Erin Frances Pooley (thus the name, Little Frances) is one of Australia's most exciting young winemakers. Good Pair Days had an engaging chat with the legendary Erin Pooley aka 'Little Frances', and asked her a few questions - read on!
Erin Frances Pooley (thus the name, Little Frances) is one of Australia's most exciting young winemakers. Originally from Sydney, Erin has spent most of the last decade in California, after graduating from Charles Sturt University with a degree in Wine Science. Come the year that was 2020, we have welcomed her home with a desire to start afresh and make wines from her own backyard. So whilst we're thrilled to be able to offer her incredible American wines, and we also can't wait to see what she's up to more locally.
Erin has a keen wine mind, coupled with a global palate. Together, these form a powerful weapon that she applies with laser focus in finding unsung fruit sources and coaxing all the nuance and detail from them. Her American wines come from across California - from deep in the Mayacamas Mountains, to inland near Sacramento. The complexity she manages to imbue into her wines is wonderful, and they have that rare delight of changing slowly over time in the glass and once the bottle has been opened.
Erin's wines are best to drink slowly and to savour. They are textural and complex, and yet offer plenty of upfront enjoyment. The combination of fruit, oak and soil is wonderful to behold, and we can't wait to see what Erin does next!
Good Pair Days had an engaging chat with the legendary Erin Pooley aka 'Little Frances', and asked her a few questions - read on!
Q1. You travel a lot for winemaking. Where is the most adventurous place you have done it? (making wine, that is)
One of the coolest experiences was picking for a friend in the Chateauneuf du Pape of France - famous for grenache. We bushwacked our way into a hidden vineyard of old bush vines. What I thought was going to be grenache turned out to be a rainbow collection of different varieties. White, pink, red and black. No vine was the same, and yet all were harvested and fermented as one
Wow! Fermented as one? So they just threw all the different coloured grapes in together?
Yes! They don't teach you to do that at uni (!) :-p
Q2. Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Semillon. When it's young it's razor sharp and fresh, but with a few years in bottle it inexplicably transforms into a wine that's hauntingly delicious and I can't get enough. Perfect with every kind of food from salad to spaghetti, low in alcohol and high in complexity. Semillon is grape magic
Q3. Do you have a celebrity crush?
...do I need to have a celebrity crush, lol?
No you don't! I feel a little like tabloid journo asking that. Well, do you have a 'winemaker' crush?!
Yes! Arianna Occhipinti.
Like Ariana Grande? Ahh, the Sicilian wine producer! Why Arianna?
This is a little cheesy, but it's true... I definitely swooned listening to her talk about Frappatto and Nero d'Avola from her family estate, Occhipinti. Tasting her wines are all the more delicious after hearing her talk through these varieties. I am longing to get back to Sicily!
Q4. You're a bit of a science nerd, right? What fascinates you the most in winemaking?
I am humbled and fascinated by winemaking... the transformation from grape to wine is nothing short of magical. The way a certain vineyard will always have familiar traits each year, but never taste exactly the same, you know? What will next year taste like? I can't wait to find out.
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