Winelander – January 28, 2022

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I hope the festive season went without mishap and your choices in wine were in keeping with the food you enjoyed, this was probably the quietest holiday we have had in some years as most of our chums were away however this didn’t stop the turkey and ham making an appearance. Let’s revisit South Australia which is still the most important region in Australia for producing wines to suit every budget from cheap inexpensive wines from the Riverland region to premium wines from The Coonawarra, Barossa Valley McLaren Vale, and The Clare Valley. In the last issue, I mentioned the wines of Claymore from The Clare Valley region and their musical names so it was very pleasing to find The Joshua Tree Riesling on the wine list at The Surf Club if you are having any of the seafood dishes at The Club including the oysters you will not find a better match than The Joshua Tree Riesling. The McLaren Vale and surrounds stretching down to Goolwa is a region that produces outstanding wines and one with which I have been involved with for many years. Wines I have represented include Richard Hamilton, Woodstock, Scarpantoni, Andrew Garrett Wines, Ballast Stone Estate, and Warren Randall wines. I found Warren Randall at his winery Tinlin’s which is likely one you have never heard of, yet this modest enterprise was the stepping stone to becoming the largest independent landowner in the McLaren Vale region for producing premium wine grapes. I came across Tinlin’s down a cul-de-sac of a dirt road, a rather large shed with a smallish office come cellar door and a house come office. Initially, I was tempted to turn around and mosey back to the main road but something intrigued me so I went into the office and met one of the most dynamic, charismatic characters I have met in my time in the industry. Warren Randall is one of those guys who cannot stop, he is enthusiastic to the nth degree and we hit it off straight away, unfortunately, what he was trying to sell at that moment with endearing Australiana labels just wasn’t what the market wanted at that time. Tinlins is a magnificent cash cow, the public line up daily with their flagons and plastic containers and gets them filled up for a very reasonable price and other wineries buy bulk high quality wine to add to their own production. This set-up has led to Warren buying a number of vineyards in the region and becoming the region’s largest vigneron. His office is now at Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley where he became the majority shareholder in 2103 and has now turned the clock back rebuilding the run down winery back to its former glory, not only as a winery but with a six-star hotel in the plans appropriately named Hotel Oscar Seppeltsfield which will join the function centre and tourist centre. His company now owns about 3500 hectares of premium red wine vineyards in South Australia a region that produces around half of Australia’s total wine production and 80% of its premium wine. The Randall group would have been hard hit by the recent stoush with China after having opened a wine chateau there in 2017 in a joint venture with the Minquan Jiuding Wine Company which was the first to have a part ownership stake by an Australian winemaker, however, having known Warren I am sure he is well situated to attack the U.K. and American markets to offset the Chinese problem which had just finished 2019 buying a record 1.2 billion dollars’ worth of Australian wine.

For information on the excellent range of Seppeltsfield products, especially the fortified wines which used to be under the Seppelts label including the famous Para Port visit the excellent Seppeltsfield website, I remember visiting the vineyard many years ago and in the fortified barrel room, all the generations of The Seppelt Family winemakers were remembered with their names around the room and today the group employs Charlie Seppelt a fifth-generation Seppelt family winemaker. The Seppelt Brand was retained by Treasury Wines Estate which is the reason The Randall Wine Group established the Seppeltsfield range of wine products, their web. There are several liquor outlets in Queensland that stock the Seppeltsfield wines, The Wine Emporium in The Fortitude Valley, The Flash Bottle Shop, Victoria and Montague Bottle Shop, The Craft Wine Store, SW 1 Bottle Shop, Crosby Road Wine and Ales, Cellarbrations Nambour, Hotel West End Brisbane and The Great Northern Hotel. Cheers, Philip Arlidge [email protected] Wine and Doctors go hand in hand here in Australia, Dr Penfold, Doctor Angove, and Dr Lindeman for instance.

Dr Osler puts his very considerable reputation on the line. Beverage wine is our most valuable medicinal agent and is the milk of old age. From the holy book The Talmud Wine is at the head of all medicines, where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary.