Right about now, there’s an awards night happening in London to celebrate Australian women in wine http://womeninwineawards.com.au/
While I’m am all the way back here in Melbourne, Australia, I thought I would celebrate Australian women in wine my own way…
I love wineries that have great stories behind them, whether it’s about the history or about the people behind the wine label.
Olivers Taranga is one of those wineries embedded with family history. The head winemaker behind Olivers Taranga is Corrina Wright. Corrina is joined by Brioni Oliver – vineyard, cellar door, and wine stock manager. Both Corrina and Brioni are part of the sixth generation at Olivers Taranga.
Olivers Taranga was the feature winery at the last fabulous ladies wine society event in Melbourne at Lumé restaurant.
Ladies getting fabulous at Lumé (Credit @fabulousladieswinesociety)
Olivers Taranga features a diverse range of wine varieties; varieties which are not all that common here in Australia just yet, like Vermentino, Fiano and a Rosé that’s made from Spanish grape variety Mencìa (pronounced “Men-thee-a”).
To kick start the evening we were treated to a unique sparkling wine – A sparkling Fiano called ‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’. I’ve never come across a sparkling Fiano before, as it’s traditionally made as a still white wine. ‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’ was fresh out of the barrel. So fresh in fact, that the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society were one of the first in the country to taste this amazing drop. It’s expected to be released later this year.
Fresh, light, bubbly, and acidic, its crisp finish made it a very easy drinking. Some may say too easy!
This sparkling wine is the first sparkling in the Olivers Taranga range. Corrina, being a lover of bubbly wine, had been wanting to introduce one in to the range for some time. She experimented by using the Fiano grape, turning it into a bubble using the Traditional Method. Voila! Success!
What’s the Traditional Method? It’s the Champagne wine making method of bottle fermenting, riddling and disgorging.
‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’ was born. The story behind the title and label came from their grandma, Marjorie Hunt. Marjorie was the matriarch of the family. On the label you’ll see flowers and feathers, which symbolise the flowers and feathers she used to collect. It’s a wine that pays homage to the great lady herself.
Next on the tasting list was the Vermentino, an Italian variety. The Vermentino was light with loads of length, and a crisp finish – The perfect wine that can be paired with seafood.
The wine lineup! (Credit @fabulousladieswinesociety)
Number three on the wine tasting list was the Fiano, the non-sparkling style. It was great to taste the Fiano without its bubbles, as it took on a different character; textured, nutty, with great acidity.
After we finished the whites, next came the pink! The Rosé.
This Rosé was made from Spanish grapes called Mencìa. I’d never heard of this variety before, so I was super keen to try it. In fact, Olivers Taranga are the first in Australia to be growing Mencìa grapes. After the vines were planted and the grapes were picked, Olivers Taranga decided to test it out by making a Rosé. Turns out it was a success, and it’s now into its 4th vintage!
What’s a vintage? Vintages are used to describe the year grapes are picked in from a vine.
The flavour of the Rosé was refreshing, just like munching into a watermelon on a hot summers day. After tasting the wine, it left me with a warming toffee-like finish in my mouth. Delicious!
Now it was time to move on to the reds! Here’s where the party is at! There is nothing better than sitting down with a glass of red, cosied up in front of a fire during Winter.
The Grenache was the first up on the red wine tasting list.
The Grenache, for Olivers Taranga, is more of a traditional variety. It’s one they feel works well with their philosophy of trying new things, but also sticking to well known structured wines like the Grenache. It had a slight oaky and pepperyiness to it, and was described as an easy pizza drinking wine. Hello! Any wine that’s teamed with pizza has my tick of approval.
Wine – Tick!, Pizza – Tick! Happy Days
Next up there were two more traditional style of wines – the Shiraz variety. It was asked what would be the plural of Shiraz – which Jane, the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society host, aptly stated that it was ‘Shirazeses’. Try say that one!
A fun fact about Olivers Taranga: Their Shiraz grape also goes into making Penfolds Grange – a high quality red wine
To start off the Shiraz tastings we had the 2015 Olivers Taranga Shiraz, which was one of their newly released wines. Alongside the new released Shiraz was an older release; the 2013 Olivers Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz. This wine took on a dark choc, rum and raisin flavour which was velvety and smooth – wow, sounds like I’ve just described a block of Cadbury rum and raisin. Yum!
And for the finalè, to cap off the night, we finished off with a 20 year old sticky fortified wine called The Banished.
Again, a great story as to how this one came about – second generation brothers to the winery used to live the good life of drinking, smoking and gambling rather than working on the vineyard. As a result they were banished. Ruth Oliver, married to Archibald Oliver, took over the winery and was head winemaker. You go girl!
So there you have it, some fabulous ladies in wine, making great bottles for the rest of us all to enjoy. To all the ladies in wine out there, Cheers!
Until next time winos,