I’ll bet you didn’t even know that Balinese wine was a thing! Check out Hatten Wines and discover why you need to try the local drop on your next visit.
Australians love Bali and Australians love wine, but indulging in the latter whilst visiting the former can be shockingly expensive.Kicking back after a long day, I inhaled politely sipped two glasses of a delicious Chardonnay while there last week – then almost fainted when I discovered that they cost me over $25 per glass. Quelle surprise!
I should have taken my own advice to always seek out the local offering and, when looking for Balinese wine, that is Hatten Wines.
This Balinese owned and operated winery has been producing wine since 1994, boldly staring down critics and the challenges of climate – all while using international standards of quality. Hatten Wines produces a range of wines that have gone on to attract international attention, being named Asian Wine Review’s Winery of the Year 2017, and can be found on wine lists in some of Indonesia’s finest hotels and restaurants.
Founder and CEO Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa comes from a family background of rice alcohol, or ‘arak’, production and has realised an ambition to expand and diversify the family business. By enlisting some serious winemaking talent in the form of South Australian James Kalleske, Balinese wine now has a growing profile. James’ pedigree is unquestioned, coming from a family that has a Barossa Valley winemaking history going back over 150 years at Kalleske Wines in Greenock.
Finding acres of well-tended vineyards amid the lush greenery of this tropical paradise was quite surprising, and the viticultural practices of growing grapes in the region are equally so. Many of the vines are grown using the ‘pergola method’ of cultivation and are continuously pruned. Neither is vintage the relaxed, traditional, annual process we are used to. Like rice, the grapes are picked three times a year, keeping the wine maker on his toes.
Using a selection of grapes which include the local Propolinggo Biru (another surprise – who knew there were cultivated grape varieties going back to Dutch colonisation in Indonesia?), Alphonse-Lavallée, a French table grape variety, and Belgia (a Muscat of Alexandria family), the Hatten Wines range includes dry and sweeter whites, a light red, sparkling wines and the award-winning Pino De Bali, an oak-aged, fortified wine that is equally enjoyable as a dessert wine or aperitif.
Continuing to surprise, this year Hatten Wines is once again pushing the boundaries and will soon harvest their first batch of Shiraz grapes, giving them the opportunity to offer even more variety to their customers.
The wine-lover approaching these enjoyable and accessible wines with an open mind is likely to be pleasantly surprised – as a local product, they certainly reflect their region and deliciously compliment the fabulous local food.
While in Bali, Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism.