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Winestate Magazine May - June 2020

Launched in 1978, Winestate is one of the world’s longest running wine magazines, featuring over 140 pages on all things vinous from around the globe. Winestate tastes and rates over 10,000 wines a year, making Winestate the leading authority on Australian and New Zealand wines.

Winestate Magazine
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7 Issues

in this issue

3 min

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT EDITORIALS I HAVE HAD TO WRITE. At the time of writing, in the last days of March, the only issue in our world is the Covid-19 virus and the unprecedented responses we are going through from both a health and a financial point of view. It is difficult to know what to say to those who have lost loved ones, suffered from the disease or suffered from the isolation required, other than to offer the utmost sympathy. This, on top of the remaining fallout from the Black Summer bushfires that ravaged across most of Australia, severely affecting some wine regions, has been crippling for the wine, tourism and hospitality industries. On top of this we have the financial strains, both personal and from a company…

23 min

BLACK SUMMER TOLL AUSTRALIAN vintage 2020 has been one of the most challenging in recent memory. Bush fires across four states and the ACT have taken their toll with many producers choosing not to make wine after concerns about the effect of smoke taint on grapes. High profile producer, Clonakilla at Murrumbateman in the ACT was among the first to make an announcement on February 18. The company board, it said, had made the “painful decision” not to make wines from “any vineyard in New South Wales this year.” “Analysis of ripening grapes from our estate vineyard in Murrumbateman, and the vineyards of our longstanding grape suppliers in the Hilltops region around the town of Young, has revealed unacceptably high levels of smoke taint across all varieties and all vineyard sites,” stated…

5 min
a tainted future? or just smoke and mirrors?

THIS past vintage will be remembered for a long time. On-going drought, raging fires, smoke taint and finally the damage done to business by the Coronavirus have all created an anus horribilis. Not many regions escaped either the direct impact of fires or the smoke. According to the New South Wales Wine Industry’s Executive Officer, Angus Barnes, the Hunter, Mudgee and Hilltops regions has seen ‘around half’ of its production impacted by smoke. As one would expect, the worst affected regions were closer to the fire. They include the Shoalhaven Coast, Southern Highlands, Tumbarumba, Canberra District and Hastings River. Fortunately, the Riverina, Murray Darling, Perricoota and Swan Hill regions did not receive any damage, whilst Cowra and Orange recorded a low amount of taint. However, to put this all into…

6 min
philadelphia redux - best eating city on the east coast

PHILADELPHIA is less than two hours by train from New York, bypassing the traffic snarls of getting to JFK airport and the need to get there hours before your flight takes off. There's no better time to visit the City of Brotherly Love, which is temporarily changing its nickname in 2020 to celebrate the centenary of women's suffrage in the US. But whatever the gender of its title, currently the City of Sisterly Love to use its Twitter hashtag, Philly has plenty to offer visitors for a stay of 5 days to a week. For starters, the city is home to "the most historic square mile in America". It takes an entire day at least to do justice to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center and Betsy Ross's house to track…

4 min
diversification is key

MIKE ZEKULICH IT DID not take long for Graeme Yukich, emerging star of the WA wine industry, to realise there was more money to be made from coffee than wine. The 57-year-old chartered accountant runs a family operation with a range of interests including coffee, cheese, gourmet foods and of course wine. He and younger brother Kim, backed by semi-retired father Mark, work under the labels Oakover and Nikola Estates – situated in the heart of the Swan Valley, just 18 km from the Perth CBD. The latest acquisition, now known as Nikola Estate, was once the iconic Houghton recognised around Australia and overseas for its magnificent table and fortified wines. The Yukich’s aren’t saying how much was paid for Houghton. Previously, they had purchased the State Government vine and grape research station…

2 min
hong kong grapevine

DESPITE the clear downturn of Hong Kong’s restaurant and bar scene at the beginning of this year, the city’s folk are known for their resilience and green shoots are appearing to mark the changing of the seasons. Just in from the team behind trendy tapas bar, Pica Pica, Rubia pays tribute to all things beef - albeit the best cuts from the revered Galician Blond cattle that graze the pastures in northwest Spain. All dishes are served with hand-cut patatas fritas, sweet smoked piquillo peppers and mustard greens and steak lovers will definitely meet their match. For smaller bites, try the tapas dishes of ‘huevos rotos’ – broken fried eggs mixed with chorizo or morcilla and perched on Rubia’s homemade fries or the spicy potato and beef bomba – stuffed mashed potato…