Thursday 08 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 17): Winemaking is a path that is, more often than not, paved with and by passion. This seems to be the case for Penang girl Bernice Ong and her husband Julian Forwood, the couple behind cult South Australian winery Ministry of Clouds. Both were enjoying successful careers already, working for the foremost names in wines. 

But, as Ong notes, "Despite the illusion we had it all, something was still missing. Over time, we wanted to be closer to the vineyards, to observe the changing of the seasons and partake in the creation of wines. We knew that if we wanted to continue working in the wine space, we both needed to have a crack at making our own wines... to, at least, throw our voices into the Australian wine conversation." 

The result? The creation of Ministry of Clouds, headquartered in the McLaren Vale and occupying prime position on the global wine-drinking cognoscenti's desirability list, with eminent wine writer and critic James Halliday ranking it among the Top 10 Best New Wineries in 2015.

If our words make you thirsty, be sure to track down some of their highly lauded wines, including their Picpoul, made using an ancient white varietal found along the Mediterranean Coast, the Shiraz — in honour of the winery's South Australian roots, and without a doubt, their Kintsugi — named after the ancient Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold.

Read all about their journey in the latest issue of Options, out with the Oct 18 edition of The Edge Malaysia weekly.

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