Journey to the Wine Region in South Australia
Every year, one of my inner voices urges me to visit another wine region. I believe that it is important for a Sommelier to be able to describe the winery and the surrounding conditions as well as just the wine itself. For the last 3 years, I have taken my Sommelier Assistants from St. Regis Bali and Laguna Resort to Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Western Australia, Piedmont, Tuscany and Venetian. In December 2013 I went to South Australia and visited the wine regions of Barossa, including Eden Valley…
Dear Readers of My Inner Voice
Every year, one of my inner voices urges me to visit another wine region. I believe that it is important for a Sommelier to be able to describe the winery and the surrounding conditions as well as just the wine itself.
For the last 3 years, I have taken my Sommelier Assistants from St. Regis Bali and Laguna Resort to Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Western Australia, Piedmont, Tuscany and Venetian. In December 2013 I went to South Australia and visited the wine regions of Barossa, including Eden Valley and Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Valley and the Hills of Adelaide. In 6 days we visited more than 18 wineries and tasted more than 160 wines, mostly red wines with this area being most famous for its Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. We also tried some Malbec, Petite Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo and very occasionally, Tannat wine. Some of the white varieties we tried were very dry Riesling wines, Viognier, Chardonnay, Semillon, Pinot Grigio, and rarities like Gruener Veltliner and Verdelho.
I would really like to stress the generosity of all the wineries we visited. I like to think long-term with regards to our wine list, so even if we don’t feature the wines produced at the winery on our list, that winery is sure that we will do in the future (unless the wine is really not to our liking!)
The other main reason behind our visit is to introduce my Sommelier Assistants to these different wineries and ensure that they can tell the difference between a Shiraz-Cabernet from Wolf Blass and one from Peter Lehmann, for example.
Besides wineries like Two Hands, Torbreck, D”Arenberg, Penfolds, Mount Horrock, Grosset and Petaluma who kindly invited us for unforgettable luncheons and dinners, I really should mention something about the people and organisations who made our visits extra special. The first person I’d like to mention is Mr. Robert Chong from the Commodore Trading Company, an Indonesian Sire who has exported wine to Indonesia for more than 20 years. He spent all of his time driving us around and showing us the wineries of South Australia with his wife, not to mention his generously providing us with accommodation in a great 4-star hotel in Adelaide for 3 nights.
Secondly, I would like to mention the Yalumba Estate in Angaston who welcomed us with an Indonesian flag and invited us into their famous Chalet Percy, which dates back to the 19th Century, not to mention the invitation for dinner, lunch and a great wine tasting in their VIP wine cellar. How lucky we are to be in the wine business as Sommeliers! !
Last but not least I would like to mention some very good Australian wines which should be on a good wine list. As usual, it is my own experience and palate that urges you to try these wines. We Sommeliers don’t really talk about years with Australian wines but before buying a 2011 Australian wine, it is advisable to taste first as this wasn’t the best year.
The Virgilus, Vigonier, the Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz, The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz.
The Flagships – Aphrodite Cabernet Sauvignon, Sophies Garden Shiraz, Brave Face Grenache & Shiraz
The Violinist Verdelho, Enchanted Path Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon
Cuvee Juveniles Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre) and Shiraz, Descendant Shiraz & Viognier
Keyneton Euphonium Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, Hill of Grace Shiraz
Yattarna Chardonnay, Penfolds Grange, Penfolds 707
Shaw & Smith
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oracle Shiraz
Amon Ra Shiraz, Anaperenna Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz
Dolcetto & Lagrein Cuvee, Cabernet Sauvignon
Dead Arm Shiraz, Laughing Magpie Shiraz & Viognier
Grey Label Cabernet Sauvignon
Jim Barry Wines
The Armagh Shiraz, The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage Port Shiraz
Tannat Pertaringa, The Yeoman Shiraz, Gruener Veltliner Pertaringa white
Gaja Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot
Cordon Cut Riesling
Harald Wiesmann, Restaurant Manager of the Asian inspired Haute Cuisine Kayuputi and Chief Sommelier at The St. Regis Bali Resort, has a very interesting career history spanning a number of years with different roles in various countries. His 41 years of international experience has led Kayuputi to receive prestigious awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) for four consecutive years since its opening five years ago. While for the first two years the restaurant was awarded “Award of Excellence,” these last three years Kayuputi has been honoured with “Best of Award of Excellence,” making it the first and only restaurant in the whole of Indonesia to win this coveted award for the third time. Just recently, the fine restaurant received “Award of Travelers’ Choice for Travelers’ Favorite Fine Dining Restaurants in Indonesia” and 2nd place for “Travelers’ Favorite Fine Dining Restaurants in Asia” from Trip Advisor.