Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine
Ey up and away
Raise a glass to winemakers from Yorkshire this coming Monday.
One of the great joys of being from Yorkshire is getting out and about and explaining to the unfortunate beings who do not come from God’s Own Country just what a great place Yorkshire is. Whether you talk about the scenery, the cities or just the rolling expanse of skyline on the moors, there is plenty to be proud of.
But Yorkshire is not just a place. It is made up of its people and its attitudes which are our most exportable assets.
All around the world there are Yorkshire people who have taken the big step of moving away from the county, taking their hard-working, down-to-earth attitudes with them and making a life for themselves. But the odd thing is, wherever they are, and however long they have been there, they still call Yorkshire “home”.
Should you wander into the winery of Bec Hardy in McLaren Vale, South Australia, and feel in need of a cup of tea, they have the full range of Yorkshire brews and will be happy to make you a cuppa. Bec Hardy is definitely Australian, a sixth-generation winemaker from one of Australia’s oldest and most famous winemaking families. But her husband, Richard Dolan is definitely from Yorkshire. Despite living in Australia for over 20 years, his accent wanders between the stretched vowels of Australia and the strong sound of Doncaster.
On a work trip to Australia, it was a chance meeting with Bec in Adelaide that led Richard to upping sticks and moving halfway around the world. At the time
Bec was working for her father’s wine company, Geoff Hardy Wines. Geoff is one of Australia’s leading viticulturalists, with a particular interest in sustainability. When Bec and Richard established their own company, Bec Hardy Wines, they acquired some of the famous Hardy vineyards that were first planted by Bec’s ancestor Thomas Hardy who emigrated from Devon to Australia in the 19th century. This gives them access to fabulous grapes for their wines.
“We have acquired the Pertaringa brand from Geoff Hardy, and we also have our own vineyard at Tipsy Hill,” said Richard when I caught up with him on his whistlestop tour of the UK as he launched the wines.
As a former financier, he is in charge of the business while Bec concentrates on the vineyards and wine. They have also appointed winemaker Bec Swincer who has worked in Napa, France and across Australia.
Tasting through the range, I was particularly impressed by the crisp, citrussy Pertaringa Lakeside Chardonnay 2021 (around £12) and the vibrant, berry-filled Village Green Shiraz 2021 (around £15). The first shipment of Bec Hardy Wines is still making its
way to the UK, and I will let you know when it reaches our shelves. Meanwhile, should you be in McLaren Vale and see a chap strolling around wearing a tweed flat hat that doesn’t quite fit the usual Australian profile, greet him with a friendly “ey up”. It is probably Richard. He gets his hats sent over from Thirsk.
Sheffield-born Master of Wine Richard Kershaw makes wine in the Elgin region of South Africa and has established a reputation for medal-winning, distinctive wines that bring out the character of this cool-climate, blustery ridge of land. Richard has made wine in Chile, Argentina, South Africa, France, Germany and Hungary, often working two harvests a year in the southern and northern hemispheres and gathering his skills so that could make his own wine. He also found time to pass the extremely difficult Master of Wine exams, becoming one of only 419 MWs in the world. More people have gone into space than have the Master of Wine qualification, and you get to be one only by knowing a lot about wine and being extremely good at tasting. “I think I am the only one from Sheffield,” said Richard.
He shows his Yorkshire roots on the
capsule and labels of his wines. “Sheffield is famous for its steel and silver, and I wanted to give the wine an echo of home,” said Richard. The silver capsule carries a Yorkshire rose and there are a couple of “hallmarks” in the design that include his own birth year as a date-mark
Richard specialises in making clonal selections of wines, matching grapes to their soil and micro-climate and, in recognition of his exceptional winemaking skills, he was recently accepted into the Cape Winemakers Guild. This association of just 46 winemakers represents the best and the most dynamic winemakers in South Africa. You can find Richard Kershaw’s wines at Hic! in Ledston and at Corking Wines in York. Look out for his simply superb Clonal Syrah 2017 (Hic!,
£38) that shows more than a nod in the direction of Cote Rôtie.
With a successful food and investmentbanking career behind him, Leeds-born
Ian Kellett was planning to buy a vineyard in Bordeaux when a rather special property in Hampshire came up for sale. This was Hambledon vineyard where the pioneer of English viticulture, Sir Guy Salisbury Jones, lived and planted vines in the mid1950s. This property lies on the same seam of chalk that stretches across the south of England to the champagne region of France, and it is this that determines the quality of the grapes grown on it. Buying Hambledon took Ian’s career in a new direction with winemaking and viticulture courses, and since then he has made a massive investment in creating new vineyards with the aim of making top-quality English Sparling wines. Now with over 80 hectares of vineyard, planted with classic Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines, and an exceptionally equipped winery, Hambledon has become a major player on the English wine scene. A new visitor centre and restaurant are also opening soon.
Hambledon Classic Cuvée NV is crisp and lively with clear citrus and savoury tones (Waitrose, £30) while the Premier Cuvée NV is complex with notes of baked apples and apricots (Harvey Nichols,
Leeds, £46). During my visit, Ian opened a bottle of the soon-to-be-launched new Premier Cuvée Rosé which is wonderfully elegant.
On Yorkshire Day on Monday, wherever you are, in Yorkshire or beyond, there are hard-working Yorkshire people raising a flag or maybe a glass to our wonderful county. Cheers.