In many ways, winemaker Adam Foster - the brains and talent behind his exciting range of Syrahmi wines - personifies pretty much everything that is great about the Australian wine scene right now. This is a guy who spent his late teens and early twenties sweating it out in a range of top kitchens, in both Victoria and London, all the while developing his palate and learning what he loved... and what he didn’t. He quickly discovered that the perfect balance when it came to wines was the combination of great flavours, simple, uncomplicated winemaking, and an approach which put enjoyability before pretentiousness, every single time. With no ancestral connection to wine, and no inherited winery to fall back on, Adam knew it was up to him - and him alone - to carve his niche in the wine industry, and he would have to depend entirely on his instincts and senses to do exactly that.
Once it was clear that his future was to be spent out in vineyards and not bent over a stove, Adam headed off to Europe to see how the great wineries of the Rhone Valley did their thing. He became obsessed with the bold and direct flavours of French Syrah, and got involved in a string a wineries (picking up the moniker L’Imposter along the way, due to his constant nicking of techniques and winery secrets from the masters) which he claims had a massive impact on his future career.
His first release, Heathcote Shiraz, was in 2004… and before long, plenty of Aussie wine fans were spreading word about this former chef whose sense of flavour was clearly worth checking out. Thirteen years down the line, and Syrahmi is going strong, and experimenting with a wider palette of grape varietals. That do-it-yourself vibe and unapologetic approach, however, is just the same as it’s always been… and we’ll raise a glass to that all day long.
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