OK so the pun isn’t exactly complete, but it does contain the main point that I’d like to make in this article.
a. The process of becoming set in a rigidly conventional pattern, as of behaviour, habits, or beliefs.
b. Rigid, unimaginative convention.
Twenty five years ago Australia was one of the most exciting places to buy wine in the world. It was impossible to tell what they might do next and just how high up the quality scale they might get to. Together with a brand new grapes-on-the-label approach came the style…the much copied fruit-forward and delicious character found in all the wines that were first offered up. It really was a great time to be discovering wine.
So what of the intervening period? What has the journey shown us. Well, I am afraid that about the same time as Oz became our favourite spot to buy wine, topping the volume import charts, along came the ozification (for which YOU CAN substitute ossification…you can). The wines had all of a sudden become formulaic and we all got a wee bit bored. Quality producers pulled their hair out in frustration. They wanted to drive quality and reputation at every step, but with six main grapes to play with and precious little established terroir or distinct regional styles…it was going to be a damn hard slog. And the market trudged on according to its rigid convention, being held by a commercial success that couldn’t be ignored.
And now? Well, now, smaller more individualistic, and most often more esoteric (expensive) estates do a wonderful job of pushing the stylistic boundaries set by the mass market. There are a loose coalition of winemakers out there dedicated to the cause. But wait…does your Bin 65 still taste a wee bit dull, if functional? Of course it does! So the problem persists on a larger scale.
So what are we doing about it? This bit is easy. We have got our hands on a production facility from which we will be tailor making everything that comes out from this wonderful production area. Not for us being held ransom by our own brand…our brand (Virgin) demands that we go off-piste to bring you boxes full of surprises.
Ozification is not a threat to us here at Virgin! Our vinous adventures in Oz are set to see an upchange in pace as we work with our winemakers out there to deliver you boutique quality wines, with provenance (faces, people, vineyards, dogs, hand made wines etc) and proper style…for prices that wouldn’t look out of place in dull, branded portfolios.
The things we do for you!
Now what time is my non-stop to Melbourne…