Bali wines are made by people who believe they can start a new wine trend, in a land where holly books rule.
Bali wines are beginning to gain the respect they deserve, as evidenced by the wine poetry by St. Regis Bali Resort’s Sommelier, Harald Wiesmann.
But to truly love them, you have to know them better.
(Courtesy of Hatten Wines)Hatten Wines
Hatten Wines is a local wine pioneer. Starting the trend with the launch of its Rosé in 1994, Hatten — with its Aga Red, Aga White and Alexandria as well as Tunjung and Jepun sparkling wine —are now known internationally. In Bali, it is present at every turn, from luxury resorts to small restaurants.
“Hatten is a Japanese word meaning progress. So we’re always progressing, always improving and never satisfied,” explains Franklin, the director of sales and marketing at Hatten Wines.
The wines have won several medals. Alexandria, for example, received a bronze medal in 2003 from the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the UK, as well as a silver medal from the Wine Style Asia Award in 2011.
Tunjung Brut Sparkling, the regions only locally produced sparkling wine, is made from Bali’s best kept secret — a grape variety called Probolinggo Biru — which is only grown at Hatten’s vineyard.
This wine received the honor of recommended sparkling in 2012, awarded, again, by the International Wine & Spirit Competition.
Currently, Hatten’s owner, IB Rai Budarsa, decided to concentrate supply to the local market, despite once exporting to Holland, Maldives, UK and Singapore until the time when Bali was hit by the bombing.
“Around 90 percent of our market is from the tourism industry. I hope in the future Hatten can become Indo-
Not only having wines made from locally grown grapes, Hatten also has offers options for wine lovers, who are missing conventional wine flavors through the brand Two Islands. The varieties available for Two Islands are Shiraz, Carbenet Merlot, Chardonnay and Riesling.
(Courtesy of Artisan)Artisan Estate
Before Craig and Noela Newton took over, the Artisan Estate was known as Wines of the Gods. Since 2009 the couple has brought a new kind of experience to drinking wine — serving the soul of Australian grapes in each of wine bottle.
“The challenge starts with the fruit selection and getting each variety from the region where it grows best and of course — getting the fruit at the best possible price. That is why our Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc come from Pemberton Western Australia — a cool climate area that produces fantastic wines. The Shiraz grapes come from the Swan Valley and we are developing another red variety from the Margaret River region,” Artisan Estate wine marketing specialist Craig Newton explains.
The complicated process of delivering the fresh juice to Bali takes about three weeks; usually the juice is first shipped from Australia to Singapore, then onto Surabaya before finally reaching Bali. Newton is in charge in the process from the day the grape is harvested in Australia until it is bottled.
Artisan means craftsman and at the moment they have several wine collections. Classic and Chardonnay were the first arrivals both are white wines that sell well in Bali.
They were later followed by Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc. These whites are known as a favorite drink on the island as they are fresh and are best suited for a sunset drink. Their Classic, claims Craig, is best paired with Asian foods.
(Courtesy of Cape Discovery)Cape Discovery
Looking at the label, one will not recognize that Cape Discovery is a locally made wine. This brand, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, was released at the beginning of 2012 in response to the classic problems when purchasing wine in Indonesia — price and quality.
Their winery is located in Singaraja and is equipped with German carbon dioxide sensors that allow fermentation to be controlled perfectly. They choose the location in Singaraja so that the wine would not be suffer as a result of inconsistent transport and storage practices.
The international quality of the Sauvignon Blanc has gained a lot of compliments and has especially won the hearts of wine experts, including St. Regis’ Wiesmann and Erick Hardiansyah of the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa.
In response to wine demand in Indonesia, especially Jakarta and Bali, Cape Discovery will launch further collections such as a Sparkling Chardonnay, Sparkling Rose, Moscato, Red blend and White blend. They source the grapes from Margaret River in Western Australia.
(Courtesy of Sababay)Sababay Wine
Sababay borrows its name from the winery’s location, Saba, a village in Blahbatu, Gianyar regency, is famous for its Saba Beach. The winery overlooks the Saba Bay.
It offers two wine collections – Black Velvet; a red wine, and Pink Blossom; a rosé – both are made from the Alphonse Lavallêe grape that is grown in North Bali.
Sababay sources grapes from farmers in Buleleng, below the Asteroid R & D Vineyard, who have formed a partnership with Sababay to exclusively trade grapes for a fair price. According to Donald Manoch, director of sales and marketing at Sababay Wine, before joining the partnership farmers could only earn Rp 1 million (US$104.41) annually, selling their grapes at a price as low as Rp 500 per kilogram.
Through the partnership, the price of one kilogram of grapes has risen to Rp 4,000 per kilogram; farmers can now earn decent money for a living.
In addition, through the partnership, Asteroid R&D Vineyard also give interest free loans that are payable after the harvest, which support innovation in agricultural technology so that the best quality of grapes can be produced.
Consequently, they ensure quality seeds, develop new varieties and also empower the farmers’ wives who help with the harvest and are paid by Asteroid Vineyard.
The result — a high quality black grape — that later, by the hand of the winemaker, Vincent Desplat, turns into beautiful wine.
Desplat is a French winemaker with a degree in oenology (the science and study of all aspects of wine and winemaking), who trained at Chateau Clarke in Medoc, Bordeaux, in Minervois and graduated from the prestigious school of Agronomy in Montpellier, France.
At the winery, the black grape is processed for about two months in total to turn it into red wine, while the rosé takes up to six weeks of processing.
You can pair Pink Blossom with gado-gado (mixed vegetables served in peanut sauce) or sate lilit (minced fish and grated coconut on skewers), while the Black Velvet is best for rendang beef stew or ayam bumbu rujak (seasoned chicken).
Finally, Manoch adds, “You can find Chardonnay all around the world but you can only find Alphonse Lavallêe in Bali.”