Champagne, France, Great Southern
Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.
A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.
Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.
Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Krug are world renowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
Set among the backdrop of Australia’s most majestic landmarks, the Great Southern Wine Region boasts an incredible size fit for both winemaker and enthusiast. With its five sub-regions of Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker, Porongurup and Albany, winemakers are treated to an abundance of unique soil types and weather conditions, while enthusiasts can enjoy an array of wine styles with something for every palate.
The region's most recent trends showcase just how popular it’s becoming. Wineries in the region are being blessed by the cooler climate which is conducive to the production of the extremely popular Australian Shiraz. Pinot Noir enthusiasts can also expect great things to happen with the southern climate and terroir being superb for wine production. On top of that, the region is also upping the ante in terms of competition, being among the best in Australia for Riesling, a fierce competitor to South Australia’s renowned Clare Valley.
You could almost say that wines and the Great Southern were made for each other!
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