Max Allen's timely piece on Aussie AMPHORA reared wines, including Brash Higgins' 2011 "NDV" nero d'Avola and winemaker, Brad Hickey, in the Nov. issue of Gourmet Traveller. The 2012 "NDV" will be released in early 2013. Excerpt: "I love fermenting in amphorae", says Brad Hickey. "Each one is only 200 litres and I fill it with grape skins, juice and seeds (sic)-everything goes … [Read more...]
A little background from Brash: "For years now I've been drinking Italian wines from Sicily and Friuli fermented and aged in clay amphora vessels, and I've found them diabolical, challenging, sometimes ethereal/scary, yet always thought-provoking wines. A method borrowed from COS in Sicily, Josko Gravner in Northern Italy and he from the Georgians and they from the Romans centuries ago. My curiosity got the best of me: how can I get my hands on these amphora? If we handle this new grape variety on our vineyard, nero d'Avola, in a unique and gentle way, eschewing oak and steel, then perhaps we can get something totally pure and distinct, and a wine-style very uncommon in Australia. Amphora seemed like a good way to not only introduce Nero d’Avola, a high acid and transparent varietal, but to make a statement, as well. We were just as ready to step deep into the past to make a leap forward."
Today Brash Higgins has 24 amphora, all lined with beeswax, made by Adelaide potter John Bennett for us. They are home to the NDV, ZBO and MRLO.
In 2009 Brash Higgins obtained some of the first cuttings of the Sicilian red wine grape, Nero d’Avola, available in Australia thanks to the work of Bruce Chalmers. Nero is drought and heat tolerant, ripens late and thrives in its native Mediterranean climate, so it seemed like a good fit for coastal McLaren Vale and our ever mounting heat and water issues. We dedicated a … [Read more...]
by Brash HigginsWe've been preparing our vineyard to harvest our very first crop of the red wine grape Nero d'Avola. Indigenous to Sicily, where it is well suited for a hot, dry climate like our own in McLaren Vale, we grafted the Nero vines over to a shiraz block in 2009.Nero is capable of producing tremendously complex wine in a number of different styles. Similar to shiraz, … [Read more...]
We've been preparing our vineyard to harvest our very first crop of the red wine grape Nero d'Avola. It's a new variety to Australia and I'm going to put it under a new label I've been working on, which shall remain a secret for a little while longer. As a relative newcomer to this district, I'm proud to be hopefully making a variety that may one day become vital to this … [Read more...]