Business & Industry

Mar 31, 2018

"APPLE ISLAND'S" NECTARS

The Australian state of Tasmania became known thanks to its apples, to the point of being nicknamed "apple-island" due to the predominance of its apple trees orchards

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By NIGEL HAWTHORNE

But since the 1990's that Tasmania is gaining a reputation thanks to the quality of its wines that, on blind tastings, sometimes are undistinguishable from the best wines on the world in great part thanks to the efforts of Andrew Hood, that was considered as the main responsible for the upscale of the quality of the island-state's wine, being hired by dozens of wine producers.

Nick Glaetzer is one of the producers that was seduced by the excellency of the grape variety of Tasmania while experiencing a blind tasting and, along with his wife, now animates the Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers, operating on a former ice factory that both turned into a wine cellar, store and family home on Brooker avenue, having worked with Andrew Hood first as a part time and then full time with the peculiarity of, on the side and on the same facilities, producing his own wine, which would later result on his own wine producing company since 2008 and considered in 2011 as the best young wine producer of Australia by the "Australian Gourmet Traveller" thanks to his Pinot Noir and, a few months later that same year, awarded with the Jimmy Watson, Australia's most known wine award, thanks to his Mon Pere Shiraz 2010. It was the first time in half a century that a wine from Tasmania was able to gain this award, annually attributed to the best non-reserve red wine from the previous year.

Nick Glaetzer didn't just drop from the sky or any other background into the world of wines, descending from a long line of producers originating in Germany, more precisely the Brandenburg valley, that settled on the Australian continent, from where Nick left for the wine paradise of "apple-island", with very low expectations that he will leave Tasmania anytime soon. There are other territories in Australia where one can grow the same grape varieties, but the specificity of the Tasmanian climate allows a producer to grow simultaneously several varieties without affecting its quality, grape varieties such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grow all extraordinarily well in the local microclimate, that allows it a greater maturation thanks to a larger growth period before being harvested, which gains it more flavour and natural acidity that will be reflected on the wine without any other additives.

Since 2010 that a growing number of producers decided to move from the continental territories and settle in the island-state of Tasmania, its proximity to the Arctic grants is a microclimate that is the ideal breeding ground for grapes that require a cold climate to mature properly and with its fresh Summer and long Fall, Tasmania has the ideal climate for sparkling wines and the Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris grape varieties, the wines produced in the area, of which the Glaetzer-Dixon served as just one sample, have gathered positive reviews and awards gaining it international attention from both experts and wine appreciators.

A change on the consumers tastes has also been beneficial for the Tasmanian wines, with a growth one the demand for fresh wines with a low alcohol degree, the island-state's Pinot Noir and sparkling wines have been busy given that the markets they supply have been able to assimilate all of its production. The Tasmanian vineyards have also been favoured, local grapes reach now prices five times higher than those of the grapes produced in mainland Australia. This rise on the demand for both wine and grapes, led many of the producers to purchase land and grow their own vineyards, with the double intent of increasing its production and to avoid that the growing demand for grapes would raise the prices and the availability of this raw material.

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