Sunday, 6 February 2011

Book Review: "The Future Makers", Max Allen

I read this book this afternoon, having just got my paws on it. I've been itching to read this book since I heard about it coming out, and now that I have, I'm intrigued.

The book's focus is on biodynamic viticulture techniques, and their usage throughout Australia. Organic viticulture and environmental sustainability practices also feature prominently. The book is pretty much divided into two parts: an historical and current state-of-play overview, followed by a breakdown by region with reviews of specific vineyards/winemakers/labels. Throughout, there is a resounding theme of stewardship, terrior, and the need to make long-term decisions in order to cope with climate changes, as well as Australia's natural challenges.

As someone going into the industry, it gives some food for thought. Interestingly, many of the winemakers I already know and have deep respect for were mentioned in the book - Wayne of SmallFry, Ewan of Symphony Hill, De Bortoli, several others, held up as paragons of environmentally sustainable and thoughtful practicioners.

Overall, it was an enjoyable (although not essential) read. It gives some interesting context to current practices, but I don't think I'll be using it as a reference.