Transcript (translated from French). French Audio.
Sud Radio “In Vino” radio show - devoted to wine and spirits.
Recorded on the Champagne Lanson stand at Vinexpo on 18 June 2017 and broadcast on 24 June 2017.
Radio host: Alain Marty
Radio compere: David Cobbold, wine writer
The broadcast starts with an interview of François Lurton on his wine property in Argentina.
Emmanuelle Bekkers’ interview lasts for 5,20 minutes, starting at 7:26 until 12:46 on the podcast.
- (Radio host Alain Marty) Hello Emmanuelle!
- (EB) Hello!
- (Radio host) Emmanuelle Bekkers, you are the co-owner of this wine property, Bekkers Wine, tell us, so you are from Bandol, you studied wine making in Montpellier, your husband Toby and yourself produce wine in Australia, what is this story all about?
- (EB) It is a love story!
-(Radio host) With everything or just with Toby?
- (EB) No firstly with wine, and then I moved to Australia for work, and then after two years I was lucky to meet my husband, and voilà!
-(Radio host) When did you create your winery?
- (EB) Our winery is quite recent, we created it in 2010, after taking a gap year in France, and before that we both worked all over Australia and also in France, so we created Bekkers Wine in 2010 because the McLaren Vale region has fabulous potential and we wanted to demonstrate that this region deserved to be recognised as one of the great wine regions in the world.
-(Radio host) So where is McLaren Vale located in Australia? As it is a big country!
- (EB) McLaren Vale is easy to locate, it is close to Adelaide, in South Australia, it is easy to remember: Australia, South Australia, Adelaide; and McLaren Vale is only one hour away from Adelaide; so it is very easy, you land, you drive, and there you are with the beach and the wine!
-(Radio compere) Just one thing, McLaren Vale is located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, named after an old French family who sponsored a ship exploration who discovered the site, an old family from Bordeaux; the Fleurieu Peninsula is surrounding a part of the Bay of Adelaide.
- (Radio host) Emmanuelle, how many hectares do you have on your property?
- (EB) Our property is quite small; we have two plots, around 20 hectares in total.
- (Radio host) Which varieties do you grow?
- (EB) Mainly Shiraz and Grenache.
- (Radio host) What about your wines, are they to be consumed quickly, or to be kept? What is your ambition?
- (EB) Our aim is to produce wines that can be enjoyed when young but can also be kept for a long time; and to demonstrate that Australia can produce wine with a lot of sun, the climate in the country is warm (...) but also with fabulous tasting qualities and great potential for ageing.
- (Radio compere) Absolutely, great ageing potential indeed, if you take an icon, considered the reference in Australian wine, the Penfolds Grange, which has a capacity for ageing more than 40, 50, 60 years, the first vintage dates back from the early fifties and it still holds, certain years better than others, but the quality in richness of concentration and balance in these wines, with an adapted vinification, allows for great ageing.
- (Francois Lurton) I used to import Penfolds in France for more than 20 years, now they have another distributor, I have several vintages of Grange in my cellar and it is true it has an impressive capacity for ageing well, but was is the most surprising for me is that is it the first premium wine to have been screw capped; so today they still sell cork-sealed bottles but they have a range of screw cap vintages that show that it can also age well.
- (Radio host) Emmanuelle, is it possible to find your wines in France, or will it be possible hopefully to find them here one day?
- (EB) Well I hope that thanks to the contacts made at Vinexpo last week we will be distributed in France, of course, very soon.
One thing to note is that Australia represents a great potential with Grange, Hill of Grace, Henschke, the big names, also Pernod Ricard established with Orlando wines, but there are also more and more smaller wineries, who try to represent Australia with the specificities of their vineyards; this is something that should be noted, and Australia is the 6th world wine producer and one of the few countries exporting more than 60% of its production.
- (Radio host) And Australians adore French champagne, as it can only be French! Great market for Champagne!
- (Radio host) Is Lanson available in Australia?
- (Philippe Baijot, Lanson CEO) Absolutely.
- (EB) And we respect the fact that Australian effervescent wines are called sparkling wines, and not Champagne!
- (Philippe Baijot, Lanson CEO) Absolutely! Never Champagne! They are not at all bandits!
- (Radio host) And to finish, what are the prices for your wines? A good bottle can be found at around which price approximately?
- (EB) We position ourselves at the higher end of the market in the McLaren Vale region, so our wines can be purchased between 50 and 150 euros.
Australia has wines starting at around 5 euros, but there are also top quality wines in Australia.
- (Radio host) Just like here in Bordeaux, from 1 to 1,000 euros for a bottle!
- (EB) Exactly.
- (François Lurton) Like everywhere else; there are wide price ranges everywhere.
- (Radio host) Do you produce white wines too?
- (EB) Yes but for my white wine I stayed faithful to my French background and it is a Chablis, Premier Cru Vaillons.
- (Radio compere) Ah, so you make wine in France too?
- (EB) Yes, as McLaren Vale is a warm region, great for producing reds, but for whites it would have been a bit more complicated.
- (Radio compere) In Tasmania maybe?
- (EB) In Tasmania yes, but there are so many Australian friends of mine doing that already, that I decided to stick to my French roots for this one.
- (Radio host) Thanks a lot Emmanuelle, do you have a website for finding information on your wines?
- (EB) Bekkerswine.com
- (Radio host) Is it possible to buy online?
- (EB) Of course!
- (Radio host) And does it work well?
- (EB) It is starting picking up.
- (Radio host) Thank you again.
Emmanuelle Bekkers’ interview ends. The radio show then continues with interviews of Lebanese and Georgian winemakers.