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Yalumba Estate PDF Print E-mail

ImageAustralia?s oldest family-owned winery is located in South Australia. Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, a British migrant and English brewer, who had brought his family to Angaston in the Barossa Valley seeking a new life. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch ?Yalumba? ? aboriginal for ?all the land around?.

Samuel Smith had said goodbye to his home in Wareham, Dorset to sail for Australia. With his wife and four children, 37-year old Smith left a successful job as a brewer in his search for a new lifestyle. His knowledge of fermentation and brewing eventually led him to a career in winemaking.

In 1852, Smith heard news of the Bendigo gold rush. In it he saw the chance, if not for riches, then at least for the modest capital he needed to set his vineyard on its feet. He set off for the Victorian goldfields, returning four months later with ?300 of gold. Not a fortune, but enough to buy more land, farming equipment, a plough, two horses and harness; plus a tidy sum to build a more substantial homestead in the future.

When Samuel died in 1889 at the age of 76, his son Sidney took charge of the estate. Six generations and more than 150 years later the Yalumba winery has grown in size and stature, embodying all that has made the Australian wine success story the envy of winemakers the world over.

Viognier Shiraz

Producing some of the best Viognier Shiraz and other top wines, Yalumba offers a wide range of red and white wines.? The Viognier Shiraz is a light, everyday red that is best served slightly chilled ? about 16-18 degrees.

There is some discussion as to the correct temperature at which red wines should be served.? One of Hong Kong?s leading wine experts, Robert Temple, wine director of Maxxium Hong Kong, says:?The major consideration for storing wine is the temperature.? If wine is stored in an environment above 32 degrees Celsius, it will die.? Ideally the storage should be below 20 degrees, and constant, so if your apartment does not have 24-hour air conditioning then invest in a wine storage unit, such as Vintec, or Eurocave.? These can store 40-180 bottles, depending on how much space you have available.?

Jacques Mehault, business development director of Fine Vintage (Far East) Limited, distributors for Yalumba wines in Hong Kong and Macau, and a Master Sommelier, is slightly more philosophical: ?It is not in the Hong Kong culture to store wine due to lack of space, but any good wine cabinet will do,? he says with a Gallic shrug.

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Stelvin Caps

Mr Temple mentions the advent of screw-top bottles, the Stelvin concept, notably on wines from Australia, such as the Yalumba range, New Zealand wines ?and some from California, which means there is no necessity to store wine on their sides.

?The Stelvin aluminium closure is the future for most white wines and a great deal of red wines made to be consumed within a few years.? Aside from eliminating the problem of cork taint, there is absolutely no need to store lying down.?

Wine should be kept at between 12 and 14 degrees centigrade, and away from direct sunlight, and, if with a cork, lying down, he adds.

Jacques Mehault adds an interesting perspective to the Stelvin concept: ?Screw-tops were created to fight the so-called corky issues, but some now have a metallic taste.? However, some of the top guns in Bordeaux ? Lynch, Mouton, Margaux and a number of others ? are using Stelvin-concept caps for their whites.?

Mr Temple has an interesting view on the time-honoured policy of ?red with red meat and white with fish or poultry?: ?There are white wines you can serve with red meat and red wines you can serve with white meat,? he explains.? ?It is an issue of balance ? lightly flavoured wines with lightly flavoured dishes, and vice versa.? Heavily tannic reds tend not to match well with delicate fish dishes.? Similarly, a light Sauvignon Blanc will not complement a peppered steak?

Jacques Mehault puts it more simplistically: ?The best match is the one you like.?

And belying the myth that red wine should always be served at room temperature, Mr Temple says, ?Red wine comes out of my wine fridge at 12 degrees, and after 15 to 20 minutes in a decanter it is 16-18 degrees, and this is the temperature at which I prefer to drink it.?

(The author drinks Shiraz, Merlot or a Cabernet Merlot Franc straight from the fridge.)

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Yalumba Estates

Today Yalumba is run by Robert and Sam Hill Smith

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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