As the year draws to a close, many of us think about taking time off and celebrating with family and friends. In this article, we ask past Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year winners about their favourite wine destinations and preferred drops for that special occasion.
Sue Hodder and Allen Jenkins, joint recipients of the 2010 award, are a world-class winemaking team from Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Coonawarra SA. When asked about their favourite place to visit, both agreed on one place – Bordeaux. “The narrow cobbled streets, the fairy-tale chateaux, the aesthetic of the landscape, the hospitality and food, vibrant summer evenings, and… the wine,” said Allen.
According to Virginia Willcock of Vasse Felix, Margaret River WA, one of the most inspiring wineries she has ever visited is Roda in Rioja, Spain. “I saw the barrel hall in Roda and it was so beautiful; every barrel was looked after like a work of art, treated with respect and pride. The way they look on the outside reflects what is on the inside.” Virginia was bestowed with the 2012 Winemaker of the Year Award and remains at the top of her game.
Ed Carr of House of Arras is renowned for his sparkling wines. The 2011 winner says the most striking vineyards he’s ever visited are located on the central east coast of Tasmania. “These sites have their own specific natural beauty, with their cold climes the result of altitude, latitude or proximity to water,” he says.
Jeffrey Grosset, winner of the very first Winemaker of the Year Award in 1998, loves the Clare Valley in South Australia. Fascinated by Riesling, he travelled to Germany early on his career. And, when it came to find his own place, he knew that the Clare Valley was perfect for him. For more than 35 years, he has been producing wines that express a sense of place.
Perpetual is a proud supporter of the Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Award.
This article is based on interviews conducted by Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine, as part of the Up Close series.