Winelander – October 23, 2020

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Because we are fairly restricted here on the Island to independent wineries because of the Coles/Woolworths monopoly I have found myself ordering more online and have found a wine supplier that is a bit different and to date, the wines I have been supplied with have all been very interesting and not a well-known label amongst them. The company name is Naked Wines and whilst the labels may be different there is a spattering of iconic winemakers amongst the companies most of whom have given up the corporate world to go out on their own and make wines that are their own and not to a company directive.

You will find grape varieties of every persuasion that will suit every palate including all the new varieties that have recently appeared on the shelves and with every order, there is usually a bonus bottle included in the mixed dozen you order which also includes free freight. There are around 50 or more winemakers and although they all make excellent wines there are a few that have been around as long if not longer than myself and include Ben Riggs, Brian Fletcher of Evans and Tate fame who has won 40 trophies and hundreds of medals in his time, Sam Plunkett, Geoff Thompson, Stuart Pym whose winemaking talents produced Devil’s Lair and Voyager Estate, Ben Gould, Daryl Groom ex Penfolds Grange winemaker, Simon ‘Sorby’ Adams ex-chief winemaker at Yalumba, Nigel Ludlow, Randal Tomich and Stuart Bourne to name but a few.

If you are looking to become a little more adventurous I can thoroughly recommend these guys as there are some unusual blends, but it is obvious a lot of passion goes into what these guys are producing. Just Google “Naked Wines” and off you go, I have $40 a month deducted from my account then when it’s time to order it is less painful but you can cancel any time and if you are not satisfied with any particular product you can return it, unlikely as that would be.

We have recently touched on organic wines which during the time of the pandemic have seen sales soar and have been receiving a lot of press including the television news who have been spending time at Angove’s McLaren Vale vineyard to find out exactly what goes into making these wines. Angove’s were chosen because whilst there are now quite several organic winemakers they are the leaders in this area of wine production.

To be certified organic a farmer/winemaker can’t just become certified organic overnight it’s a lengthy process that’s done over a period of years. Once you are certified by a Federal Officer you will be audited every year which includes everything from soil analysis to product testing and all the boxes have to be ticked to maintain your certification.

If people are considering buying a product that says it is organic but there’s no proof of any certification it could be anything, it could have had common weedkillers to control the weeds and as in the case of animals which roam around free and eat whatever they want it could be called organic even though it isn’t. To ensure the product you are buying has the organic certification mark it will say certified organic and will have a certification number which ensures the product and growing area has passed all the necessary tests.

One of the problems in grape growing is the pesky snail and Angove’s have come with a novel way of controlling these pests which not only do they feed on the young shoots that burst after rain which can also contaminate the grape harvest. Angove’s use Indian Runner Ducks in the vineyard rather than using baits or synthetic chemicals, these cute animals are far less harmful and not only get a good feed but also enables a sustainable ecosystem and helps to balance nature, the ducks roam around in fenced-off areas as if not they would just pick random areas and eat the snails that are easy to find but as they are controlled they burrow and find the slimy pests.

Angove also uses drones and aerial imaging from satellites to allow farmers to tend to their vines which means they can fertilise, water and pick with absolute precision, it also allows them to spot for things like water leaks in the vineyards drip irrigation system which reduces water consumption by 25%. Without drones, they would have to drive up and down the rows of vines to assess the vineyard health which is time-consuming and power intensive. If you are interested in switching to a healthier way of drinking wines Angove have a wine style to suit everyone and most of the prices are in the $15-$18 per bottle price range although they also produce a few excellent premium varieties at $40 upwards, and whilst the choice in BWS and Liquorland is limited, Dan Murphy’s and First Choice Liquor have a larger selection or simply Google Angove’s Organic Wines to see the choice of over thirty different labels and varietals including names such as Wild Olive, Warboys, Blewitt Springs, Sellicks Foothills, Willunga, Family Crest and Naturalis, here is a 130 Y.O family company moving well with the times.