Professional Golfers – The New Driving Force Behind Wine?
Some of The World’s Leading Golfers have ventured into the World of Wine, here are a few.
Launched in 1999, Els’s wines are made at his Englebrecht Els Vineyard in the Stellenbosch district of his native South Africa. Indeed, the reigning Open champion now has eight wines in his portfolio including the award-winning Signature Blend, a Bordeaux that’s as smooth as the Big Easy’s legendary swing.
The Nick Faldo label is produced by Katnook Estate vineyards in Coonawarra Australia. Faldo wines include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Christie Kerr’s “Curvature” wine label is a collaboration with Suzanne Pride Bryan, owner of Pride Mountain vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. The inaugural wine on the label was a 2006 vintage that blended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Syrah.
The Jack Nicklaus wine label is produced in partnership with Terlato wines ( which also produces the Luke Donald Collection) debuted in 2010 with two 2007 vintages, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Private Reserve Cabernet.
Greg Norman Estates wines are produced from vineyards in the company owns in Australia and California. Greg’s favourites include Lake County Zinfandel and Australian Reserve Shiraz. The Norman label offers Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir plus Chardonnays and sparkling wines.
This wine is produced in collaboration with Luna Vineyards. The vintage appeared in 2005, targeting high-end restaurants, resorts and specialist wine stores. Arnold Palmer wines include Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Another Napa Valley creation, the Luke Donald Colletion is he result of a partnership between the world’s number three ranked player and the Terlato Wine Group. Apparently, Donald is personally involved in the blending, too. Their debut wine, a distinct Claret-style red in 2008 was met with widespread acclaim.
News from Wingara Wine Group Vintage 2013 wrap up.
What to come………..
Deakin Estate, Murray Darling – Dr. Phil Spillman, Winemaker. “2013 was very hot and, initially challenging in the vineyard. We’d heard around the traps that some neighbouring vineyards struggled with the heat but our vineyard team handled it very well and kept water up to the vines. Craig Thornton, our senior viticulturist was saying it only takes a moment of neglect to impact the vines, so he worked over Christmas and New Year turning on the water and managed to keep the vines happy.
We thought the heat might delay ripening but it didn’t. We started harvest in late January, only a week later than normal, and churned through it non-stop til Easter Thursday, which was our last day of harvest.
We took in 16 700 tonnes and crushed every week day and some Saturdays for 10 weeks. Our recent equipment upgrade means we can cope with this sort of tonnage.
The quality and style is pleasingly clean – as there wasn’t any rain or rot. We are happy with the ripe flavours, good tannins, plentiful flavour and colour – probably a result of keeping water up and canopy shade levels right. If anything, the Sauvignon Blanc is the only variety a bit riper than usual. Chardonnay changed stylistically a little, in that we are moving to a riper style with a hint of oak. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I’ve had some fun with Pinot Grigio – some barrel ferment and a sequential seeding with a non saccharomyces yeast. I also played with Pinot Noir for sparkling and am planning a tache style – slightly sweeter than the Azahara as there is more room for more sparkling here at Deakin.
Semillon and Shiraz were harvested late because of the crop load, while Cabernet and Merlot came in around the normal time and are excellent flavour wise. I made some interesting new varietals (new to me anyway) that are shaping up well – namely my second harvest of Tempranillo and first harvest of Malbec and Pinot Noir from our Mildura Vineyards. The 20 tonne of Pinot from Coonawarra will be blended with this first harvest from.
All in all, I am feeling very positive about 2013, especially the Cabernet and Malbec. We also have a special batch of Shiraz which I’ll be following closely. Watch this space…”
Katnook Estate, Coonawarra
Chris Brodie, Senior Viticulturist
“The weather in Coonawarra was steady for the entire 2013 season apart from one weather event. It was one of the earliest starts and finishes on record (started 14th February with Pinot Meuniere and ended 12th April with Cabernet Sauvignon). It was slightly warmer than normal, very dry but without the extreme heat events throughout many other parts of Australia. From a grape ripening view point that was ideal. We did have some hail late on Valentine’s Day (not much love going on that day) and lost some fruit – but not as much as expected. Thankfully, our best vineyards were spared and there were no disease issues arising at all from the hail.
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were the stars but really it was very good across the board. Overall it was a “well above average” vintage – with the potential to be outstanding.”
Wayne Stehbens, Senior Winemaker
“It was a tense start to vintage with the hail storm, however the vineyards which were affected came through with surprisingly good quality. What a relief, St Valentine was looking after us it seems.
In the winery, the whites are looking exceptional at this early stage, with exciting fruit quality and palate structure. The reds are also excellent but it’s too early to call any higher, although the potential is there. All red varieties are showing unprecedented intense colour, great varietal distinction and regionality – with generous fruit flavours and trademark soft, fine tannins