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Wine Blogger Visits Hunter Valley

Today I hosted the wine blogger Mike Fifer of in the Hunter Valley Wine Country. Mike is from the USA & blogs on global wine trends.


The Lakes Folly Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are looking & tasting great. Whilst the Hunter Valley received some heavy rains in the last weeks of the 2013 harvest, these tough skinned Cabernet grapes withstood the ravages of the weather & have avoided any substantial damage. With balmy early Autumn weather now, these grapes are slowly building character & will be picked in mid March.


Mike particularly was impressed with the Snowy Mountains grown Pinot Noir - dark smoky cherry tones, with warm & spicy notes.


I took Mike into the Lakes Folly vineyard to inspect their still ripening Cabernet Sauvignon grapes & we both agreed that they would benefit with a bit more 'hang time' on the vines - to finish off the accumulation of flavours.


Mike was amazed with the clarity & intensity of the character of these high altitude grown Snowy Mountains Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon red wines.


I introduced Mike to high altitude (1500m = 4600ft) grown Chardonnay, at Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains - pure but intense!


Mike was surprised how much a slight difference in soil composition influenced the nature of a high end old vine Hunter Valley Shiraz - here a 2011 Shiraz grown on 105 year old vines on sandy soil is compared to a 2011 Shiraz grown on 134 year old vines, but on clay soils.


Planted in 1963 by Sydney hand surgeon Dr. Max Lake, these Cabernet Sauvignon vines were the first of the noble grape variety to be planted in the Hunter Valley.