A BOTTLE of wine holds within its confines time and space, for a wine maker has distilled into a liquid the soil, the sunshine, and the care that went into making it. An Australian wine maker is proud to say that he has done that, all while embracing nature and minimizing Man’s touch.
Mark Davidson sits as Managing Director and Chief Wine maker of Australia’s Tamburlaine Organic Wines, the biggest organic wine producer in Australia. He acquired the vineyard in 1985, but the vineyards have already been set up since the 1960s. Mr. Davidson credits his acquisition to an Australian wine boom in the late ’80s to the ’90s, when Australian wines first began getting recognition in the American market. “The whole excitement about wine hadn’t begun,” he recalled.
Since then, Tamburlaine (named after the literary representation of Emperor Timur by Christopher Marlowe) has won several awards, including a trophy for their Gewurztraminer, for Dry White Blends & Varietals — National Cool Climate Wine Show 2017. The company constantly places on many wine competitions within the region. This is all done without the interference of chemical -cides: pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides. No synthetic fertilizers are used either.
The Hunter Valley vineyards are carry the “Australian Certified Organic” logo on labels. To be able to do so “requires rigorous annual audits by the Biological Farmers of Australia to ensure the absence of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers in the production of the wines,” says the website.
Not only are the wines organic, but the company now points out that they are vegan-friendly to boot. Its website explains how most wineries remove bitter tasting compounds released by grape seeds, stalks, and skins during crushing, fermentation, and pressing through a process called fining which uses animal proteins. Instead, Tamburlaine uses a vegetable-based fining agents.
BusinessWorld met Mr. Davidson during the World of Wine Fair by Marketplace by Rustan’s, which ran from Sept. 27 to 30. Talks by several wine makers were held during the weekend. For shoppers, several wines were available at a discount, and these discounts remain available until Oct. 7 — this reporter recalls acquiring a Bordeaux for only about P400 at the fair last year.
Mr. Davidson credits his success as Australia’s biggest organic wine producer by appealing to what he calls the “conscious consumer.” He likens them to the hippies of the 1960s, and they care about where they get their wine and their food. As for himself, he leads as healthy a lifestyle as possible, but he isn’t vegan: he does eat sustainably raised meat however. “We’re working with nature; we’re not killing off nature to do something else,” he said. “We think of the whole ecosystem.”
“I’ve decided that my life should be, for what I do in my normal consumption, I should be sustainable, and as organic as I possibly can,” he said.
BusinessWorld had a sip of a relatively young Cabernet Sauvignon from their winery, and noted a tanginess and a sharp oakiness, but otherwise had a well-rounded ending note. “If you grow grapes organically, you grow them with consistent flavor.”
As we’ve mentioned above, within every bottle of wine lies the conditions in which a grape had been raised, therefore a summary of the work of several years is in every bottle. “If you don’t interfere with that, you just work with nature… if you can do that, you are going to represent this time, that place, that terroir more accurately that any other way of producing wine.” — JLG