The ‘White Grange’

Penfolds ‘Bin 144’ Yattarna Chardonnay 2004

Yattarna 2004

Thanks to Edward Dillon & Co Wine Merchants, we had a very nice treat for the students of the 12 week course, during the Chardonnay module of the wine class – we were able to show the Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2004.

Picturted below is the brilliant Peter Gago, chief winemaker at Penfolds (and the iconic Penfolds Grange – the Yattarna is sometimes referred to as the ‘White Grange’). During his visit to Ireland last year, Colm did a short video clip with Peter for the iPad Wine List at Ballymaloe – focussing on the high-profile ‘Penfolds Re-Corking Clinics undertaken around the world. (See the nice article ‘Apples for Dinner’ by Jancis Robinson MW on the Ipad Wine List at Ballymaloe here)
Peter Gago

Sealed under Screwcap – no cork taint, no random oxidation and promoting freshness & longevity. Penfolds has had well over a third of a century’s successful experience with white wine screwcap closures (e.g. the ideally preserved 1972 Penfolds Dalwood Riesling, 1980 Penfolds Autumn Riesling).

Marron at MagillPictured, is the matching dish I had with the Yattarna Chardonnay in the Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, Adelaide, South Australia – this dish is Kangaroo Island Marron with Samphire, Young Shoots, Peas and Organic Honey – this really matched well – great dining experience – with Chef Jock Zonfrillo, waitress Megan, and Sommelier Joshua Picken – delighted to see the Riedel Eve Decanter in use here as we also have one in use at Ballymaloe.


This wine was matured for 11 months in one year old (50%) and two year old (50%) French oak barriques.

Winemaker comments:

Colour: Pale straw.

Nose: Complex nose of fruits, custard apple, white nectarine, peach and freshly cut lime aromas are embraced by spicy, roasted hazelnut, vanilla and wheatmeal characters.

Palate: This wine is tightly structured with a fine backbone; Apple, grapefruit, melon
and subtle citrus flavours are surrounded by barrel ferment characters of fresh nougat
and roasted nuts. The subtle oak provides structure and complexity.

Peter Gago
Colm with Peter Gago at Magill Estate, Adelaide

Dave & Diana Palmer, Skillogalee, Clare Valley

Skillogalee is a boutique winery, owned and run by the Palmer Family, set amongst wooded hills in one of the most picturesque parts of the Clare Valley, in South Australia. We welcomed Dave and Diana Palmer, Skillogalee to Ballymaloe for a winemaker dinner on Friday 16th September.

Skillogalee has won great acclaim – “Our favourite South Australian winery” Lonely Planet; ‘Australian Top 100’ – Matthew Jukes; and ‘5 star wines; delicious, complex, and multi-dimensional’ – Decanter, September 2011 (The Skillogalee Clare Valley Riesling 2010 came top in a Decanter tasting of Australian and New Zealand Riesling’s – and also was the highest scored wine in the entire September 2011 issue of Decanter magazine)

Dave Palmer
Dave at Ballymaloe House

Over a matching dinner, we served the following wines, starting with the Skillogalee Sparkling Riesling (also see Billy Lyons ‘Restaurants and Food in Cork’ wonderful blog here on Dave and Di’s visit to Ballymaloe)

Skillogalee Sparkling Riesling

Skillogalee Riesling 2010
Skillogalee Gewürztraminer 2011
Skillogalee Trevarrick Riesling 2008
Skillogalee Cabernet Malbec Rosé 2010
Skillogalee The Cabernets 2006
Skillogalee Shiraz 2007
Skillogalee Liquer Muscat

Dave and Di also finished the evening with a little quiz – with some great bottles of Skillogalee for the winners – rounding off a superb evening. We very much look forward to their return to Cork.

at Skillogalee
Colm with Dave Palmer out in the vineyards at Skillogalee in The Clare Valley, South Australia
Diana and Dave Palmer
Diana & Dave Palmer, with Colm, at Skillogalee

Dave Palmer also co-hosted a Wine Australia Sommelier Masterclass in Dublin before his journey down south to Ballymaloe, with John McDonnell, Wine Australia Ireland (and regular guest wine lecturer at Ballymaloe Cookery School), and John Wilson, well known wine writer, all pictured below during the Riesling Masterclass

Riesling Australia

 Wine Australia Ireland Sommelier Course

Willunga 100, McLaren Vale with Ian Wigham

 We were delighted to welcome Ian Wigham, representing Willunga 100, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Willunga 100 is located in the picturesque McLaren Vale region, south of Adelaide in Australia. The wines come from a range of premium vineyards, including some over 50 years old which can produce a magnificent array of aromas and flavours. In the 100 year old winery, modern equipment is used alongside traditional winemaking techniques, including open-top fermenters. With over 100 years of winemaking experience, Willunga 100 produces unique and distinct wines, capturing the essence of the region.
Ian Whigham

John McDonnell, Wine Australia

 We were delighted to welcome back John McDonnell, manager, Wine Australia Ireland – John gave another of his fantastic Wine Australia presentations and tastings to the students – much enjoyed and appreciated by all. John covered the wine regions of Australia, and the many different wine styles, in a broad ranging and engaging informative talk and wine tasting with the students. For further information on Wine Australia, please visit
Florence Bowe and John McDonnell



Christie Schulz, Turkey Flat Vineyards, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Christie Schulz, Turkey Flat Vineyards, Barossa Valley, South Australia Turkey Flat is more than just a vineyard and home of the best Barossa wines, it is a family business that forms a vital part of the region’s rich cultural history and heritage

It was here, on the banks of Tanunda Creek where bush turkeys once roamed, that pioneer Silesian settler Johann Friedrich August Fiedler planted the first Shiraz vines in 1847. His vines flourished and the land – Section One, in the Hundred of Moorooroo – was bought in 1865 by Gottlieb Ernst Schulz, a successful butcher who established a thriving retail business among the vines

Christie Schulz, Eileen O'Donovan, Suzie O'Connor

Butchering developed into dairying, but the vineyards were always kept, and eventually transformed the historic bluestone butchers shop into the cellar door and heart of their Turkey Flat wine business, and made sure that the vines that Fiedler planted so long ago, now gnarled and twisted, are still a vital part of the process

And with good reason, for it is the intense, concentrated fruit from these ancient vines that set Turkey Flat wines apart and have made them sought after the world over. With thanks to Susie O’Connor, Classic Drinks for arranging this visit

Michele Jordan, Australia

Michele has spent the last 25 years involved in wine, which has taken her around the world presenting wine talks and tasting including the International Wine Centre in New York, the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club and Ballymaloe, which she last visited in 2007.

Michele is the wine ambassador to some of Australia’s best boutique wineries including Shaw + Smith from the Adelaide Hills (who make elegant Sauvignon Blanc, refined Chardonnay (regarded as Australia’s finest Chardonnay), seductive Pinot Noir and intense Shiraz), Mitolo Wines from McLaren Vale (Mitolo make sumptuously rich, hedonistic Shiraz, and another one of their wines is called Serpico – Mitolo’s version of an Amarone) and Greenstone Wines from Heathcote, Victoria, and also wine ambassador to the renowned Poggiotondo, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy.

Michele is married to Dr Tony Jordan, who is also a famous Australian winemaker and a senior wine judge at Australian and international wine competitions. They live, surrounded by their own vineyard, in the Yarra Valley, Victoria in South East Australia. Michele gave a tutored tasting to the students and also gave a wine dinner at Ballymaloe House that evening.