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Atkin Anecdotes
  • Dates 06.02 – 07.02.2015
  • Location Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration

We caught up for a chat with Tim Atkin MW at last year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Atkin is coming to Australia again, this time for the Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration. With a view towards his arrival, we have published a couple of his thoughts from our chat.

Two Thousand Years Down The Track
“I think that the problem with a lot of wine writing, is that it’s lost. It’s lost contact with stories and the places. It’s a bunch of people sitting in a room, powering through two hundred wines and giving them a score out of one hundred points. It doesn’t mean much does it really? That’s two thousand years of civilization reduced to a score out of a hundred.”

On Wine Marketing
“People tend to think that wine brands are just Jacob’s Creek and Hardy’s Crest whereas Chateau Lafite is a wine brand; it’s just an upmarket wine brand. The same is true of marketing. Everyone is doing wine marketing today because it is part of the picture. There are so many bloody wines produced in the world that if you don’t have some form of marketing, even if that is stealth or anti-marketing. If you say “I don’t do marketing”, well, in-fact, that’s a form of marketing.”

“It’s like the old saying if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, has a tree fallen? If a great wine is made and nobody tastes it and nobody knows about it, is it still a great wine? The answer is, well, not really, absolutely speaking. If you don’t market your wines and don’t actively sell them, you aren’t going to succeed in the world, as it exists now.”

Australian Wine
“The development of Australian wine over the last ten years has been more exciting than any region, ever, I’d say, Frankly. The huge disservice to Australia are the huge companies that have sold their wine too cheaply on bog-off deals the supermarkets. Australia used to have quite a premium image in the UK whereas I think it is now seen as cheap supermarket wine… Of the bits I have seen, I’m really excited.”

You Call That a knife… in London?
“For the general British consumer I’m pretty sure they still consider Australian wine to be at the ‘sunshine in a glass’ level. Which is twenty-five years out of date. I mean, it’s Crocodile Dundee. Does Crocodile Dundee accurately reflect modern Australia and what’s happening here? I don’t think so.”

On Independents And The Mass-Market
“I like the fact that young men and women are going out there and buying fruit and making small batches of interesting things. It is an antidote to the big company, mass-produced, tank farm reds and whites that are the popular image of Australian wine. How can anything individual come out of that mass-production? I mean, there is a place for those wines because you need them to make wines that appeal to the mass market. There is nothing wrong with that. Things like Jacobs Creek do that brilliantly; that is a really smart and popular brand. You also need the top end and by the top end, I don’t mean Grange, which I don’t particularly like. If Grange is the top-end then people are asking the wrong question.”

On The Value of Northern Rhone Wines
“The great thing about the wines from Crozes-Hermitage and Saint Joseph is that they are affordable. Wines from the Northern Rhone are not super-expensive - with the exception of Guigal’s La Las and maybe J.L Chave – especially when compared Bordeaux and Burgundy from a good vintage. Crozes-Hermitage is a big appellation but when it’s good, it’s amazing.”

To find out more about the Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration, visit the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association online at

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