SUMMER has arrived, no doubt about it.
The vineyards of the region are in fine shape, good falls of rain have the vines well set. We are coming to the business end and expect typical harvest dates in March and April.
As Australia Day and Banjo Festival approach and the barbecue gets a workout let’s take a look forward to what 2017 has in store.
1. A cracker 2017 vintage (touch wood). In Orange we have had a reasonable run, with 2014, 2015 and 2016 all being good to very good. Expectations are that 2017 will be up there.
2. On the international scene, as tariffs continue to drop in the Chinese market, Australian wine will begin to make a mark.
3. Low-impact grape growing will become more important as Australia’s ‘green’ credentials get tested.
4. Improving clonal selection will become more important as the market searches for difference and complexity.
So, what will get a run at and around Australia Day? It’s summer so nothing should be difficult, we all want to relax. One of the simpler dishes of recent days placed cold cuts, green leaf, grilled vegetables and a lovely smelly cheese together for lunch.
The local Frieda from Second Mouse, a smelly washed-rind cheese, has a ripe creamy taste and was a terrific match with a local sparkling.
Local fizz has developed very well since the days that the category was Bloodwood, Canobolas-Smith and the occasional sparkler from Rex D’Aquino.
Now De Salis, Philip Shaw, See Saw, Ross Hill and Strawhouse also have local sparkling wines in the market. Add to that Swift, Heifer Station, Mayfield, Montoro, Logan, Angullong, Carillon, Borrodell, Swinging Bridge and Cargo Road.
This is an impressive regional range, across price points and styles.