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Green Aussie wine

Stuart and Andrew Watson were in town recently to share their wines with the Indian audience. Girija Duggal tells more...

india Updated: Aug 08, 2008 13:32 IST
Girija Duggal

If you thought 'Australian' meant only beer, think again. In recent years, the country has also made a mark on the international scene with its fine wines.

And Stuart and Andrew Watson, two brothers heading one of the country's most renowned vineyards - the Woodlands Margaret River winery - were in town recently to share their wines with the Indian audience and to learn more about the domestic wine market. We caught up with them to discuss what it means to be a family vineyard and the special 'green' factor in all their wines.

All in the family Set up by their parents David and Heather Watson in 1973, the vineyard shot to fame with its award-winning 1981 Cabernet Sauvignon 'Andrew', a red wine named after the younger of the two brothers. To date, the winery names each vintage of this wine after family members and friends, "just to pay tribute to people who are special to us," says Stuart.

In fact, working on the vineyard as a family is an important part of Woodlands' winemaking, informs Stuart. "We are a family vineyard," he says. "The very first grapes we pick each harvest are with family and friends - it's very satisfying."

Green wines But there is something else that distinguishes this 26-acre vineyard. Thanks to Stuart's initiative, every bottle produced at Woodlands is 'green'. As a certified carbon neutral company, the ecological footprint of all the steps involved in making wine from onsite fuel usage to air travel and embodied emissions in class bottles and s is Let b si n le ergy sources and low-carbon alternatives.

"I like the phrase 'to pay for what you use'," says Stuart. "We're consuming energy and need to find a way to balance it out." For Andrew, their Bordeaux-style wines are distinct. "What we're trying to change is the mindset that just because a Cabernet Sauvignon is from Australia, it won't be good," he says.

At the same time, they are proud of what they produce. As Andrew says, "They are unique our wines can only ever come from us."