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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

A group of Australian winemakers has called for a French-style AOC system for the Barossa Valley. Speaking at the Australia Day tastings in London, Dan Standish, winemaker at famed Barossa estate Torbreck, told Harpers: We've formed a committee for an AOC-type system. We don't want Chardonnay in the Barossa. I'm not saying we should just ban it outright, but maybe phase it out gradually. You just can't make a good Chardonnay in the Barossa.' Standish claimed that the majority of Barossa winemakers were in agreement that regulation over varieties grown should exist, although he added: We're not closing the doors and saying, "You can only grow Shiraz." The beauty of Australia is its diversity. I'd like to experiment with Tempranillo. The oldest Tempranillo vine in the Barossa is only about five years old. Nebbiolo is a bit weedy - too light, but Barbera works well. This is a quality thing, and it's something we've been talking about for a long time.' A name for the regulations has not been finalised, but The Barossa Appellation Control' is the current favourite, even though a handful of McLaren Vale and Clare Valley producers are involved. * At the Naples Food and Wine Fair in Florida, US, a single imperial of 2002 Torbreck Les Amis achieved the record price of $70,000 in the annual children's charity auction, the highest auction price ever achieved for an Australian wine.