Seven words from an elderly Jesuit priest changed the course of Tim Kirk’s life and set the stage for Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier to become one of Australia’s great wines.
“It was back in the mid 90s. I was teaching religious education at Melbourne’s Xavier College. I was well and truly bitten by the wine bug by this stage and during breaks from teaching I’d drive up the Hume Highway to work with dad at the family winery in Murrumbateman.”
As I write this I am preparing to head off to France to visit my two favourite wine regions in Europe: Burgundy and the Northern Rhone.
In terms of inspiration in the world of wine, for me these two are at the top of the list.
The wine producers of Cote Rotie are a determined lot. They work the most precarious slopes anywhere in the world of wine (though the Riesling growers of the Mosel might beg to differ.) Loose granite on frighteningly steep inclines, some terraced, some not. The producers are largely family concerns, often with more than one generation working in the business. The cellars are usually to be found under the family home.
Tim checks the progress of the 2011 reds
out of barrel. A few new varieties making an appearance here. Southern Rhone you say?