The world of wine changed dramatically in the mid-1900s with the Great French Wine Blight.
Originating in North America, the disease spread across the Atlantic in the late 1950s and destroyed many French cultivars.
But you can still get a taste of history in Australia. Winemaker Kaesler sells an old vine Shiraz priced 805 to 2,397 yuan per bottle. Its source grapes are identical to those cultivated in France some 200 years earlier.
Kaeslerwas founded in 1884 when the family emigrated from Germany with what would become Australia’s first Shiraz, Grenache and Matrao (Mouvedre) plants. Its vineyard is located in South Australia, a small village of 2,000 people.
We started our tasting with the winery’s Viognier (359 yuan), a white wine with a strong Australian character.
South Australia is an ideal place for growing grapes, and 60 percent of Australia’s white wines are produced in its vineyards.
The first red we tried, a 2011 Kaesler Stonehorse SGM (270 yuan), was from its younger vineyard. SGM is made of Shiraz, Grenache and Matrao, and is a typical Australian blend. It’s an easy bottle to drink with friends.
The second red was a 2009 Kaesler Cabernet Sauvignon (407 yuan), made only in the best years with a total run of 18,000 bottles.
The third red was a 2011 Kaesler “The Bogan” Shiraz (696 yuan), whose subtle detail and character is uniquely Australian.
Kaesler wines are available at Kerrywines.com.