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22 September 2019 № 368

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Ronald Brown from Maverick winery: «Perfect quality and attention to details»

Mr. Ronald Brown had held exciting master class on organic winemaking at the Sommelier Academy Mozart Wine House and introduced Rostov lovers with their great wines.

— Ronald, please tell us about the name of your brand Maverick — what does it mean?

— This is a typical English word that is difficult to translate into other languages. The closest definition is a man who does everything wrong, as others were expecting.

— The individualist?

— Yes, probably. Maverick… Someone said it with condemnation, some with admiration, it depends on personal attitude and world outlook. Unfortunately or fortunately, I’m always doing differently all in my life. My wife is originally from Russia, I left my profession to be engaged in the wine. I am 58 years old, but I have eighteen months daughter.

— This is great! And what is the philosophy of your wine house?

— Oh, it’s easy. We bought 10 of the best Barossa vineyards, we cultivate their biodynamic and organic methods and strive to produce the best wines in Australia. The wines are elegant and with the right balance of «price-quality»

— Is it important to you gastronomic of wine or your wines are self-sufficient?

— Our main customers are visitors of the hotels and the restaurants, where wine is used with food, so gastronomic is very important. It is necessary to correctly choose the wine to the food. So it is best to open. That’s why at tasting I ask to serve them whatever with food. The only way you will be able to choose is the right combination.

For example, recently I was in Beaujolais. There, I have a friend, who is very talented chef. So he selects wine to a meal. And in addition, when he is cooking, he adds the same wine in a dish. And he does it right, in my opinion. Because how can you appreciate the nuances of enogastronomic combination, if with a good wine will be served a dish, in which was added very simple table wine?

— And how did you start practicing organic viticulture?

— When I was little, I was very interested in the stars, I even had a periscope, it was very simple. My ancestors were from Scotland and from Switzerland. They were farmers for hundreds years. And I have always had an understanding of the close relationship between wine, man and nature. When I started the cultivation of grape, I quite natural became interested in organic methods.

— And whom you would call as a teacher in the field of biodynamics?

— In 1993, I met Francois Boucher. He is one of the founders of the French biodynamics. And he introduced me biodynamic winemaking. At that time, it was the dawn of biodynamics. Only twelve people in France, including such well-known person as Nicolas Joly, were engaged in biodynamics. And thanks to this meeting I turned to biodynamics.

Nicolas Joly is a very good businessman who is well versed in the market and he has put a lot of effort to promote and develop the theme of biodynamics. And Francois Boucher is a «guru», the ambassador of biodynamics. He founded the association of biodinamics of 12 winemakers, which included Olivier Umbreht, Dominique Lafon, Domain Leflaive and others.

When I moved to Australia, I would like to call him to view the vineyards, but, unfortunately, he had already died. Six years ago. But thanks to a meeting with him, I changed my attraction to certain stars and the nature to the side of biodynamics.

— And you strive every possible way to promote this trend, didn’t you?

— Yes. I have established my own farm in 1997, and in 2007, I held the second seminar of organic and biodynamic winemaking, which took place at the winery Maverick. South Australia produces 65% of the total output of Australian wines. And its best wineries have been invited to this seminar. There were demonstrated the technical tools for biodynamic winemaking, which were brought from Italy. Thus I would like to interest winemakers to these methods. And now, in Barossa Valley about half of all the vineyards or a little less are cultivated organic or biodynamic methods. Having got over the vineyards, you can see the grass cover between the rows of grape vines and grazing sheep.

— Yes, but we can still find a lot of mediocre wines…

— I agree. Currently, more than 80% of the wine market is occupied by commercial wine, where winemakers can add a lot of things that did not improve their quality. These wines are widely represented in supermarkets. But I’m glad that more and more people begin to understand the difference. And in different cities in boutiques and small restaurants, you can find more and more organic and biodynamic wines from small wineries.

I believe in the power of wine education, the need to develop a taste and to acquaint consumers with their product. Those who today tasted wines Maverick, I’m sure, have estimated them and they will drink their own and recommend to friends and clients.

We believe in it too! And the last, traditional question. Please, give some advice to students of our sommelier academy.

— Oh, I’ll give a very simple advice. I worked with Hugh Johnson for 8 years. And in the beginning I did not know anything about wine, nothing at all. And he told me the most important thing: «Everyone has taste. Everyone can decide whether he likes or dislikes something». And I want to tell your students that each can understand wine, this is not a secret instrument or the choice for the elite. This is an interesting adventure, new discoveries and personal choice. Go for it! Here is my advice.

— Thank you for interesting story and your work on the creation of quality wines! We wish you a pleasant evening at the restaurant Pinot Noir!

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