About this WINE
Giaconda is one of Australia’s most famous names. The Beechworth winery was established by Rick Kinzbrunner in 1982. A mechanical engineer by training, he became interested in wine in the early 1970s and spent the next 10 years traveling to wine-growing regions to learn as much as possible.
Rick was the first to establish a vineyard of any consequence in Beechworth when he first planted in 1982, but today there are over 30 based in the area. This little-known inland region is in north-eastern Victoria, in the foothills and within sight of the Victorian Alps, approximately midway between Melbourne and Sydney.
Giaconda is best known for its Chardonnay, but also produces Shiraz and Pinot Noir. The wines here are hand-crafted by Rick and his son Nathan, who do everything themselves and only take on help at harvest. Some of the most desirable wines in Australia, and indeed the world, Giaconda’s wines are in regrettably short supply, as they only produce 30 to 40,000 bottles a year.
The Beechworth wine region lies at the foothills of an ancient volcano, on mineral-rich soils, overlaid with granite boulders and outcrops. This Victorian Alps outpost. specialises in the cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties.
Chardonnay is often seen as the king of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.