in many cases, in many places, grenache might be a better option.” Recent market trends suggest grenache may also be having a resurgence in popularity among consumers. By Wine Australia Analyst, Sandy Hathaway. This article originally appeared on Wine Australia’s Market Bulletin (www.wineaustralia.com/news/market-bulletin) SOMETHING OLD
Grenache was one of the original varieties grown in Australia, with plantings starting in the mid-1800s. Until the late 1960s, it was the most widely planted variety in Australia, as it was well suited to the fortified wines that dominated Australian wine production. It was also the second-most planted variety in the world in 1990, but had fallen to seventh by 2010. The emergence of table wines from the 1960s saw grenache fall out of favour, and in fact plantings of this variety in Australia have been declining gradually since the 1980s, when the South Australian vine pull scheme saw the removal of many 100-year-old grenache vines. Over the same period, plantings of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot have increased dramatically. Grenache now accounts for around 1% of Australia’s vineyard area, compared with nearly 20% in 1956. Almost all of the plantings are in the South Australian regions of the Riverland, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. South Australia is believed to have the oldest productive plantings of grenache in the world.
There are signs that grenache’s star may again be on the rise. In 2017, a year when off-trade wine sales overall were flat in volume terms and increased by just 2% in value terms, grenache blends (in the red bottled category) grew by 19% in value and 24% in volume(1). Grenache as a straight variety, on the other hand, decreased by 1% in value – reflecting the change in the way this variety is being used by winemakers. On export markets, the top five Australian label claims with grenache are shiraz/grenache, grenache/shiraz/mourvedre, grenache/shiraz, shiraz/grenache/mourvedre and shiraz/cabernet sauvignon/mourvedre/grenache – again indicating the versatility of this variety. Growth rates in 2017 for grenache and grenache blends to its top ten markets have been very impressive – with the exception of Canada and New Zealand. In mainland China and the United Kingdom, grenache over-indexes compared with all varieties. For example, the UK accounts for 12% of all Australia’s bottled wine exports, but 22% of exports with a grenache or grenache-blend label claim.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT – A ROSÉ-Y OUTLOOK Another opportunity for grenache is in rosé wines. Grenache is one of the most commonly used varieties in this wine style, which has shown dramatic increases recently in popularity. On the domestic off-trade market, the bottled still rosé category grew by 59% in value in 2017, while sparkling rosé grew by 8%(2). Exports from Australia of still rosé fell by 4% in volume, but grew by 20% in average value per litre – indicating a significant change in the type of rosé being exported. More than half of Australian still rosé exports went to the UK, where volumes fell by 14%, but value per litre increased by 8%. Meanwhile, sparkling rosé exports grew by 11% in value. The main markets for sparkling rosé were Canada and New Zealand, which grew by 25% and 9% per cent in value respectively.
RRP: $20 • Distributor: Accolade Wines Days of Rosé is a new, dry Provence style of wine from South Australia. Made from a blend of alternative varieties including mataro, cabernet franc and nero d’avola, it has a bright berry nose, with notes of strawberry, cream, cherry and cranberry on the palate.
2. MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE 2009 RRP: Grand Vintage $99/Grand Vintage Rosé $119 • Distributor: MoëtHennessy Australia Moët & Chandon recently announced the release of its Grand Vintage 2009 extra brut Champagnes. The range is made up of two expressions including the Grand Vintage 2009 and Grand Vintage Rosé, both of which blend pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, but at different percentages. While the former is rich and juicy with a dry and subtly spiced finished; the latter is fine and persistent with a touch of vanilla and pink peppercorn.
3. 2016 PATINA RIESLING & 2016 PATINA SCANDALOUS RIESLING RRP: $25 • Distributor: Patina Wines Patina continues to champion riesling from the Orange region with the release of two new wines. The 2016 Patina Riesling is made from hand picked grapes, which are whole bunch pressed and fermented in a stainless vat. It has a fruity, floral aroma, with a velvety texture and well-balanced, citrusy finish. The 2016 Patina Scandalous Riesling, on the other hand, has a fragrant, musky nose, and a very pronounced, citrusy palate.
4. PERRIER-JOUËT BLANC DE BLANCS NON-VINTAGE
RRP: $130 • Distributor: Pernod Ricard Australia The Blanc de Blancs non-vintage marks the first new release in the PerrierJouët core range for quite some time now. Our thoughts: it has a nice, light bead, floral aromatics and fresh flavour - with only 15 per cent of reserve wine used - and you can taste the chardonnay, something that is key to the Perrier-Jouët style, which lingers on a long finish. It’s worth noting that there is only allocation of the new Champagne left for the on-premise.
5. THE SHAW VINEYARD ESTATE WINEMAKERS SELECTION RANGE RRP: $18 • Distributor: Shaw Vineyard Estate The new Shaw Vineyard Estate Winemakers Selection range includes a 2017 riesling and 2015 cabernet sauvignon, picked from the brand’s Murrumbateman vineyard situated just outside of Canberra. The riesling has a soft palate with subtle, citrus flavours, while the cabernet sauvignon has a sweet, mulberry aroma and dark berry characteristics.
6. TYRRELL’S WINES 2017 SINGLE VINEYARD POKOLBIN HILLS SEMILLON RRP: $25 • Distributor: Tyrrell’s Wines (on-premise exclusive) This new on-premise exclusive joined Tyrrell’s premium Single Vineyard range at the end of February. It is from one of the best vintages the Hunter Valley has experienced in recent years for semillon and from the Pokolbin Hills vineyard, which is almost 50 years old. It’s has classic semillon aromas of apple, lemon and lime. On the palate it’s juicy, filling and rich. Drink now.
1. DAYS OF ROSÉ
#PRESSFORPROGRESS Women of the Industry
Okay, ladies (and gentlemen), we’ve been talking for long enough now about the issues surrounding gender balance in the drinks industry, so what are we actually going to do about it? Inspired by this International Women’s Day (held back on 8 March by The Drinks Association, with the theme Press for Progress), over the next two issues of Drinks Trade, I’m going to look at the groups working to improve opportunities for women in the industry and how we can tackle the main issues still facing women. Here, we start with the groups. My network of very helpful women and I created the list below explaining who each group is for and what they’re all about. Surprisingly, there aren’t as many as I had thought there would be (and none in spirits?), but it’s good to see that these groups are for women working in all areas of the industry, including hospitality. If you know of others, please email me at Hannah@hipmedia.com.au For those of you not convinced there are any issues. Think again. I’ll keep the slew of issues for the next issue (pun intended), but for some context, let’s recap on a few facts: we’re still seriously male-dominated. In bars. In bottle-shops. And in businesses. Only 2% of women hold C-Suite roles (that’s around CEO level) and only 22% of women are senior leaders in our industry. And apparently, these numbers are getting worse?! How does that translate to the 50% of women we are trying to sell products to? And let’s not forget that research has proven time and time again that businesses with diverse teams perform better. Need I say more? Consumers still find it surprising when women drink beer...Seriously? And so many businesses still don’t have flexible working hours, making it harder for women to stay in work when they have children and which traps men in a 24/7 work bubble as they’re expected to have more time to work than women. I could go on, but let’s get to the point of this article. Words by Editor, Hannah Sparks
WOMEN IN HOSPITALITY WHO CAN JOIN: This not-for-profit group supports women right across the hospitality industry, including sommeliers, waiters, restaurateurs, chefs and business managers, at all stages of their careers. The board reflects its members, also run by restaurateurs, chefs and so on, and their mission is to inspire, recruit and retain more females in the industry and give them the confidence to back themselves in their professional development. WHAT THEY DO: Provide a national online community for hospitality professionals, which includes forums and job opportunities. They also host bi-monthly networking events, educational forums and collaborative dinners. COST: $100 annual subscription or $10 monthly subscription. 62|drinks trade
PINK BOOTS SOCIETY WHO CAN JOIN: This group is actually international, starting in the US but now also branching out to Australia. It’s for women in beer, but not just in brewing, encouraging women to get involved in all areas including judging, boards, blogs, consumer education…the list goes on. The original board included rad beer women Jayne Lewis (Two Birds Brewing), Kirrily Waldron (Beer Diva), Karen Golding (Red Hill Brewery) and Sam Fuss (Philter Brewing), who are recognised for bringing about a culture in beer that encouraged and supported women into the industry. WHAT THEY DO: Regular brew days, in which women can get hands-on experience with making beer. Some of these beers have gone onto win awards! But more importantly, all the sales of these beers go into other events like sensory sessions and scholarships to attend the Craft Beer Industry Association’s national conference. Those that get the scholarship are then asked to ‘pay it forward’, by sharing what they learnt with the group - whether it’s another brew day or industry reporting. COST: Free
Founders and owners of Two Birds Brewing, Danielle Allan and Jayne Lewis (Jayne was also on the original board of Pink Boots in Australia)
COLEMAN’S ACADEMY WHO CAN JOIN: This group is for women of the bartending community, whether they’re bartenders, brand ambassadors or bar owners. Set-up by very own award-winning bartender Paige Aubort, the idea is to create an environment for women of the industry to talk and meet like-minded females. It’s in Sydney at the moment, was in Melbourne previously, is set to appear in Brisbane for the next three months and perhaps, probably in Perth soon. In the meantime, you can catch their speaker videos on their Vimeo account. WHAT THEY DO: In short, inspiring women get behind the bar at Earl’s Juke Joint and bare all – the good and the bad – to inspire others and help them tackle career and industry challenges. As Aubort puts so well herself, “They share their stories in the hope that others will learn from their lessons; they invigorate their sometimes waning passion for the industry; they urge, push and cajole the women to ask for the raise; tell that creepy dude not to touch them; and make sure they leave feeling as empowered as possible.” COST: Totally free and always will be, bringing down the barriers for women in bartending to find their tribe.
Award-winning bartender and founder of the Coleman’s Society, Paige Aubort
THE FABULOUS LADIES’ WINE SOCIETY WHO CAN JOIN: A slightly more light-hearted and fun group focusing on consumers rather than women working in wine. The idea is to provide information, education, wine deals and events for women who love wine. So it could technically be both and, the society makes sure there is a deliberate focus on the women that work in the wineries it partners with and runs the Women in Wine Awards, which as the name suggests, awards women working in wine. It was set up by Jane Thomson in 2012, who won Digital Wine Communicator of the Year in the same year and 2016. WHAT THEY DO: Events hosted by other women who love wine, wine deals, education, promotion of women working in wine through partnerships and the Women in Wine Awards. The awards celebrate all women working in the Australian wine industry, right from Winemaker of the Year to Cellar Door Person of the Year and Researcher of the Year.
WOMEN IN DRINKS WHO CAN JOIN: This group is open to all women working in the drinks industry, whether they’re in trade or manufacturing or supplier side. Men are also encouraged to attend events if they’re interested in finding out how to support women in the industry. The group was set up in 2014 by The Drinks Association and is national, with chapters across the country. Its mission is to make the drinks industry a more attractive place for women to work in and provide them with the resources they need to progress into leadership roles.
Jennifer Collins and Sally Byrne from Women in drinks, raising money for the group’s charity partner ANZGOG (Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group)
WHAT THEY DO: Regular networking events such as breakfasts and afternoon functions, featuring female figures from both inside and outside the industry. There are also chapter discussions that focus on how to improve inclusion and diversity in the industry or personal development topics for women. This group also runs the Serendis and Women in drinks Mentoring Program, which partners younger women in the industry with senior mentors to help them pursue more from their careers. COST: It’s free to join, with a small charge for events. The Mentoring Program is paid for separately by businesses that want to nominate their staff as mentees/mentors.
TRADE ACTIVITY THE BUSINESS BEHIND THE BRANDS
Congratulations to the sixteen graduates from Australia who achieved the coveted WSET Diploma last month, including Samuel Winfield and Melissa Mills who also received awards for outstanding results.
Women in drinks raised more than $15,000 for ANZGOG and awareness of the importance of gender diversity in the Australian drinks industry at a sell-out International Women’s Day lunch on 8 March.
A win for the environment, Voyager Estate is transitioning to organic certification, underpinning the winery’s commitment to sustainable farming and reducing its carbon footprint.
Calabria Family Wines welcomed Emma Norbiato as its new Chief Winemaker in February. Norbiato has more than 18 vintages under her belt.
Congratulations to James Irvine from Swillhouse Group who was the winner of the Australian finals of the 2017/18 BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition (see more on pages 6-7).
In the spirit of saying yes, the NSW Government granted an extension to lockout requirements at venues on Oxford St for the 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.
The 2018 Court of Master Sommeliers’ Australian program commenced in February, and, for the first time ever, students were invited to participate in Introductory, Certified and Advanced certifications within the same 12-month period.
East 9th Brewing has released its new Doss Blockos The Colour of Beer™ Pale Ale and has also trademarked the actual colour of the beer.
Accolade’s Finest Expo wrapped up its 2018 roadshow in Sydney last month after visiting Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane (see more on pages 18-19).
Pirate Life Brewing has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art brewing plant and bar venue at the Woolstores precinct in Port Adelaide, with the site offering 80 new job opportunities and ample room from growth.
With demand growing at 300% year-onyear, Lion has announced a national roll out of Furphy Refreshing Ale, making the easydrinking beer available to all Australians.
Luke Sanderson has left Black Pearl in Melbourne to take on the role of Brand Ambassador with the world’s most awarded single malt - Glenfiddich. Sanderson started with William Grant & Sons in early March.
Anita Holdsworth, former Senior Brewing Quality Manager at AB InBev, has made history books as the first woman to be appointed Brewery Manager of Cascade Brewery (see more in News - page 14).
A QUICK LOOK INTO THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, ON LOCAL SHORES AND ACROSS THE GLOBE.
AVIATION GIN GOES TO DIZZYING NEW HEIGHTS Hollywood heartthrob, Ryan Reynolds, has a acquired a stake in Aviation Gin – the world’s highest rated gin and the fastest growing spirit in the award-winning portfolio of parent-company Davos Brands. The actor, most famous for his role as a wisecracking mercenary in the Marvel film Deadpool, pursued investment after tasting Aviation Gin for the first time. “Aviation is in a completely different league and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the company,” says Reynolds. Aviation Gin is crafted in small batches in Portland, Oregon. Its soft and smooth palate is recognised as a new style of American gin with juniper in the background and citrus and floral notes upfront.
FANCY OWNING A PIECE OF A PUB? Patrons have invested in the Sporting Globe Plenty Valley, Australia’s first equity crowdfunded pub, which is set to open in Melbourne this month. Investors will also be provided financial returns, meaning if the pub is acquired or publicly listed, they will receive a share of the profits. This model was legalised in Australia late last year, with more than 133 groups already pledging $680,000 to the project. “It makes sense to offer our customers a piece of the pie,” James Sinclair, Sporting Globe’s Chief Executive, told Business Insider. “It creates an intrinsic loyalty if patrons have a skin in the game,” he continued. As for the pub itself, it has the capacity for over 300 patrons, 40HD screens and an outdoor beer garden. 66|drinks trade
CHECK INTO THE DOGHOUSE HOTEL Calling all beer lovers, it’s time to pack your bags as independent craft brewer, BrewDog, has announced plans to build a craft beer hotel. The DogHouse, as the hotel will be called, is the first of its kind and is expected to open in 2019 alongside an expansion at the brewery’s headquarters in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. All 26 rooms will include a beer tap, a built-in shower fridge and a view of the brewery itself. This venture was made possible by BrewDog’s record-breaking Equity for Punks crowdfunding initiative, which has seen the brand raise over £53 million since 2009. Priority booking will be given to “Equity Punk” investors.
TYRRELL’S BUYS NSW’S OLDEST VINEYARD Tyrrell’s Wines has kicked off 2018 by purchasing the Old Hillside Vineyard from Neil and Bernadette Stevens. The block of land is located in Pokolbin, New South Wales, and spans over 13 hectares, with 6.11 of those dedicated to shiraz. It is believed that some of these vines were planted in 1867 from first generation cuttings from the Busby collection, which would make it the oldest producing vineyard in the state. As one of Australia’s most distinguished family-owned wine companies, Tyrrell’s now owns seven of the 11 blocks of vineyard in the Hunter Valley that are more than 100 years old.
Sparkling with real 24K Gold Flakes.
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