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WINE: 06 JANUARY 2016

By JOHN ROZENTALS

The Australian wine industry really knows how to play the name game

I do love the imagination that the wine industry sometimes shows when it comes to naming vineyards and wines.

One of my favourites is Elsewhere Vineyard, at Glaziers Bay in Tasmania’s Huon Valley.

The original owners, Eric and Jette Phillips, took inspiration from a common line in weather reports, which often finished with the words “and fine elsewhere”.

They decided that was where they wanted their vineyard to be.

For good measure, when they sold Elsewhere and established a small “retirement” vineyard nearby, they named it No Regrets.

Another that I really like is Ten Minutes by Tractor, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, where three families with small vineyards — you guessed it, about ten minutes apart by tractor — built a joint winery.

Further north at Mudgee, the Seldom Seen vineyard was originally one of the Craigmoor blocks and was so isolated that those who went there to work were seldom seen again — or so the story goes.

One that I came across recently is The Bandit range, from Houghtons, one of the largest wine producers in Western Australia.

It takes its name from Joseph Bolitho Johns, better known as Moondyne Joe, probably the state’s best-known bushranger.

He was captured after being caught hiding in the Houghton Cellars in the Swan Valley. I presume that he proved to be either a very happy captive or perhaps an incoherent contrary one.

If The Bandit 2014 Shiraz (see review) is anything to go by, winemaker Ross Pamment has created series of fine memorials to old Joe.

Above: Houghton winemaker Ross Pamment ... has created some fine wines under The Bandit label.

For general information, visit http://www.houghton-wines.com.au.

REVIEWS

Houghton 2014 The Bandit Shiraz $20

Houghton 2013 Gladstones Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

Houghton 2013 Crofters Shiraz

Houghton 2013 Red Classic