ACCLAIMED Hunter winemaker Gwyn Olsen is savouring two delights – a 2019 vintage shaping up as the equal of the stellar 2014, and a six-month-old son.
Olsen and her partner, Australian Wine Selectors executive Adam Walls, welcomed the birth of Theodore Walls on August 21 last year.
He’s now spending time with his mum as she supervises the vintage at the Pepper Tree winery at Pokolbin.
Olsen is chief winemaker for the Davis Wine Group and is responsible for the production of the prestigious Pepper Tree, Briar Ridge, Tallavera Grove and Carillion brands. In 2014, the 36-year-old won the Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine Young Winemaker of the Year award. In 2015, she was Hunter Wine Awards’ 2015 Rising Star of the Year.
By special arrangement with Davis Group chief Dr John Davis, Olsen has been able to organise her program to combine her mothering and winemaking duties.
As befits the son of two wine identities, Theodore – better known as Ted – spends time at the winery with Olsen and in day care. Olsen says Ted and vintage are both her “babies” and are proving a delight. “Ted is a very good baby and sleeps at night and the 2019 vintage is going wonderfully well,” she said.
The Davis Group white vintage will be finished this week, and Olsen believes the wines will be as good those of 2014. She says the red harvest, now moving into top gear, looks highly promising.
ONCE the grape harvest from the Davis Group’s 189ha of vines in the Hunter, Orange, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra is wrapped up, Olsen hopes to provide valuable insights into maternity leave and flexible post-childbirth work arrangements for women winemakers, brewers and distillers.
She’s one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Women in Beer, Wine and Spirits Festival at Australian Technology Park in Sydney next month.
Sponsored by Cellarmasters and BWS bottle shops, the event is aimed at better gender balance in beer, wine and spirits industries. It will open with a 5-9pm session of on Friday, March 8 (International Women’s Day).
There will be two more sessions from 11am-3pm and 5-9pm on Saturday, March 9. The program includes tastings provided by about 30 winemakers, distillers and brewers.
The cost is $50 to $60 per session, which includes unlimited tastings, a gift tasting glass and a booklet. For more details and tickets, visit events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/meet-the-makers-women-in-beer-wine-and-spirits or Cellarmasters.com.au and BWS.com.au
THE Briar Ridge 2018 Albarino shows green-tinted straw hues, jelly bean aromas and zesty kiwifruit front-palate flavour. The middle palate has pear, star anise and gunmetal elements and the finish slatey acid. At winery and briarridge.com.au. The classic Spanish albarino (al-bah-rin-yo) grape is now grown on Davis Group Mount View vines.
DRINK WITH: calamari.
AGEING: two years.
TOP RATING FOR TV
THE Pepper Tree 2018 Alluvius-TV Semillon label notes the Trevena vineyard origins of this light gold, jasmine-scented white. The front palate shows crisp, elegant lime flavour and the middle palate lemon zest, nashi pear, mineral and nascent honey. The finish has flinty acid. It and the Coquun are at cellar door and peppertreewines.com.au.
DRINK WITH: tapas.
AGEING: 12 years.
HUNTER SHIRAZ JOY
CRAFTED by Gwyn Olsen and her team, the delightful Pepper Tree 2017 Coquun Shiraz has 14%-alcohol, purple-tinted crimson hues and scents of cassis and caramel. Plush, ripe plum flavour shows on the front palate, Morello cherry, spice, Turkish delight chocolate and coconutty oak meld on the middle palate and the finish has dusty tannins.
DRINK WITH: roast beef.
AGEING: 15 years.