Riesling, Sémillon, Yarra Valley

Riesling is a white grape that is famous for its intense aromatics and crisp acidity. Riesling was the most planted white grape in Australia until the early 1990s when Chardonnay took over. Riesling flourishes in the Clare Valley, particularly Watervale, around the Polish Hill River, and in the cooler Eden Valley. Riesling is also being grown with increasing popularity in the Western Australia regions Albany, Frankland River and Porongorup. Australian Rieslings are noted for their citrus/lime fruit flavours in their youth and a smooth balance of freshness, lanolin and acid as they age. Australian botrytized Rieslings have immense levels of flavour concentration with beautiful acid and structure.

Riesling was first planted in New Zealand in the 1970s and has flourished in the relatively cool climates of the Marlborough, Central Otago area and for late harvests in the Nelson region.

Alsace is famous for producing outstanding Riesling from dry austere to Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles. They tend to be fuller, more savoury and viscous wines than those of other countries.

In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings. The best examples are planted on south-facing slate-rich slopes. Germany produces many different styles from dry perfumed wines with racy, mineral acidity to exotically lush flavours of their great late harvest wines.
Semillon is widely grown in Australia. And like Riesling is one of the very best grapes for demonstrating the different characters emerging from Australia's varied wine regions. There are many different styles produced, however, the Hunter Valley is by far the most famous. Semillon from the Hunter Valley is lean, pale wine with citrus, grapefruit and flintiness in its flavour. With a few years bottle age it turns into a honeyed, nutty, classic wine. The Barossa Valley tends to be the most luscious, often with oak age, it has aromas of peaches and mangoes. Margaret River’s versions are a fine balance between these two styles, and they age well too. It is most often blended with Sauvignon Blanc to produce the regions famous blends.

In France, it is the main grape for Sauternes. Elsewhere in Bordeaux it is the most widely planted white grape and is blended with Sauvignon Blanc to produce the dry whites of Graves. In Bordeaux, where it can be aged in oak, it produces wines that are high in alcohol and extract, but relatively low in aroma and acidity. Its thin skin makes it very susceptible to botrytis which is prerequisite for the making of Sauternes.
The Yarra Valley is a wine region known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region has become a leading wine tourism destination, popular for weekend trips as it is located only an hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne. The cool climate region has some of the oldest soils in the world and produces terrific Chardonnays in the leaner, acid-driven style. Long gone are the days of excessively oaked and oily Chardonnays. Superb Pinot Noir is cultivated with tremendous results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and even Sparkling wines of premium quality are also worth seeking out.

Yarra Valley is the oldest wine region in Victoria with the first vines planted in 1838 at Yering Station. Reg Egan founded the iconic Wantirna Estate in 1963, followed by Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969 who founded equally lauded Yarra Yering in the foot of the Warramate Hills. Nowadays a fleet of new world winemakers and growers are making sure Yarra Valley stays at the forefront of Victorian wine production.

The region in 2009 suffered in the Black Saturday fires, with an estimated 25% of all production was impacted.
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  1. Yarra Yering Dry White No. 1 2018
    A white blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Chardonnay. Fruit for this wine was sourced from adry grown block south of Underhill Vineyard, slightly higher in elevation. A Bordeaux inspired white blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Chardonnay. Cellaring: Has sufficient generosity & texture to ... Learn More
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    Campbell Mattinson
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    Huon Hooke
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    James Halliday
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