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Ian Long, Yarraman Estate, NSW
Name: Ian Long
Place of birth: Emsworth, United Kingdom
Professional qualifications: B.App.Sc. (Oen) Roseworthy
Professional experience: Twenty-one years of winemaking, including 10 years with Rosemount Estate, five with Southcorp Wines and shorter terms with Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard, Ryecroft Vineyards & Wine National.
Current job title, winery & region: General manager/chief winemaker, Yarraman Estate Pty Ltd, Upper Hunter Valley.
Tell us about your most memorable wine-tasting experience…
It was at a dinner a few years ago, we had a number of great wines, but the standout was a 1953 Woodley Queen Adelaide Claret - an amazing wine shared with a great group of people.
As a winemaker, what could you not do without - besides grapes, of course?
Great staff, a sense of humour and a cold beer at the end of the day.
What is the most important piece of equipment in your winery?
The tasting bench.
What styles or varieties do you see dominating wine production in Australia over the next 10 years?
It's hard to see the dominance of Shiraz and Chardonnay being challenged inside the next 10 years.
What main varieties do you think your region will be known for over the coming years?
I believe the traditional varieties - I believe Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay will be the varieties that the Hunter Valley will continue to be recognised for.
How important is food and wine matching to you?
It's something that I enjoy immensely. I am fortunate to have a close friend who is a great chef, we often get together to indulge our shared passion for matching food and wine.
What do you like to do when you're not making wine?
Go home to remind my wife who I am. Ride my horse, work on my farm, enjoy great food and wine with friends.
If money was no object, where would you choose to set up a vineyard and winery?
If money was no object (and it wasn't my money) then two wineries - one in Margaret River and one in Paso Robles, California.
What do you like to drink when you're not drinking wine?
Depending on the mood, beer, or gin and tonic.
If you weren't a winemaker, how would you be making a living?
Do you have any pet hates?
People who believe cheap wine must be bad wine.
What keeps you awake at night?
Wild yeast or inoculated ferment?
Cork or screwcap?
What is it that you admire most about the Australian wine industry?
Innovation and commitment to quality.
What is the best piece of advice you could offer a person in their last year of winemaking study?
Understand what your customers want, then make wine that meets their expectations.
Why did you become a winemaker?
My father worked in the industry and I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a winemaker.
Who has inspired you during the course of your career?
Many people, but the two main ones would be Philip Shaw and Peter Taylor, each in different ways.
Which area of current wine or vine research do you think is most beneficial to the industry?
Almost all research is beneficial to the industry in some away, but my personal view is we should focus on research that can then be practically applied to wine production and will deliver tangible results.
Is there an area of research towards which you would like to see more resources directed?
I think any research that can deliver more efficient utilisation of water resources must be a priority for all industries, including wine.
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