AT THE BAR WITH WINEMAKER TERESA HEUZENROEDER

Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley welcomes a new premium sparkling, Ovata by Oakridge. The non-vintage sparkling created by celebrated winemaker Teresa Heuzenroeder in collaboration with the Oakridge Wines team, has been three years in the making and speaks volumes of Teresa’s artful and precise approach to winemaking.

“There’s a degree of patience and end vision required in the process of creating a new wine particularly in the case of sparkling,” says Teresa Heuzenroeder.

“Region and variety are important in crafting the base wine, but the secondary fermentation also has a significant impact on the wine style. The longer the time spent ‘on lees’ the more complexity will develop,” she says.

“For Ovata we were really looking to create a wine with the right balance of vibrancy and complexity but also has an underlying approachability,” she says.

Teresa Heuzenroeder speaks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series.

MY CITY

Adelaide is my home town; the place where I grew up and spent my formative years.

Blessed with an easy living lifestyle and surrounded by beautiful beaches; all of the wine regions – McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa and Clare Valley – are all within an easy drive from the city.  In recent years the city centre has really transformed into a vibrant space particularly during March which is Festival month and Adelaide is alive and buzzing.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Many years ago, I was on a promotional tour of New Zealand representing Yalumba and one of the events was a trade tasting in Wellington; a stand up affair with canapes. The oysters had been flown in via helicopter from somewhere off the nearby islands that afternoon. They were so fresh and tasted like they’d literally just been plucked from the sea – which of course they had. The fresh, briny purity of those flavours have stayed with me to this day.

WINE THAT DESCRIBES YOU

Sparkling. Effervescent with an underlying drive and structure.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

I try not to have them these days but I’ve always found a cup of tea and vegemite on toast extremely helpful.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

Willing Brothers Wine Merchants in North Hobart in Tasmania. It has a very cool vibe with a great selection of local Tasmanian and international wines by the glass and a small but classic menu to match.

FAVOURITE WINE

Very often dependent on my mood and who I’m with, but would always be Chardonnay in one form or another. Whether it be a still wine from a classic Australian producer/region or a sparkling Blanc de Blanc or Champagne – a pretty endless array of possibilities.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Tough to choose, I’ll go international and say Pol Roger in Epernay. I’ve had the opportunity to visit there a number of times via connections with Negociants Australia. Each time it has been a very warm and welcoming experience with an opportunity to see behind the scenes and savour the wines from this amazing Champagne house.

NEXT DESTINATION

Italy. I’ve covered the North but would love to explore the strip from Rome to Naples and the Amalfi coast. Pompeii has always been on my bucket list. In reality though my next trip will be to the Yarra Valley to look at vineyards leading into vintage.

TIPS ON PAIRING SPARKLING WITH DISHES THIS SUMMER

Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy sparkling.  I tend to apply the like-for-like rule with sparkling food pairings to find the right balance between the dish and the wine style. Oysters are a natural pairing with sparkling – Ovata’s freshness, vibrancy and slightly savoury finish pairs particularly well with them. Chardonnay dominant sparkling wines are typically fine and elegantly structured so work well with delicate flavoured dishes like sashimi, prawns and mild creamy cheeses. More complex or Pinot dominant sparkling tends to have more mid palate weight and depth and work with fuller flavoured dishes such as salmon or tuna or even fruit-based desserts.

 

 

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