Travis Bush is Senior Winemaker at Greenstone Vineyards, which draws on both its Yarra Valley and Heathcote vineyards to make small-batch, premium, hand-crafted wines. Travis has learned a thing or two during his career in wine – we asked him to share it with us ahead of GAME OF RHONES.
Tell us your story!
Fresh out of an applied chemistry degree in 1993-ish, hating the idea of being stuck in a lab in a large building complex, and needing a job, I knocked on the door of Yarra Ridge winery. Unknown to me, this was to be the start of my career, and love of the grape and its fabulous creations. Testing (and tasting) samples, followed by assisting in the cellar, this led to questions and intrigue. Travels in Europe and winemaking in Spain, France and Germany, (when it was easy as a flying winemaker) showed me the great diversity of this craft industry.
Completing a post graduate degree in 1999 at Adelaide Uni, followed by a small stint back in the Yarra Valley, and then onto Central Victoria and its granitic country, this is where my interest in the elegance of medium-bodied Shiraz peaked. Such power, richness and great tannin structures without over-ripeness and big alcohols.
Returning back to the Yarra Valley with its fruit, and having fantastic clones of Shiraz and Sangiovese from our Heathcote vineyard, what more could one ask for?
Tell us three things about your style of wines?
Our style is about fruit concentration and purity, muscle with refinement, and drive.
G, S or M?
S. So many regions and styles. My preferences lie with the more medium bodied and elegant styles. These can be dark and powerful, and show balance and finesse.
What can we expect from you at Game of Thrones?
Great wines, plenty of pouring and chat, some fancy dress, and getting people to relax and embrace the joy that wine brings.
What’s your favourite/most memorable Rhone wine experience (can be a particular bottle or an experience)?
Early in my travels, being able to taste some of the wines in production at Chateauneuf du Pape, way back in the mid 1990s… so long ago. If I had been in the industry a bit longer then, with more knowledge and experience, I would have taken notes on the wines and understood what a once in a lifetime experience it was.
If you were a Game of Thrones character, who would you be and why?
I think I might be the only person in Australia who has yet to see an episode of GoT.
If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be?
A builder, no a chocolatier, no a deep sea diver, a fireman……. Too many options.
What do you drink when no one is watching?
Oh the shame, my wife cringes, Southern Comfort and Dry, which I pretend is Dry only when there are watchers!