Nic Peterkin is very sure about the wines he wants to make he does not want to be restricted by owning his own vines. Instead he relies on his close relationships with producers and winemakers in Margaret River in Australia to be able to source the right fruit, and styles to make wines for his own winery business, L.A.S. (Luck Art Science) Vino. It is a strategy that appears to be working…
Nic Peterkin will be bringing what he hopes will be his range of L.A.S Vino “delicious, delectable and desirable drops” of wine to London later in the month to take part in Wine Australia’s Off The Vine tasting.
“Meet the masters of innovation and discover the new, the bold and the extraordinary.” That’s how Wine Australia is describing its inaugural ‘Off the Vine’ tasting that is taking place in London on September 20. Producers that, it says, are looking to make “bold” wines using “innovative techniques” that are “pushing winemaking boundaries”.
It very much fits the bill of what Nic Peterkin is looking to do with L.A.S Vino. Here he explains why he hopes his wines can sit alongside other producers taking including Mac Forbes, Timo Mayer, Jauma, Lethbridge, Flor Marché, Dal Zotto, Ochota Barrels, Delinquente Wine Co and Koerner.
Can you tell us something about the backgound to the winery?
L.A.S. (Luck Art Science) Vino was created in 2013 with the aim to create wines and styles that weren’t being explored in Margaret River. We don’t own a vineyard or a winery. We normally make wine from varieties that are not common to the region, for example The Pirate Blend which is made up of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao and Sousao.
What are your most important wines/styles of wine?
We only have fourcore wines (200 dozen of each) and we experiment with one or two different ones each year which in 2o18 meant a whole bunch bush vine Grenache and a biodynamic Cabernet on skins for a year. The LAS Vino CBDB (Chenin Blanc Dynamic blend), The LAS Vino ‘Wildberry springs’ Chardonnay, The Pirate Blend and The LAS Vino Albino PNO (a white Pinot Noir with Chardonnay).
Why is your region so good for those styles of wine?
Margaret River is a great region to make all sorts of wine. The proximity to the ocean regulates the temperature so there are no extreme weather events and generally lovely growing conditions. The soils are rich gravelly loam and the temperature is moderate.
What export markets do you work in and why?
Singapore, Sweden, Belgium, UK, China, Japan and Dubai are the main ones. We work there, as the people of these countries obviously appreciate delicious wine.
How is the UK market for your wines?
Sophisticated, educated and diverse.
What channels are you most focused on and how do you work the UK market?
We are focused on restaurants and independent retail. We are such a boutique producer it limits where our wines can go. Preferably we would love the wine to be drunk around good friends and incredible food.
You are working with Liberty Wines in the UK as your distributor – how did that come about?
I arrived in London in 2014 to visit my cousin who was living over here at the time working for Liberty. I had no intention of getting a distributor, I hadn’t sold a bottle in Australia as I was waiting for a liquor license. I bought a few bottles over for my cousin to try and she suggested I have a chat with her boss (David Gleave) and show him the wines. At the end of the meeting they asked how much they could buy. The rest is history. I feel very lucky to be partnered with Liberty.
What can buyers expect to see at the On The Vine tasting later in the month?
Expect the new wines, that no one has seen all of yet, the core range and a few special ones. I used to live in London making wines underneath Roberson’s at London Cru. It’s great coming back to see friends, wine and dine.
How was 2018 harvest and hopes for next year?
2018 was a once in a generation harvest. It was incredible. The wines look so good and we are very excited to show them to punters.
As for next year. That is going to be about exploring different sub regions and different techniques. We want to work with great southern fruit and make whole bunch wines with extended skin contact.
What challenges do you face for next year?
The market in Australia has turned with supply and demand for fruit meeting in the middle. It has been easy to source fruit, but not any more. It means it is even more important to have good relationships with growers. That’s now of the utmost importance so that you can continue to source the best quality fruit from unique vineyards. Without the fruit it’s pretty hard to make wine.
Where are your biggest opportunties?
China. The market is moving so quickly there and people are thirsty: for wine, knowledge of the process of wine and how it’s made.
Favourite wine regions outside of Australia and why?
Portugal. For its food, wine, geography and history.
What would be your desert island wine and why?
Probably a lager to be honest.
- You can meet Nic and taste his wines for yourself at the Wine Australia Off the Vine tasting which takes place at The Steel Yard, 13 – 16 Allhallows Lane, London EC4R 3UE on September 20 between 11am-5pm. To register click here.