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22 Nov 2011

Meet the Winemaker (Episode 99): Andrew Hardy, Petaluma Wines

Debra catches up with Andrew Hardy from Petaluma, a South Australian based winery with vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Coonawarra. Petaluma’s 2008 Riesling won the 2009 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition “Best Riesling” trophy.

Andrew explains that Riesling grows so well in the Clare Valley (a relatively hot climate especially for the cool-climate loving Riesling) because of the valley’s elevation and position on the edge of desert which means the vineyards get cool air at night and also sea breeze every afternoon. They talk soil and how the Clare’s “red lime over slate” is great for minerality, what it’s like working with Brian Croser, and discuss why there can be a petrol/kerosene character in Riesling. Finally Andrew explains the ideal vintage in Clare.

Comments 4 Comments for “Meet the Winemaker (Episode 99): Andrew Hardy, Petaluma Wines”
  1. Derrick Quinton on 11.25.11 at 19:40

    Kerosene in Riesling doesn’t exist. It is just a honeyed toast character and it would be really good if everyone from the novice up to critics never mentioned petrochemicals in relation to Riesling ever again.

  2. Larry Chandler on 11.26.11 at 09:32

    The reason not to mention petrochemicals is a marketing reason. Who would want to try a wine that smells like a filling station for cars and trucks? But that aroma does exist especially in older Rieslings. Not everyone tastes or smells the identical aromas and people relate these tastes to what they know or have smelled before.

    I have smelled Rieslings that do remind me of gasoline stations here, and no, they were not dispensing honey on toast, though perhaps the restaurant next door was.

  3. Christopher Hardy on 11.26.11 at 16:28

    Well, the aromas (and tastes) of petrol are an overwhelming feature of good Rieslings when they are too young to drink. I well remember an extensive tasting at Rolly Gassmann in 2006 where I, not a Riesling expert, found it difficult to enjoy tasting the young Rieslings, or to understand how they might develop. In the case of the Rieslings I have bought, this marked character of the infant wine does not remain when the wine is ready to drink. Thank goodness.

  4. Debra Meiburg MW on 11.27.11 at 11:47

    Hope you find below of interest (taken from twitter discussion based on Derrick’s comment).

    “Love the petrol in Riesling”

    “Not everyone smells or tastes the exact same aromas. And people relate aromas to different experiences they’ve had.”

    “Disagree. The best German Riesling has a diesel-y smell/taste and it’s viscous when aged. Obv. not petrol, but petrol-y. Though from a marketing standpoint, yes, it would be better that petrol wasn’t mentioned relative to Riesling.”

    “Obviously they’ve never drunk aged Clare.”

    “Could not disagree more, any seasoned taster can spot that component a mile away, it is not a subjective…it just is”

    “Yes it’s due to evolution of terpenes to TDN. Evolves more quickly in Riesling exposed to more solar radiation see Clare, NZ”

    “Also water stress & warmer soils likely to increase potential for TDN accumulation”

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