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Alternative wine varietals that are fabulous for Autumn

ArtWine Estate are one of Australia’s most awarded wineries, and they’ve built their reputation on the production of alternative wine varietals. Varietals which are common in Spain, France and Italy, but are often still finding their feet here in Australia.

From their vineyards in both the Adelaide Hills and the Clare Valley (South Australian wine regions) ArtWine have planted, pioneered and launched an increasingly large range of exciting wines. Some of which were rare to start with, and are now easily recognised – like Pinot Grigio and Prosecco. While some are still considered less common, like Graciano and Albariño.

The great thing about many of these wines is just how food friendly they are. And with the temperature outside starting to dip at this time of year – causing us to spend less time outside and more time in the kitchen – this is really when these wines can come into their own.

So we asked ArtWine’s fabulous Judy Kelly to give us her tips on the best varietals for Autumn sipping. Here’s what she has to say!

Albariño (Al-bah-reen-yo)

I describe Albariño as having almost Riesling-esque characters of lemons and limes but overlaid with stone fruit eliminating the sharpness of acidity that a young Riesling offers. It’s subtle and delicious , a first from the Adelaide Hills and is proving to be a very popular choice. Once you have tried you tend to fall in love … or maybe its dreaming of travel and being in Spain right now!

A delicious wine with all fish and seafood. I particularly love this with salmon and Japanese – it’s a perfect match.

Grüner Veltliner

Recognised globally as the world’s best food wine. It matches to nearly everything. We hold back for at least a good few months to a year when we can, as we find that it develops a delicious textural palate that enhances the wine. Grüner will age in a similar way to a Riesling. Full mouth flavours of stone fruit with hints of spice and celery.

Personally I think this wine is an absolute must with Asian flavours, chilli, spices and soy etc – it really sings! But she’s very adaptable and is happy with most dishes especially vegetarian.

Montepulciano (Monty-pull-chano)

Montepulciano is deep in colour a delicious vibrant appealing wine. Aromatic and textural, dark cherries, plums and berries, with spicy undertones and splashes of herbs. Lingering palate and savoury tannins.

We love this variety so much we have used her three ways (love how our vines are all female!) We have made a gorgeous dry crisp and fabulous rosé and La Dolce Vita, a Sparkling Montepulciano – that is beyond YUM! Not as sweet as a lot of sparkling reds and still retains its delicious savoury characters – so more-ish.

Monty (as we affectionally call her) matches to lots of dishes, loves pizza and pasta’s but is great with heavier dishes too I always say you can put where you might choose a Shiraz and she will out perform! And a tasty tomato sauced dish is perfect – we also love with vegetarian dishes too, think Ottolenghi.

Graciano (Grass-ee-ah-no)

We just adore our Graciano, a Spanish variety that is usually blended from its Spanish origins … but as a varietal, oh gosh, its amazing. The unique nose gets you in to savour a fantastic palate of morello cherries and some spice. Medium bodied and bloody gorgeous.

A food wine that adores strong flavours, try with lamb, duck, chorizo and it will handle some spice very well. Happy to be chilled on a hot day or warm climate and you will get her at her best!

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