Rare Ozzies

A Hundred Rare Australian Grape Varieties by Darby Higgs

rare ozzies

If you like novels with a good plot in it, this book is not for you. However, it is a super useful, easy to read, reference-like book. 

Imagine that you have just come back from a holiday in Santorini and you fell in love with the local grape variety – Assyrtiko.  Is this grape variety grown in Australia? You can look it up and yes, it is! 
Darby includes some good, very readable info about each variety. He has simple, non-technical, descriptions of the grape relating it back to its origin. An Australian winemaker comments about their experiences making the wine and he includes a global ranking of the grape. This ranking shows the importance of the grape variety throughout the world as a whole.  It is nice to see it here – contributing a non-inward looking view of Australia. 
Biodiversity in the wine industry has become a topic of importance over the last couple of decades. Due to Australia’s strict quarantine system, we were unable to bring new grape varieties into Australia leaving us with a limited selection. Thanks to a couple of grapevines nurseries who worked with the system to bring new grape varieties into Australia, the biodiversity within the wine industry has increased significantly.
Darby Higgs is Melbourne born and bred and has had an interest in different grape varieties for a long time.  His website vinodiversity.com has snippets on a multitude of grape varieties but nothing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay or any of the other top ten!
Rare Ozzies is a great present for those who know a lot about wine or a little.