Italian in ‘the Jura’ – Part II

Part II of our trip to Chalmers Nurseries, featuring a mini photo essay on some of Italy’s red grapes.

The first photos are of two clones of Sangiovese (don’t worry, it’s not too technical). VCR 5, from Vivai Cooperativi Raucedo, is the ‘Brunello’ clone of Sangiovese Grosso found in Montalcino. Mat 7, from Gruppo Matura, is the clone selected by the Chalmers’ to plant at their Heathcote estate, noted for its high colour and low yeild.

I should add that in these photos the fruit is suffering from the heavy rain that has made 2011 the worst harvest ever in the region.




Negro Amaro might be about to hit the big time, with Orlando soon to bottle one under the Jacobs Creek label. Seriously!


Sicily’s main red grape, Nero d’Avola, is another southern Italian variety that could do well in the Australian climate. When I first went to Sicily most producers were more interested in showing you their Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz (yawn). Thankfully, times have changed and the quality of todays Nero d’Avola has never been better.


Little known outside its home in Friuli, Refosco makes fruity reds with deep colour, high acid and solid tannins. Many of the best examples are made in tiny quantities and often involve drying the grapes (as in Amarone). We have a small amount of Bastianich Calabrone 2007 (made form 70% Refosco) arriving next month – it was one of my favourite wines in 2010.