Chapter 16: Wine from some of the World’s Oldest Vines…

    The almost microscopic phylloxera insect is a pest originally native to North America that sucks sap from roots and slowly kills vines. In the late 19th century it wiped out most of Europe’s vineyards causing utter devastation.   South Australia escaped the destruction as did other isolated pockets such as parts of the Grampians. This means that original European vines planted in the mid 19th century still exist in Australia, whereas the majority of plants in Europe are cuttings grafted onto American rootstock that is naturally resistant to phylloxera.

 

The almost microscopic phylloxera insect is a pest originally native to North America that sucks sap from roots and slowly kills vines. In the late 19th century it wiped out most of Europe’s vineyards causing utter devastation. 

South Australia escaped the destruction as did other isolated pockets such as parts of the Grampians. This means that original European vines planted in the mid 19th century still exist in Australia, whereas the majority of plants in Europe are cuttings grafted onto American rootstock that is naturally resistant to phylloxera.

    Last week in the Grampians I was lucky enough to be treated to an ’87 Pinor Meunier made from some of the oldest vines in the world, it was delicately perfumed and unbelievably smooth however was still full of vibrant red fruit flavours. The ’92 Chardonnay had stood the test of time and was nothing short of stunning, powerful fruit and heavy oak had no trouble spending 24 years together in this bottle!  Unfortunately I am unable to mention the place I tasted this or the people that generously provided it but thank you both so so much, you are true Australian treasures. 

 

Last week in the Grampians I was lucky enough to be treated to an ’87 Pinor Meunier made from some of the oldest vines in the world, it was delicately perfumed and unbelievably smooth however was still full of vibrant red fruit flavours. The ’92 Chardonnay had stood the test of time and was nothing short of stunning, powerful fruit and heavy oak had no trouble spending 24 years together in this bottle!

Unfortunately I am unable to mention the place I tasted this or the people that generously provided it but thank you both so so much, you are true Australian treasures.