As the palates of Australian wine drinkers evolve and become more refined, there is a growing demand for more varied wines in restaurants and bottle shops. As a result of this trend, we’ve noticed our customers are beginning to select more obscure wine varieties and blends to offer their patrons.
This shift toward boutique consumer goods is also being felt in the beer and liquor industries, where consumers have been shown to actively seek out venues that have a good selection of craft beers and boutique spirits from around the world.
It used to be the way that if you wanted more varied wines for your venue you’d have to turn to imported wines from France, Italy, Spain and beyond. But the Australian viticulture community has also responded to these trends in consumer behaviour and over past decades has planted a plethora of exciting new wines in our own backyard.
One such producer is South Australian winery Artwine. With two vineyards in the Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills, the suit is tending to 14 lesser-known grape varieties and they are thriving in Australian soil. We’ve expanded our range of these wines with some brief information on these new wines to get you acquainted.
Prosecco (aka Glera)
The popularity of Prosecco outside Italy has risen sharply in the past two decades. Secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks makes it less expensive to produce than it’s French counterpart, Champagne. Most commonly made in a sparkling style, Prosecco can also be produced as semi-sparkling (frizzante) or as a still wine. Compared to other sparkling wines, Prosecco is generally lower in alcohol with a flavours described as “intensely aromatic and crisp, bringing to mind yellow apple, pear, white peach and apricot”. Prosecco should be drunk young, within 3 years of its vintage.
| Artwine Prosecco – Adelaide Hills
“A delicious light, easy-drinking style of sparkling for any time of the day. Floral and fruit on the nose continuing through to a delicious palate. A wonderful aperitif.”
A Spanish grape varietal, prized for its spiciness and tannin structure. The vine is also cultivated in France under the name Marrastel (Mataro in Australia) and Xeres in California. Straight varietal Graciano wines tends to be big, soft and aromatic.
| Artwine ‘The Grace’ Graciano – Clare Valley SA
“This single vineyard variety is an intense garnet colour with an abundance of morello cherries and hints of five spice. Good acidity makes this an outstanding food partner to ‘grace’ any table.”
Revered wine expert Jancis Robinson describes Fiano as a “rich, waxy, strongly flavoured, fashionable Southern Italian”. Hailing from the southern Italian wine region of Campania, Fiano has a small but steadily growing number of producers in wine regions across Australia. The variety is also growing in popularity in other ‘new world’ wine regions in Argentina. A quality varietal Fiano should have a good palate weight with strong floral aromas with notes of honey and spice.
| Artwine ‘Wicked Stepmother’ Fiano – Clare Valley SA
“A pretty nose of violets and florals lead to subtle spiciness on the palate and nutty characters with a crisp, dry finish. Delicious on it’s own and a perfect match to spicy foods.”
The second most planted variety in Italy, Montepulciano is emerging as a highly suitable variety for the warmer wine regions of Australia. Wines from this grape variety are often light-to-medium bodied due to the moderately low acidity, creating soft, smooth and very drinkable wines. The montepulciano berries ripen late in the season with an often high yield.
|Artwine ‘Leave Your Hat on’ Montepulciano – Clare Valley SA
“Aromatic, medium-bodied wine that has a vibrant burst of flavour on the textural palate. Dark cherries, plums and berries with spicy undertones and splashes of herbs. Good length and savoury tannins.”
A white grape variety primarily grown in Austria, Slovakia and the Czech republic, Gruner Veltliner is surging in popularity in vineyards across the United States. A particularly food-friendly wine, makes this varietal a great addition on restaurant wine lists. James Halliday has expressed his view that Gruner Veltliner may be “the next big thing” in Australian wine. The high-yielding vine produces small yellow-green fruit and a varietal wine that is dry and spicy with characteristic notes of white pepper.
| Artwine ‘In The Groove’ Grüner Veltliner – Adelaide Hills SA
“This delicious dry wine has aromas of citrus, nectarine and pineapple with hallmark hints of white pepper. The slightly textural palate delivers citrus and stone fruit with hints of spice and celery. Particularly good with Asian style spicy dishes.”
The black grape Tempranillo is a premium Spanish variety from the Rioja region. It has been hailed by Vinodiversity as one of the most successful of the red wines introduced into Australia in the past two decades. Other major plantings of Tempranillo are found in Argentina and California. The name comes from the Spanish word temprano (“early”), due to it’s short growing season, ripening earlier in the season than other vines. Tempranillo is often blended to increase the wine’s aromatic profile. The sudden growth in popularity of this wine can be attributed to it’s good fruit flavours, low acid and low tannins, making is an easy drinking wine, well suited to a range of foods.
| Artwine Hola TCG – Clare Valley SA
(70% Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano)
“Tempranillo is a medium bodied wine showing delicious red and dark berries with a hint of spice. The additional varieties give a full mouth flavour and deliciously long back palate. An approachable, easy-drinking style that matches a wide range of foods. Perfect with a roast, tapas and casseroles.”
Request Artwine samples now!
Delicious, exciting new wines for your venue are a few clicks away.