Recently I was whisked away down to Tasmania to meet one of the icons of the Australian wine industry – Dr Andrew Pirie. As Australia’s first PhD in viticulture, founder of Pipers Brook Vineyard (1973-2002) and more recently Pirie Estate and SOUTH labels (est 2004,) and recipient of the Australian Medal for his services to Tasmanian wine and tourism (2001,) Andrew Pirie’s contribution to the industry is indisputable, as now is Tasmania’s position as a jewel in the crown of Australian wine.
This trip was to look at the vineyard sites from which the base wines come to construct the Pirie sparkling wines. Probably the most interesting lesson was that the base wines are oxidatively handled. That is they are not protected from contact with oxygen (as most white base wines are). Dr Pirie encourages contact with oxygen in order to burn off some of the unstable primary fruit characters of the wine.
This enables the quality and complexity of the wine to shine through. It also stabilises the wine, drastically reducing the need for the use of sulfur as a preservative. “The Pirie NV is yellow/gold with a fine and quite vigorous mousse. Typical bready, toasty notes on the nose display the autolysis characters from lees age. Vibrant, lemony acidity supports a pleasant richness in the mouth with creamy mouth feel and a persistent finish.
” This wine is a perfect match with freshly shucked oysters and our much loved Sashimi plate. Visit Pirie Wines Tasmania