Wine Hunter; The Story of Maurice O'Shea, the Greatest Vigneron in Australia
This is one of the best books on wine you will find anywhere in the world - because it's not just wine facts. It's a genuine story: full of life, emotion, dedication, passion, and all things that make great books and great wine - and a true one at that.
In what surely should be ranked as one of the best biographies to be recently published in Australia, Campbell Mattinson paints a moving and lyrical picture of pioneering life in what was then 'outback' NSW - the Hunter Valley. It is also a story with one man's obsession with making great wines, of proving to himself and the world that this could be done, in what was then the untested terroir of Australia.
Maurice O'Shea, half Irish, half French, combined the doggedness of the former with the refinement of the latter, to wrest great wines out of these unproven soils, wines that would be drunk and revered long after his life ended. He was perhaps the maker of the first true Australian wine icons. Even more remarkable was that these wines were made by hand, with no modern assistance, like electricity, refrigeration, mechanical presses or stainless steel, and for a market whose palate was yet to be educated.
But this mission came at a cost, to himself and to his family, and tragedy was to haunt O'Shea more than once in his life. With this book, Campbell Mattinson not only spotlights Maurice O'Shea amongst the greats of Australian winemaking, but reveals himself to be a great Australian author, with a sensitivity to his subject - and to wine - that few other writers have matched.
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