Jason has travelled the world and now calls Australia home. Before entering the wine and tourism industry Jason was a professional in the finance industry in London and Sydney. After moving to Adelaide Jason decided to follow his other passion – great food and excellent wine. Jason continues to travel the world in search for the interesting, the challenging and the down-right enjoyable. Recent journeys included a month in Italy, and some time in California. Jason has been accredited with the National Tourism Accreditation Program and WSET Level 3 international wine course with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Interview with Jason:
When did you discover your passion for wine?
I’ve been a foodie my whole life, and wine is just another food product to be discovered, shared and enjoyed. While I was at university, many of my friends were purchasing things they shouldn’t, but I was developing my cellar. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to various places around the world and wherever I’ve gone I’ve collected wine from those regions, and which has helped me develop my palate.
What are your key highlights of the Barossa Valley wine region?
Generally, my personal preference is toward the very small family run boutique producers, of which Barossa has quite a number. A couple of my favourites include Henschke, and Turkey Flat. I also love the views from the hills overlooking Barossa in the early morning light, and some of the old stone buildings – many of which have been turned into cellar doors for wineries.
When are the best times to visit Barossa?
I love Barossa in the middle of winter. There aren’t as many people around, and its perfect weather to curl up next to the fire with a fortified vintage Shiraz and good local cheese. But really each season has something to offer, and each is distinctly different.
Do you have a personal favourite winery in the region and if so why?
Very hard question to answer – each has their attributes which I enjoy for different reasons. But if I was forced to have just one producer I would probably pick Henschke. Stylistically I find their wines to be more restrained, more food friendly, but still representing the vineyard where the fruit is from. Their philosophy is also consistent with my own. Plus I love visiting the winery – gorgeous stone buildings built in 1868, fermenters full of vibrant purple juice, aromas of vintage lingering in the air.
What would be your top 3 tips for the keen wine traveller?
Tip 1: Taste promiscuously! Taste things you have never had before, varieties you can’t pronounce, taste things you think you won’t like. As with all travel, an open mind and a curious palate are essential.
Tip 2: “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” This helps to get all that wine back home.
Tip 3: Ask a local for advice, detour down back roads and explore. You might just find that next hidden treasure the world will be taking about
Finally, which wine region in the world would you like to visit next?
I have a very long list of places to visit. It seems with each new guest I show around, I add another location to that list. At present I’m intrigued by some of the wines from Chile and Argentina which we are starting to see. But also love their combination of history, geography and their food culture in general.