That is what most of us do. We dream big. We make the wines we love, and get them out to the world, whether they be approachable cheapies or more expensive ones needing cellaring time to evolve, or something in between.
We plant different varietals. We experiment with winemaking styles. We try. We explore. We get better every year. If we are lucky, and everything goes to plan, someone might like our wines, or score them well, or just enjoy buying and drinking them.
This is what we do.
So have some respect, people, and please stop blatantly writing off regions, vintages, styles or techniques. Unless you – buyer, consumer, writer, blogger – have tried every possible example, and have worked on our land, and in our wineries, please have a degree of courtesy for what it is we do, and let us maybe make something brilliant.
And some of you writers/bloggers/drinkers/buyers are lucky enough to try very many examples of wines and styles, and often more than we as producers have the luxury of accessing. But sometimes you are wrong. And sometimes you are right. But at the end of the day, writing off an entire region or country’s potential as a producer of a certain variety/style/technique is inept, inaccurate and unprofessional. And, honestly? It shows a lack of engagement with the industry about which you are writing/educating/serving.
Our adventurous spirit as a people has always been one of the brightest points of being Australian. We try. And we are – as acknowledged by people around the world – making some awesome wines. The shift from big buttery chardonnays is a case in point. Many complained that we were making ‘acidic’ styles. Many of those now laud the shift by a great number of producers toward a more ‘chablis’-like style. Natural wines – as championed by Rootstock, Fix St James, Wine Library, East End Cellars, 121BC and countless others – to be honest? Not generally my thing. But I love the technique, and the experimentation. I love talking to people about it, and exploring. I love being surprised.
I love merlot when done well, and this tone used by so very many when writing off an entire variety – which underpins many Australian wines over the years – to denigrate, and to sneer, is just petty. It makes us as an industry look divided, and that, frankly, makes the consumers even more confused.
We are all welcome to our opinions – and healthy discussion and debate is to be actively encouraged. But just maybe we could have some respect for the people innovating, digressing, trying. This cheap approach might be a path chosen to provoke debate, but perhaps sometimes we forget who is reading or listening.
We don’t all get it right all the time. But this is how we learn. We share notes with our neighbours, and work together to make better wines. We ask people to look at our wines, to try them. We ask for a response. This is me, asking for some industry respect to go along with that response.
Dreaming big. We do it so very well…