JANUARY 2016                                                                                           Issue # 2  

Happy Australia Day 


Welcome to the second issue of the Busby Bugle, our biannual newsletter to keep our winery hosts and Alumni in touch with each other.  In this issue you'll find winery news, Alumni updates and a link to the just-published and probably litigious 2015 Tour Report. To celebrate Australia Day we'll be holding a Busby Alumni Reunion in London at Vinoteca wine bar on the Tuesday night. Brett and Charlie have designed a special Australia Day degustation menu featuring lamb and viognier across all sixteen courses. Winemaker hosts heading to the ADT are welcome to join us.
In the meantime pull up a chair, grab a chop and a cold one and tuck in!

What has 24 legs, 18,000 words, 400 wines, 200 photos, 10 black rats, 6 squid, 2 dogs and one badass Wombat? 
The 2015 Tour Report is up on the website now. Click below

ALUMNI NEWS  

With the recent October 2015 trip our Alumni community passed the one hundred mark and now stands at 103. The majority of our Alumni are so busy selling great Australian wine that they didn't have time to send me their news for the Busby Bugle, but here are the updates from those that bothered. (I was hoping to send this bulletin out before Xmas hence the Santa hats. But I kinda like them)  

Richard Hemming now MW! 
On September 6th last year Richard Hemming became an MW. Huge congratulations to Richard for climbing the MW mountain, a feat of endurance that makes Leo's exertions in The Revenant look like a summer picnic. In fact eating raw bison liver and wrestling a grizzly bear are both now part of the MW first year assessment exam. The news of Richard's passing the MW arrived in plenty of time for the last Busby bulletin, but I simply forgot to include it, so I promised Richard headline billing in this issue. Richard has a sparkly new website www.RichardHemmingMW.com which includes not only his writings and musings on the world of wine but also the YouTube sensation "An MW student guide how to remember grape varieties". See it here. I'm also including the link to the lesser known rendition of this tune that took place on the 2011 Busby trip when Richard Hemming, who is now an MW (did we mention that) sat down at the old piano in Bests cellar door. You can see it here. Look out for news of Richard's next appearance in the UK wine-rock band (yes, its a category) Skin Contact on May 12th, follow them on Twitter @SkinContactLIVE. The photo above left is of Richard at the Graduation ceremony. The one on the right is Richard displaying the MW gang sign that he invented. His mum must be very proud. 
Ben Stephenson (Alumni May 2014) is holding an Australia Day Tasting Extravaganza at his Hanging Ditch wine shop in Manchester on Friday 29th Jan featuring "a huge line up of some of the most exciting wines available from Australia right now." Click to Ben's newsletter here. 
In career news Junior Vianna MW (Alumni 2013) joins Enotria UK as Buying Director. A spokesman for Enotria says it looks forward to unveiling its new range of six hundred Brazilian wines in time for the summer. But seriously, well done Junior! See the press release here 
Our super sleuth Gabriel aka "Gabby" Stone née Savage (keep up) has left The Drinks Business magazine to join The British Bottle Company, which "specialises in exporting the best of British wines, beers, ciders and spirits" Gabby tells me they're already selling fizz into Japan and Singapore and she'd be delighted to hear from Busby alumni who want to find out if the rumours about English wine are true!
Christopher Richelet (Alumni 2010) has joined London based importers Dynamic Vines. The company specialise in biodynamic wines from small, obscure European countries such as "France" and "Italy" who apparently make wine. It'll never catch on. No doubt Christophe will introduce some proper true blue Aussie booze to the portfolio soon. 
Alan Liu (Alumni May 14) has had a busy year. In addition to his duties at Hong Kong's prestigious American Club Alan has achieved the Advanced Sommelier (AS) qualification and will be working with Mark Davidson and Hiro Tejima at Wine Australia to run tastings for young somms in Honkers. Keep up the good work Alan, nice hat! 
Christopher Lavin (Alumni of Busby Extreme Travel Oct 2014) is delighted to announce that Broadbent Selections have recently taken on the agency for Tyrrells. Chris took the photo here of a line up of empty bottles that he's collecting on the bookshelf above his bed where he's had a semillon every night since the news was announced. 
Romain Auderie (Alumni 2010) tells me he's been to California recently, where he had a great time and since his return has listed a large number of Californian wines at The Chiltern Firehouse. His Aussie section is also looking particularly strong with some mature beauties including Hill of Grace 99, Wynns Michael Shiraz 94, Plantagenet Riesling 97 and Cullen Diana Madeline 04. So if you have any good Californian wine, sorry Australian museum vintages,  heading to the UK you know who to call! 
Yvonne Cheung (Alumni 2015) got in touch to tell me that she's tracked down the Hong Kong importer for Marco Cirillo's wines (above), who's tasting she missed on the Busby tour due to a severe allergic reaction to local viognier pollen. Yvonne also provided me with a sneak preview of an amazing special page of her favourite Australian wines from the Busby tour that she'll launch at the Upper House shortly. Nice work Yvonne, for that you are spared the Santa hat photoshop treatment! 
Chris So (Alumni 2012) recently Tweeted @WinelistHK this photo of him and Marty Edwards from The Lane. Remember Twitter, it was massive in 2012. The boys tell me they had a good lunch, which I don't doubt as the clock behind them shows 6.15. Great to see Busby winery hosts getting overseas and catching up with Alumni. As I often say the trip is only the start (of a life of therapy sessions). Nice work Chris, no Santa hat for you. 
Matthew Hemming MW (Alumni 2011, no relation) got in touch to tell me that he'd invited Amelia Jukes from Hallowed Ground to show some Mornington Pinots at the recent Avery's Burgundy 14 En Primeur tasting, including Busby participants Ocean 8 and Paringa. There were a number of French vignerons in attendance who apparently "didn't like it up 'em". Matthew tells me that he's very excited about offering these Aussie wines to their customers over the coming months and demonstrated this by punting Pinot like the boss he is 
WINERY NEWS  
First up in running news Brad Hickey aka Brash Higgins ran the 2015 New York Marathon in a very respectable 6 hours. His gruelling training regime involved lifting clay amphora and running to The Victory each night for an isotonic Coopers. During the run he sweated so much Zibibbo that the streets of NYC were awash with cloudy muscat goodness for weeks after. He also raised four thousand dollars for Childhood Cancer SA. Good on ya Brad, yo da man! 
Cellar door news! Who needs Frank Gehry when Australia is creating architectural masterpieces such as these at d'Arenberg and Brown Brothers? Tash Stoodley (who has the funniest Twitter stream in the universe) tells me that work has started on the d'Arenberg cube. (I guess they leave out the R word for legal reasons). It will be "a five story cube shaped building with the top two floors turned askew, a fallen block in the car park and the illusion of floating in a vineyard". Of course it will. Meanwhile in Tasmania Brown Brothers have recently opened the doors to their Devils Corner Cellar Door and Lookout on Tassie's East Coast. Visitors can graze on freshly shucked oysters or wood fired pizza while enjoying Brown Brother's cool climate Tasmanian wines. I'm there! 
Marty Edwards from The Lane (runner up in Australia's strongest winemaker handshake competition 2015 behind winner Gemtree's Mike Brown) sent us this photo of him enjoying dinner with Joao Pires MS in Macau recently. (when does he find to make wine?). Great to see Busby winery hosts travelling the world and catching up with past Alumni. Joao is currently studying for the gruelling MW, good luck with the raw bison liver Joao! 
Talking of Mike Brown, Gemtree tell me that after a decade of implementing biodynamic farming practices they have been awarded Certified Biodynamic accreditation through Australian Certified Organic (ACO). After winning a swag of gold medals at the New Zealand Wine Show (do they make wine?) Mike says "Its good to see that our love for sustainable winemaking is cherished and awarded by international juries as well as national critics and wine lovers". Now shake my hand. 
Talking generational plans, John Duval Wines moves into the second generation with John's son Tim joining the company this month. After six years working as a commercial lawyer in Adelaide Tim will join the team alongside John and Finance Manager Kate Nelder. Sorry about the hat Tim. 
In vineyard news De Bortoli have purchased the Lusatia Park single vineyard in the Woori Yallock sub region of the Yarra Valley. The 18 hectare, close planted, north facing vineyard lies on deep red volcanic soils at an altitude of 240 metres. Leanne De Bortoli tells me that they will take over the vineyard from the Shelmerdine family in May this year. The purchase is part of their next generation plan to produce hand crafted fine wine from family owned selected single vineyards. 
Tahbilk announce the launch of two new wines; Cane Cut Marsanne (tasted on the last Busby trip and we can confirm its delicious) and next month a US exclusive the superbly labelled One Million Cuttings (raises pinky finger...) 
James Lindner from Langmeil sent us this report of the bush fire that threatened the Barossa Valley in late November. James sent a dramatic photo of the view from Menglers Hill, but as it was a panoramic photo it didn't show up well in this newsletter format. As it happened I was in the Barossa that day and took the photos above. James writes:
"Australia is known for its droughts and flooding rains, but on November the 25th this year we had a devastating fire hit SA and the grain fields and areas around the Barossa. We are very lucky that the wind changed at the last minute to save a lot of the townships of the area. The fire had a perimeter of 241 kms while the front was 41kms wide and the speed of the fire travelled at between 80 to 90 kms an hour. I have included a photo from Menglers hill just prior to the wind change, Scary stuff." 
Nick Justice is the Marketing Manager at Paringa Estate on the Mornington Peninsula and may just have the coolest name in the business. Nick tells us that Lindsay McCall received two major trophies at the recent Mornington Peninsula Wine Show including Best Pinot Noir for the (as yet unreleased) 2014 Estate Pinot, and White Wine of Provenance for their 2011 and 2014 Estate Chardonnay. Ironically Paringa were the only winery to send me a photo for the newsletter with them in Santa hats, but as its January here's a photo of Lindsay without the hat. Where's the Justice in that Nick?  
All Saints have opened a bar, now there's a good idea! Located on the main street in Rutherglen and run in conjunction with Eliza Brown's husband Denis Lucey, the Thousand Pound Wine Bar features Australian and International wine from family owned wineries. The name refers to Chinese workers on the estate in the late 1800’s. Many immigrants arrived in Australia in the search for gold but when this ended they found work on farms and vineyards, many of these in Rutherglen. They were wanting to earn 100 pounds to send back home to their families. The name is a nod to the energetic enthusiasm and resiliance these people had. The photo on the left is the official press release that Angela Brown sent me. I got the other one from Facebook - now we know what they get up to in Rutherglen when no one's looking. 
Taylors / Wakefield recently launched their new Optimum Drinking Temperature sensors following a survey that revealed 8 out of 10 Australians are drinking their red wines ‘at room temperature’ – far too warm for the Australian climate. (well you wouldn't want a warm one would you? - ed) 
The new sensors change colour depending on the temperature of the wine, indicating when the wine is at the optimum temperature to drink. The sensors are available now across Wakefield’s Estate and Promised Land ranges.
How clever is that? 
Justine Henschke sent us not one but two news stories. I was initially going to publish just the first one that relates to Adelaide Oval, but how could I resist the photo that accompanied the second story? If only my parents looked so cool in hats.
NEWS FROM HILL OF GRACE RESTAURANT
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Hill of Grace Restaurant, Prue and Stephen Henschke have planted a shiraz cutting at Adelaide Oval to symbolise the renowned Hill of Grace vineyard. The shiraz vine, a noble Barossan variety, is being cared for by Adelaide Oval head curator Damian Hough and was gifted from the Henschke family, representing the strong partnership between the two South Australian icons.
A NOTE FROM STEPHEN & PRUE HENSCHKE
As the vines progress from budburst to flowering, we are looking forward to vintage 2016. Budburst began mid-September with some cold, frosty nights, but thankfully no damage. We are now experiencing very warm weather with sporadic rainfall, resulting in shoot growth happening at a rapid rate and faster than last year. We are likely to have an early vintage, as indicated by an early Easter. Yields are looking quite high at this stage and after flowering we will be busy bunch-thinning, which will occur around Christmastime. 2015 shaped up to be a remarkable vintage, with almost perfect conditions, especially for Eden Valley riesling and shiraz. The 2015 whites have recently been released – fine, fresh and for drinking now.
(love those hats) 
Louise Hemsley Smith at Battle of Bosworth was the first person to respond to my request for news items last month with a one line email saying she had "no real news". A likely story Louise, as your newsletter testifies to there has been the usual amount of shenanigans, mischief and Willunga based dog related nonsense. This leaves me free to choose my own BOB story, which features a photo I grabbed off-of Twitter (remember that?) of Oscar "Best Dog in the World" cooling off, which inevitably leads to legendary shot of Ian Adam cooling off under the avo trees. Gold. 
I know what you're thinking. I've read this far and where's the shed news? I only opened this stupid email to get me some shed news. I loved that piece by Inkwell in the last newsletter. Crickey! That was a beut of a shed. The insulated walls, the tin roof, the concrete floor! Well fear not dear reader, last but not least its time for...
***SHED NEWS **SHED NEWS **SHED NEWS **SHED NEWS **SHED NEWS **
Howard Duncan from Teusner writes:
Not much going on around here…..NOT! With around 8-9 weeks to go before the annual Barossa grape squashing festival begins, we’re in the midst of moving to our new home…which is still under construction, with Kym Teusner convinced he will be the first winemaker not to be building his winery in the middle of vintage. Picture attached…hardly glamorous, but perhaps the first time straight lines have appeared at a Teusner run winery. Rest assured the executive washrooms, pig roasting equipment and beer chiller will all be operational in advance of a 2016 Busby visit.
Messrs Duncan and Teusner, we salute you and your shed and all who sail in her.  
In other news 
The Institute of Masters of Wine came to Australia last October. In the biggest trip to Australia in thirty years 44 MWs crossed three states and ten regions, visiting twenty wineries and tasting hundreds of wines. They were "surprised and delighted" by what they discovered on their eight day road trip. Read a report of the tour in WBM here 
And finally....
In a blatant act of self promotion (or cross promotion as it's known in the trade) I'd like to draw your attention to my latest project www.WineTutor.tv. 
WineTutor.tv is an innovative online resource for Master of Wine students consisting of short, bite-size tuition videos to help them with their studies. In just over three months since we launched we've attracted over 1000 registered users, including over two thirds of the global MW student population. All content is free to view, you just need to register and sign in. 
We're currently looking for partners to help sponsor the project through advertising in the pre-roll  trailer space. If you'd like to know more please drop me a line at tim@winetutor.tv. Here endeth the promotional plug!
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