What Will Happen to Australia’s Vineyards?

We’re keeping things short this week. Most of the team is busy sending out the Spanish wine collection.

Sourced from 600-year-old cellars… hand-pruned vines so gnarled looking, they appear to burst forth from the rocky soil “in agony”… steep, narrow valleys with terraced vineyards originally planted by the Romans… and grapes that can be traced back 3,000 years to invading Phoenicians (including a mysterious, nearly extinct varietal growing in a region known as Celtic Spain)…

The Gomez vineyard in Spain, founded in 1886.
Their wine ‘Honorable’ will be part of our Spanish collection.

…It’s safe to say, this is a pretty special collection. (Note to our newer members: If you are not slated to receive the Spanish collection, we may have a few extra cases after the shipment period ends. If that’s the case, we’ll reach out.)

Meanwhile, Barry and co. are journeying in Australia, hot on the trail of some small-batch Pinots from family-owned vineyards. Because of the bushfires there, Australian wine may never be the same again. We’re lucky to be snatching these wines up while we can.

More on that in a moment…

But first… As our long-time members will be aware, the Bonner Private Wine team had quite an adventure in Argentina back in December. This week, Julien Miquel has been working on a full documentary of the trip – including video tours of your favorite Argentina vineyards, a visit to Bill Bonner’s Gualfin, and interviews with some of the top winemakers in the Calchaquí Valley (Salta) area.

Please keep an eye on your inbox for that video next Wednesday.

What Will Happen to Australia’s Vineyards? (continued)

“Finding a great Pinot Noir has been exceedingly difficult,” reports Barry. “But I am determined… leaving this morning for Adelaide… Hopefully, the fires haven’t damaged the cellars.”

It’s a good time to buy Australian wine – not because it’s cheap, but because it may never be the same again. The bushfires have incinerated over 10 million hectares. The vineyards have not been spared. In Adelaide, winemakers are reporting that the entire 2020 harvest is lost; 2021 may be a total loss as well.

For those whose vineyards have been incinerated, it will likely be at least 5 years before they can produce grapes again. When they do begin producing again, they will find their terroir irrevocably altered (for better or for worse).

Fortunately, we have boots on the ground. So far, the hunt has been extremely productive. Barry reports: “I found the most outstanding Chardonnay in the Yarra Valley… probably the closest thing to the famous Rombauer Chard I’ve ever tasted. It’s a small producer, family-run, not sold in the USA… We could be the first… Very difficult to ignore.”

“Closest thing to the famous Rombauer Chard” – that’s going to be a big, aggressive wine. And we can’t wait to taste it.

Until next time,

The Wine Explorer