2 minutes with Kevin ‘KG’ Glastonbury | Gourmand and Gourmet

2 minutes with Kevin 'KG' Glastonbury

As one of Australia’s most notable winemakers, we couldn’t wait to quiz Yalumba‘s Senior Red winemaker, Kevin ‘KG’ Glastonbury, on what inspires him and why he loves winemaking in the Barossa region. Get the low down from the man himself on which Yalumba wines he thinks make the cut for this month’s Butcher, Baker, Winemaker dinner at Wandering Cooks. Can you give us a brief explanation of Yalumba, who you are, and what you do? As far as winemaking goes, Yalumba really does tick all the boxes. Now being 165 years old and still a family owned company allows us the scope to do the small things, like making and releasing only 200 dozen of a premium Barossa Shiraz right through to working with the new and upcoming varietals, as well as making the consistent quality, larger volume, commercial wines which pay the bills. Tell us what blends you produce and specialise in (and your favourite vino). I’m known as the maker of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz blends – wines like The Signature, The Scribbler and FDR1a. This wine style is known as the Great Australian red blend. I’m also the maker of Yalumba’s Grenache wines, like the old bush-vine Grenache and our single site Tri-Centenary Grenache. Grenache is always my choice when it comes to red wines. It is such a versatile variety and matches well with so many foods. How did your journey with Yalumba begin? I was previously winemaking at Grant Burge wines, which is also in the Barossa. Then in January 1999 I joined the Yalumba team to take on the role of Senior Red winemaker responsible for all Barossa reds and the journey began. Once people join the company, they tend to stay around for quite some time and find it difficult to leave. Best winemaking disaster? None that I care to discuss! We are fortunate at Yalumba that our winemaking boundaries are wide and we are challenged by the boss to use the full width and experiment and have fun in doing so. If it works out, terrific, if it doesn’t, then as long as we learn from it then all is good. What is your proudest achievement to date? As an unqualified winemaker the wines under my care have continually achieved great success around Australia and also the world. I was also named Winestate magazines ‘Winemaker of the year’ in 2007 and also completed the 2010 Len Evans tutorial. It is also really pleasing to see how wines like Grenache are increasing in popularity. This variety is a stalwart of the Australian wine industry, with some of the oldest vines in the world and it’s very versatile and shows that regions like the Barossa are not just about Shiraz. What do you love most about winemaking in the Barossa region? The Barossa really is a beautiful wine region. We have the four seasons, sometimes in one day! We are in the country, yet are only an hour from the state capital, Adelaide, and the beaches and the ocean. Whilst the winemaking conditions are not as difficult as in a challenging cool climate region like Tasmania, they are not perfect every year which then allows us to continually work hard at our craft to produce wines of provenance. What will you be doing at the Butcher, Baker, Winemaker dinner at Wandering Cooks as part of Good Food Month? Apparently I’m the MC so I guess I’ll be running the show! Obviously we have some great wines that we want to show off to everyone and hopefully it will be in a way that’s a little different for people. We’re showing some current wines, some new wines, some rare wines and even something a little bit special from the museum. Events like this really work when people are relaxed and feel comfortable but it’s also got to be interactive. And look there are no real rights or wrongs when it comes to food and wine, so I’ll be looking to have the guests discuss their thoughts on the wines and food in a way that’s fun and entertaining. Tell us about the wines that will be featured at the dinner. We’re featuring our new 2013 Yalumba Roussane, the new 2012 The Virgilius Viognier, the 2008 Tri-Centenary Grenache, the 2011 FDR1a and the 2005 FDR1a, the new 2010 Paradox shiraz and the museum tawny port – cigars anyone? Kevin ‘KG’ Glastonbury  |  Yalumba  |  Barossa Valley