The Australian wine landscape has changed dramatically over the last few decades.
Where varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay have long reigned supreme, the influx of varieties from countries like Italy or Spain has seen Australian wine become way more interesting and varied.
The popularity of these newer varieties is on a steep incline both with producers and wine-lovers alike.
In this short series of articles, we are highlighting three producers who are champions of emerging varieties.
Up next, Jo Marsh at Billy Button.
No one has tackled alternative varieties with more energy and fervour than Jo Marsh at Billy Button in the Alpine Valleys.
With young winemaker Alex Phillips alongside her, Jo has accumulated a dizzying array of varieties under her label. At last count, Billy Button had a staggering 22 varieties under its belt.
Jo's mission has always been clear and simple. She doesn't do blends - each wine is made from a singular variety - so the drinker can clearly see the distinct personality of obscure grapes like Saperavi, Refosco, Verduzzo, or Friulano.
"One thing I really dig about the large suite of Billy Button wines is how transparent it feels to really check out the intrinsic character of grape varieties – served up from the encyclopaedia or some such."
The Billy Button wines have never been in better form. The Affable Barbera has been a perpetual favourite here for years and it's fully on song this vintage. The textural Italian whites are fascinating, food-friendly and fantastic to drink. From the rich and inky Saperavi to the vibrant bouncy Tempranillo, Jo Marsh never misses.
With Jo sadly writing off much of her 2020 harvest due to smoke taint in her source vineyards, it's a great time to check out Jo's range. It's one of the most interesting and diverse set of wines in the country at the moment.