Nestled in the foothills of Australia’s Mount Lofty ranges, less than forty miles from South Australia’s capital of Adelaide, rests a tiny region with a global reputation. The Barossa Valley’s renown is built on its premium Shiraz, a distinctly Australian take on the Northern Rhone’s Syrah. What may not be so well known are the gradual undulations in Shiraz’s style throughout its near two hundred year history in the Barossa.
Looking back through a journal from my wine trip to Tasmania in September of 2015, I catch snippets scrawled between the lines of tasting notes and hastily drawn maps that immediately remind me that Tasmania is like no other wine region on earth…
In the early summer of 2012 I was working as the head sommelier of Eleven Madison Park in New York City. At the time, it was a restaurant that was on its upward trajectory towards greatness: we had four stars from the NY Times, three Michelin stars, countless James Beard Awards and a Grand Award-winning wine list from Wine Spectator.
In early 2010, a dream became a reality. I travelled to Australia for the first time with a group of sommeliers from the U.S. Our focus was Victoria and South Australia. I had a to wait a few more years to travel to Western Australia once I had moved to Sydney to work as a wine director for Neil Perry at Rockpool Bar & Grill.