Australia recently awarded a set of medals to its best winemakers, including its best emerging winemaker and I happen to like everything about their choice. First of all, she’s a woman. Kudos to the judges, or whoever they were for breaking the mold. It’s still very much a man’s world in the wine business, but without good reason. Secondly, she’s young — Fran Austin is 30 years old, and clearly accomplished. Thirdly, she’s from Tasmania (or at least that’s where her winery is — she’s actually West Australian). Not Barossa, not Coonawarra, not the Hunter Valley, but the tiny island in the south, which I hear is definitely producing some great wines. Finally, and honestly this is what I love the most, is that her winery is named Bay of Fires. How cool is that? There’s just something about that name that I love.
In any case, cheers, Ms. Austin. Now I just gotta find some of your wine.