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Experiment pays off with gold (news article)

This article first appeared in The Advocate Newspaper

A NEW wine has put Tasmania on the map again.

A first vintage Dornfelder wine from White Rock Vineyard, in Kimberley, has won a gold medal and trophy at the International Cool Climate Wine Show in Victoria.

It is made more special by the fact that this Dornfelder wine is the only one produced in Australia.

White Rock Vineyard owner Phil Dolan was blown away that a first vintage of his Dornfelder could take out any competition.

``As a general rule, your first vintages are not very good because the vines are young,'' Mr Dolan said. ``Hopefully [the Dornfelder] will just get better.''

Mr Dolan attributed the success of the first Dornfelder vintage to his winemaker, Alain Rousseau, who suggested Mr Dolan keep the wine in the barrel two months longer than he wanted, which improved the flavour.

White Rock Vineyard's Dornfelder is likely to draw a lot of attention to the North-West Coast region, as it is a heavier red, but the weather in Tasmania is generally not warm enough for heavy reds.

Tasmanian vineyards - particularly on the North-West Coast - are restricted to pinot noirs.

``We decided to plant it because we wanted a heavier red than pinot; it's not warm enough for the heavier reds in Tasmania,'' Mr Dolan said. ``Dornfelder was invented in Germany because they have the same problem as us - they can only grow light reds.

``I think it's going to be good variety for Tassie.''

However, Mr Dolan had no idea his experiment would work so well.

``I was just hoping we would have a nice wine, I didn't realise it would be so nice,'' Mr Dolan said. ``Instead of having a nice wine - we have a winner.''

Mr Dolan described the Dornfelder as having an outstanding colour due to its red juice, with a smooth blueberry taste and a peppery finish.

``It's smooth like merlot - but much smoother, if you know what I mean,'' Mr Dolan said.

``In fact, every time I pour that wine people go `oh wow!'.

``One lady even said she wanted a dress that colour.''

Read fully story here.

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