Bill Hardy, Chief Winemaker & International Brand Ambassador, Hardys Wines, Australia, on his first trip to India co hosted a wine dinner along with Rajeev Samant, the quintessential man- about- town, CEO & Founder, Sula Vineyards on the 28th Sept, 2011 at Pali Village Café, Bandra, Mumbai. Suneeta Sodhi Kanga tells us all
Situated in the picturesque McLaren Vale wine region, Hardys is one of the most powerful Australian wine brands with a history dating back to 1853. Bill is the great-great-grandson of founder Thomas Hardy. He commenced work with Hardys in 1972 as a trainee winemaker at Tintara in McLaren Vale.
The following year he travelled to Bordeaux to undertake the Diplome Nationale d’Oenologue. After 27 vintages abroad and in Australia, Bill was appointed Hardys brand ambassador and corporate oenologist in 1995. He now travels around Australia and the world promoting his family’s proud history, the stories and the wines of Hardys.
Through dinner William ‘Bill’ Hardy regaled the guests with his passionate story telling and engaging personality. He tells us that today Hardys has the most diversified wines and is the number one producer of a large variety of easy drinking new world wines to suit a range of palates and prices. As he puts it, “Two million Hardys wines are drunk around the world everyday!”
It was Bill Hardy’s first day in India, and also the Hardys Stamp Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV’s first day in the warehouse. The evening witnessed the launch of this sweet refreshing and easy drinking new sparkling wine from Hardys. We enjoyed the pairing of watermelon feta and chicken liver pate with it.
Bill said, “I understand that Sunday brunches are big in India and this wine is indeed the perfect wine for these occasions.” Priced at Rs 1450 the wine is available in Maharashtra, Delhi and Bangalore.
Hardys Stamp of Australia offers one of Australia’s most popular, easy-to-drink range of wines. The Stamp range is identified by the original Australian postage stamp, dating back to 1937, which is featured on all Stamp of Australia wines.
The ever charming, Cecilia Oldne, Head – International Business, Sula, did a marvellous job in pairing the wines with the five other courses featured at dinner. Drawing upon her experience as a sommelier, she made sure that the guests enjoyed the pairing of exquisite cuisine with a tasting of Hardys’ wines that are currently unavailable in the Indian market.
While chatting over dinner with Rajeev Samant, I learned that Sula Selections has been proudly representing Hardys in India since 2003 and is the exclusive importer of the brand. He is confident that just like all of Hardys Stamp still wines have been successful in India, the newly launched sparkling will be well received too.
We next tasted the Hardys Stamp Chardonnay Semillon 2010, which turned out to be a nice big, rounded wine with a refreshing perfumed nose. I felt that the Hardys Stamp Riesling Gewurztraminer 2010, was a bit of a mismatch with the prawns in coriander stew. The Hardys Stamp Cabernet Merlot 2009, a classic Bordeaux blend was served with the delicious main course of pepper lamb stew.
Bill shared his knowledge and passion generously with the guests through the evening. The highlight by far was the Eileen Hardy Reserve Shiraz 2005, made from the best grapes from three vineyards and named after Bill’s feisty grandmother. It was dedicated to her as an 80th birthday present by all the family members.
For dessert, Pali village Café had crafted a chocolate sampler of flourless fudge and chocolate ganache torte prepared with HRB – D636 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. As the choice of wine was left to us, I selected the HRB-D636 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, itself. This turned out to be a pleasant, firm Bordeaux style Coonawara – Maragret River blend.
All in all, Hardys wine dinner was a relaxing and enjoyable experience for all. The beginner enthusiast as well as the seasoned wine connoisseur went home pleased. Rajeev, we are looking forward to seeing these fine wines in India soon. And as you promised with the Sula Selections guarantee – with assured quality and great value.