2 Bottles & 2 Questions Featuring Marc Bradshaw

2 Bottles & 2 Questions
Winemaker Marc Bradshaw
From Pillitteri Estates Winery

Marc Bradshaw mini bio (for full bio Click here>>)

Marc will tell you that he is just an average, cruisey Aussie boy who drinks beer, but loves wine. Marc, graduated with an Analytical Chemistry (Honours) major from The University of Melbourne, Australia. His plan was to work as a Forensic Scientist and continued with post graduate studies at LaTrobe University. Soon after graduating he was offered a lucrative position in a forensic lab, but fate would intervene. On the same day he was offered the job he encountered one of his chemistry professors from Melbourne, Geoff Scollary, who convinced Marc to study under him and complete his Doctorate, investigating “Ascorbic Acid as a Promoter of Wine Spoilage”. A year into his studies his research team transferred to Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia where Marc completed his doctorate in 2001. During this time, Marc began his itinerant lifestyle by trekking to Europe in 2000, to serve as a Research Chemist at Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Montpellier, France. In 2002, Marc journeyed to South Africa and worked as a Wine Chemist Consultant for Meerlust Estate Winery in Stellenbosch. Nomadic Marc then made his way back home where he served in both the laboratory and cellar at Bidgeebong Winery in Bomen, before venturing on to the Rheingau in Germany in 2003, where he worked at Joachim Flick Weingut as a Cellar Rat. Always an Aussie, Marc returned to his homeland to work in 2004 as a Cellar Rat at Pettavel Winery in Geelong, Australia. Before too long, the travel bug once again set in and Marc found himself in Niagara-on-the-Lake working at Pillitteri Estates Winery. After a crush as a Cellar Rat in 2004, Marc returned home before venturing back 8 months later to take up his first Assistant Winemaker position under Sue-Ann Staff at Pillitteri Estates Winery. With the departure of Sue-Ann mid 2006, Marc took over the reins as Winemaster and hasn’t looked back. His philosophy is simple: throw your heart and passion into each and every wine you make.



Question #1 - Being a young winemaker and from Australia, what draws you into Ontario Wine Country?

Buggered if I know, the last thing I remember I was spending time between traveling to wherever to work crushes as a cellar rat and kicking back on my couch back home in Oz drinking beer. Then next thing you know, bam! Here I am. But in all honesty, I love making wine here. It has to be one of the most challenging regions in the world, taking all things into consideration. It’s so young and still trying to find it’s niche that it really is a brilliant time to be working here. As winemakers we also have the whole gamut of allowable practices here too, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop! We can acidify like back home, or chaptilize like Germany, so many options. It’s great being able to do things which back home I only read about in books. Basically at the end of the day I love making wine in this region. I will always be an Aussie and I know here sure isn’t home, but it feels pretty bloody close sometimes.

Question #2 -
If you had to pick one grape varietal to drink for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Bloody hell, could you have asked a more random question? Well if you replace varietal with beverage, then the answer would be bourbon hands down. Maybe you could have me picking one chick to drink with for the rest of my life, that too would have been easier (I hope Sarah Michelle Gellar or Rachel McAdams like to drink). Ok, so for one varietal to drink on a desert island for the rest of my life with Wilson the volleyball, I would have to say…Pinor Noir (Old World Style – preferably with a smidge of Brett). And why? Cause I like Pinot, plain and simple.


Wine #1

Again with the wine questions! My fav bottle of bourbon I could answer straight off. Ok, concentrate! Fav wine…I would have to say the 1998 Meerlust Estates Pinot Noir. Located in some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever set eyes on in Stellenbosch, with the then winemaker being a brilliant old Italian man named Giorgio Dalla Cia, who taught me that the only way to start the day was with a shot of Grappa in your coffee. The Pinot is old world stylistically, with bold intense ripe berry flavours coupled with elegant spice and a desirable earthy nuance. Totally delicious, and so smooth it’s like liquid velvet. Not sure how my memory held up, but in my time there I remember we used to drink this like lolly water – totally sacrilege! I got no idea about availability of this wine (and don’t even think of trying to raid my wine cellar!), but the bottlos here do carry some 2001 Meerlust Rubicon and I fully recommend it. $39.95 a pop.

Wine #2
My first and foremost fav Canadian wine would have to be the Lailey Vineyards Pinot Noir. Derek has a knack for making Pinots in a style which I absolutely adore. I remember first coming to Niagara late 04 and trying their Pinot (must have been the 02 vintage) and thinking “holy crap, this is fantastic!”. Yeah I know that’s about the 10th time I’ve mentioned Pinot in this write-up (obsessive much?!) so another wine, which I recently found and raved about, is the 2007 Silver Meritage from Reif Estate Winery. I’m also a big fan of white blends, and this wine is right up my alley. Comprising 56% Sauvignon Blanc with 44 % Semillon, with full malo and aging in French oak for 9 months. It’s such an elegant wine, so delicate yet totally serious. The nose was rich with pink grapefruit, white lily, bright citrus attributes with a hint of clove, which follow onto the lush, rich and complex palate. The balance of acidity with the integration of subtle French oak traits and the lingering finish is done so well. The wine is rock solid and a total taste sensation. I seem to remember enjoying this over a big meaty feed, but will definitely be indulging in some more on the deck during these days of Summer. I only managed to try this wine cause my brother (Christian, aka Ringo) grabbed a bottle at the Reif cellar door and insisted I give it a whirl. $25.20 a pop.

Important Links
To visit the Pillitteri Estates Winery website Click here>>

To buy Wines from Reif Estates Winery Via Click here>>

To buy wines from Lailey Vineyards Click here>>