Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 611

6 | AUSTRAL I AN & NEW ZEAL AND WINE ADVERT I S ING PROMOT ION 4 AUGUST 2022 AUSTRALIA HUNTER VALLEY A couple of hours’ north of Sydney, this is probably Australia’s most popular wine destination. If there’s one grape that put this region on the world wine map it’s Semillon. Lip-smackingly fresh when young, it matures into a rich, honey-scented wine. COONAWARRA Famous for its terra rossa soil, the prized crumbly red earth that seems to bring out Cabernet Sauvignon’s best side, Coonawarra’s naturally cooler, southerly position also suits the grape particularly well. BAROSSA VALLEY The warm Barossa Valley is the beating heart of South Australia when it comes to wine, producing some of the country’s best Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Chardonnay wines. Many of the world’s oldest Shiraz vines are found here. ADELAIDE HILLS Still in South Australia, the Adelaide Hills region made its name producing citrus-fresh whites including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. But you’ll also find fine reds, particularly Pinot Noir and Shiraz. MCLAREN VALE This region borders the Adelaide Hills but produces a very different style of wine, thanks to its coastal location. The wines are big and bold, especially Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. MARGARET RIVER On the western side of the country is the distinctly cool-in-comparison Margaret River wine region. Star grapes include Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which produce an elegant, restrained style of wine. It’s a relatively small area, but the wines more than make up for it. KNOW YOUR REGIONS Where a wine is produced can have a huge impact on its flavour. Time to do a bit of swotting up – it F ounded in the 60s by Filippo and Maria Casella, who emigrated from Sicily and began growing grapes in New South Wales, Casella Family Brands has been run by their son, John, for the past 25 years. Now the largest family owned wine company in Australia, it produces the award-winning Yellow Tail label and, more recently, PepperBox Shiraz. Launched in 2018, this bold, food-friendly red is produced under the skilled stewardship of head winemaker David Joeky (above). “For the more recent vintages, the PepperBox grapes were sourced from the sunnier parts of southeast Australia, including the renowned McLaren Vale and Currency Creek regions, which are known for high-quality Shiraz,” he says. “These warmer climates produce a wine with rich flavours of dark fruit and a cracking peppery finish, with soft, velvety tannins for balance.” The intense flavours are carefully crafted to complement food. The company even showcases the team’s favourite recipes-with-a-twist under the banner of Daring Dishes – think anchovies with lamb or a coffee crust on beef. “PepperBox goes brilliantly with rib-eye steaks or lamb shanks,” says David, “particularly if you’re slow cooking or grilling on the barbecue. It’s a great wine to drink now, though it will be just as good to keep for up to five years.” PEPPERBOX MEET THE PRODUCER PepperBox Shiraz* 20% off £8/75cl (was £10) (bin 817128) The Shiraz grape variety is known for its pepperiness and in this wine, you can really see why. With plush blackcurrant fruit flavours and a generous sprinkle of black pepper, this is one for people who like their reds with a sumptuous kick. Brilliant paired with hearty flavours, from gourmet burgers to chilli con carne. Bottles with an Australian accent The names are quirky, the bottles look different... There’s a definite Aussie vibe to some of the new wines in the range tone. Little Giant, Elephant in the Room, Mad Fish, PepperBox, Yellow Tail, 19 Crimes... The names couldn’t be more different to European wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And you won’t find grand houses on most of the labels either. Instead, creatures including elephants, wombats and wallabies – or in the case of 19 Crimes, a convict – take centre stage. Welcome to Australia! Ever since Australian wines first burst onto the scene, they’ve felt a little different to the wines from other countries. Unshackled by Old World traditions, Australian winemakers have always been able to experiment, with grapes, blends, winemaking techniques – and even how the bottles look. Some of the new additions to the Waitrose range really capture that slightly tongue-in-cheek Australian *Selected stores