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Blonde Crow

Blonde Crow is a natural wine label that launched in 2021 in Western Australia. It is a collaboration between two generations of the Berry family, bringing together the decades-long viticulture and winemaking experience of Gavin and Bill Berry, with their daughter Bridget's desire for change. The range includes a Pinot Gris, a Rose, and a Pinot Shiraz - plus their popular Riesling blend Rizzy Rascal. 

Meet Bridget Berry, winemaker at Blonde Crow 

What inspired you to become a winemaker? 

My parents were winemakers, so it was always part of my life growing up. I'd often see my dad coming home, drenched from head to toe in red wine. As I got a bit older, I would also do odd jobs around the vineyard to earn some pocket money, so I was very familiar with the world of wine. But I didn't plan to be a winemaker. I guess I kept coming back to it, and I liked the idea of going back to basics with winemaking. So I came up with the idea of going back to basics with winemaking. So I came up with the idea for Blonde Crow and have loved it ever since. 

Are there any winemakers who've influenced you? 

I'm actually in Europe to learn from winemakers. I'm completing my level 2 and 3 WSET qualification (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in London, and then I'm going to travel around Europe to learn more about natural winemaking techniques and styles, especially in France and Georgia where natural wine is so established. 

What was your first experience of natural wine? 

The first natural wine I tried was an orange wine, and I was sold straight away. The flavour profile surprised me, and I loved the funkiness of it. 

For natural wine newbies, how would you describe it? 

If you compared it to vegetables, it would be the odd-looking one from the farmer rather than the conventional shape you find in supermarkets. It might seem out of the ordinary at first, but it tastes just as good, and sometimes better. My advice would be to try a natural wine with the flavour profiles that you typically enjoy - there's so much choice. 

What is the ethos behind Blonde Crow? 

My dad has been the senior maker at West Cape Howe Wines for twenty years. They are a very successful winery in Mount Barker and produce award-winning wines. But I wanted to try and reach a new audience of wine drinkers by focusing on a more traditional type of winemaking. I think that natural wine is a lot more expressive, and I was excited to experiment with that. 

Are there any challenges in natural vs conventional wine-making? 

One of the challenges has been trying to break the stereotype on rose. People think that a deeper colour means a sweet wine, but the colour of the rose relates to how long the skin has been left in contact with the juice, and the flavour comes from more than just the skin. (eto note: you can read more on rose here). 

What do you think the future holds for natural wine? 

Consumers are becoming more conscious with their choices, so I think the popularity of natural wine will continue to grow. And as for the Blonde Crow, I'm really excited about our future. We're planning to grow the range, including hopefully bringing out a new red in 6 months. 

What is your favourite wine memory? 

What wine would be a treat for a special occasion? 

I would say aged Riesling, which is a speciality of Australia. Riesling can age beautifully - very few grapes can match its ability to develop layers of complexity over time while also staying fresh and vibrant. Or as another option, you can never go wrong with a chilled red. 

If you're keen to find out more about natural wine, you can read our eto article here

 

 

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