Australian wine takes a step towards Italy

International varieties dominate Australian vineyards. But, reports, Michaela Morris, one nursery is gradually turning things around. She speaks to the Chalmers family.

Chalmers Wines Australia, Heathcote, Victoria
Chalmers Wines Australia, Heathcote, Victoria

When nursery owners Bruce and Jenni Chalmers proposed a range of alternative grape varieties to Southcorp, Penfolds, Orlando and Pernod Ricard, “they were laughed out of the boardroom,” says their daughter Kim Chalmers, director at Chalmers Wines Australia. It was the late 1990s and Australia’s largest companies were making money selling classic varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and had no use for anything new.

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