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australia, austria, skin contact wines, slovakia, slovenia, yarra valley -

White wine is almost always made the same way. The grapes are pressed to gently extract the juice which is fermented with the skins removed (they can be used for grappa, added to a compost pit, or put back in the vineyard as organic matter: waste not, want not). This is to produce fresh, crisp, clear wines. There are exceptions. Because Riesling is never aged in new oak, the grape juice is often left in contact with the skins overnight to add structure and texture to the wine without interfering with the aromatics. Sauvignon Blanc sometimes has a short period...

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amber wine, australia, cabernet sauvignon, frankland river, mclaren vale, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, western australia, yarra valley -

Living here in California, I’ve learnt that Australian wine can be a difficult sell. There are preconceptions, often based on the success of yellow tail, that all Australian wine is simple and fruity. And as Australia has a similar climate to California and trends have paralleled since the 1990s, then why drink Australia instead of California? Well, dig a little deeper and you’ll discover esoteric winemakers, unexpected grape varieties, historic but lesser-known wine regions, and a wide range of quality wines. Let’s start with Grenache, because there are plenty of old vines which represent the tapestry of Australian winemaking history...

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