“Wine is not about flavour, it is about texture and mouthfeel.”
- Len Evans
Recently at the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year awards. Mark received the Len Evans Award for Leadership in the Australian Wine Industry. Len Evans was an English-born Australian promoter, maker, judge, taster, teacher and drinker of wine. Evans passed away in 2007.
“Len Evans holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Australian wine lovers. His forthright views and refusal to compromise meant that many of us came to accept that notion that life is indeed too short to drink bad wine...
“He had a clear sense of purpose, the unbounded confidence to set directions and the verve and charisma to inspire others – and take them along for the ride. He was, in short, a leader.”
- Peter Forrestal
“In Brisbane a few years ago, I attended a Len Evans master class on chardonnay. It was Len Evans in full flight showing us some of the great chardonnays of the world. But he damned those people that wanted to describe wine in terms of flavours like “peaches” and “stone fruit” in chardonnay. 'It is all about texture and mouthfeel,' he proclaimed. He drew graphs on butcher’s paper to demonstrate texture in Chardonnay from different regions of the world. It was an impressive and memorable master class.”
- Mark Lloyd
The Gourmet Traveller Wine Maker of the Year Award
The hidden identity of the award winner was slowly revealed on the night through a wine options game which was played by the 200 wine producers and journalists in the room. By a process of elimination, the mystery wine was revealed; Coriole 2017 Picpoul (aka Piquepoul, first imported into Australia by Coriole in 2008) affirming Mark Lloyd as the recipient.
The award was presented to Mark primarily for Coriole’s role in introducing new grape varieties into Australia and encouraging local growers. The award also touched on the contribution that Coriole made to the re-birth of the Australian Olive Industry, as well as leadership in the role of collaborating wine and the Arts as part of the complete winery experience.
Coriole has been a leader in the development of new wine varieties in Australia. Mark Lloyd went looking in southern Europe for grape vines that he felt had great potential in Australia. This led to the importation of vine material and the first vineyards in Australia for the varieties of Fiano and Picpoul. The first move came in 1985 with the planting of the longest Australian commercial vineyard of Sangiovese. Other varieties have been planted but found to be unsuitable in the McLaren Vale region. Montepulciano and Nero d'Avola, by contrast, are demonstrating their great potential.
Always with the pursuit of these varieties the philosophy has been to find varieties that will grow well in our conditions, but also have great appeal on the ‘Australian table’ rather than celebrating the wonderful regions of Italy. In Australia the style of wine produced is distinctively different from Europe. These wines are now referred to by Coriole as the ‘New Australian Collection’.