08/06/2004 - 22:00

Wine News

08/06/2004 - 22:00

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VASSE Felix will re-open its cellar door on June 24 after undergoing renovations to the original cellar.

Wine News

VASSE Felix will re-open its cellar door on June 24 after undergoing renovations to the original cellar.

Still the only underground cellar in the Margaret River region, the new version will be twice as big as the first, with more space to accommodate visiting tasters.

To celebrate the occasion there will be some older vintages on offer to taste over the winter season, and although exact vintages are yet to be selected, it is expected these will date back to the 1990s.

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Ferngrove Vineyards Estate has released its 2001 vintage premium red, The Stirlings.

A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and malbec, the wine has already received three gold medals at shows across Australia.

Ferngrove winemaker Kim Horton said The Stirlings extended the group of wines beyond the flagship range, the Orchid Series.

“The Stirlings will come to epitomise the best of the best from our vineyards. I suppose it is our benchmark blend and each year the blend will evolve according to vintage conditions,” he said.

The wine takes its name from the Stirling Ranges, which can be seen over the Frankland River near the winery.

Ferngrove is also due to release the second vintage of the Orchid Series alongside the inaugural Stirlings.

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Tony Taylor has resigned from his position as executive director at Australian Wine Holdings.

Mr Taylor’s resignation follows the recent announcement that the group will return to a more organic growth model rather than pursuing a merger-and-acquisition strategy.

Mr Taylor has indicated he will remain available to the group on a consultancy basis.

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The Hardy Wine Company has announced a record grape crush for the 2004 vintage, enjoying a 28 per cent increase on the 2003 season.

The vintage, at 329,350 tonnes, is the largest annual grape crush on record for an Australian winery group, and a 5 per cent increase on the last record, set in 2002.

These figures make up 19 per cent of the total Australian wine vintage based on statistics released recently by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation.

Hardy chief winemaker Peter Dawson says Western Australia had an exceptional vintage across the board, with the company’s Houghton winery producing some outstanding reds.

Group red winemaker Paul Lapsley says Houghton had a near perfect vintage, with particularly strong cabernet.

“Margaret River cabernet is as complex as I’ve ever seen – full bodied with lovely depth and great colour,” he says.

“Mt Barker and Frankland River Cabernet and Shiraz are wonderful.”

On the eastern seaboard, Hardy has opened a $10 million expansion to its Australian bottling facilities.

The new production line is located at the Hardy Wine Company’s head-quarters in Reynella south of Adelaide.

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