Vint Podcast

Vint Podcast Ep. 122: The Australian Ark – The Untold Story of Australian Wine with Andrew Caillard, MW

In this episode, Billy Galanko interviews Andrew Caillard, a Master of Wine, about his three-volume series called Australian Ark, a comprehensive history of Australian wine. Andrew’s passion and knowledge of Australian wine history shine through, making this interview a must-listen for wine enthusiasts. Prior to the interview, Billy also discusses the definition and importance of old vines, the impact of phylloxera on vineyards, and the rarity and quality of old vines in Australia.

The Australian Ark, is a three-volume work on the history of Australian wine. The project, which took two and a half years to complete, features half a million words, 1762 pages, and around 1200 illustrations, images, and maps. Caillard explains the challenges of funding and publishing such a large-scale project and highlights the importance of the book’s imagery and graphics. He also emphasizes the significance of Australia’s old vineyards and their role in the country’s fine wine agenda. Finally, Caillard provides a brief overview of Australian wine history, starting from the arrival of white settlers in 1788. This conversation explores the history and development of the Australian wine industry.

It begins with the early beginnings of the industry in New South Wales and the importation of vine stock material. The impact of Phylloxera and the growth of the wine industry in South Australia and Victoria are discussed. The conversation then delves into the post-World War I era and the soldier settlement schemes that led to the expansion of vineyards. The reputation of Australian wine and the challenges faced during the 1920s are explored. The conversation also highlights the multiculturalism in Australia and the increase in wine consumption. The growth of wine regions and the epigenetic adaptation of vine stock material are examined. The conversation touches on Max Schubert’s contribution to the modern age of Australian wine and the surprises and unexpected discoveries made during the research process. Finally, the resilience and ambition of the Australian wine industry are emphasized, along with the future prospects of the industry.

Australian Ark Website – Learn More + Purchase

01:38 The Significance of Old Vines in Winemaking

10:08 Unveiling the Australian Ark: A Magnum Opus on Wine History

14:07 The Making of the Australian Ark: Challenges and Triumphs

19:20 A Deep Dive into the Visuals and Formats of the Australian Ark

22:38 Exploring the Rich Imagery and Multi-Faceted Stories Within the Australian Ark

26:26 The Importance of Vineyards in the Narrative of Australian Wine

26:52 Unveiling Australia’s Wine Heritage: The Old Vine Chronicles

29:03 The Battle Against Phylloxera: Australia’s Quarantine Triumph

32:55 From Convict Colony to Wine Country: A Brief History of Australian Wine

38:19 The Evolution of Australian Wine: From Fortified to Fine

43:57 Modern Innovations and the Future of Australian Wine

54:10 Reflections and Insights: The Journey of Writing Australian Wine History

57:25 Looking Ahead: The Resilience and Future of Australian Wine

59:04 Wrapping Up: Insights on Australian Wine’s Past, Present, and Future