As a writer, I find a wine cliché irresistible. So, if Kylie Minogue in 2020 was a wine, what would be the tasting notes?
That would depend on which day, but for today I would go with…. Bright with unexpected notes and a zesty spirit.
There is also the cliché that a good wine gets better with age. How has three-decades of experience shaped your attitude to life in the spotlight? Are you at 'peak Kylie' now or is the best yet to come?
One thing I truly believe is that there is always more to learn. The creative process is ever-evolving and never complete. However, I do love the experience I have amassed over the past 30 plus years. Peak Kylie? It’s different for everyone, which ‘era’ they like. For nostalgia, I’ll go with Charlene’s first scene on Neighbours. I would have to mention the "Fever" album and tour, plus my first concert after cancer treatment. So many that it’s impossible to choose. I don’t know, but I’m hopeful the best is yet to come.
Winemaking also parallels your journey as an artist, from sugar-sweet pop to a more complex 'disco for grown-ups'. What can you tell us about the upcoming album and its 'fermentation' process? What kind of balance were you hoping to achieve?
There are some lovely correlations, or synergy between winemaking and music. Both involve layers. Some immediate notes, others that reveal themselves with time. Also, when I release music, its ultimate purpose is when it's liberated and reaches people. It then takes on a new and singular dimension for the listener. With Kylie Minogue Wines, we’re making wine which we hope will play a part in your stories. I get such a thrill out of this, especially when I actually hear stories of both!
Let's talk KMW. How did the idea to release your own wine label arise?
I’ve always been appreciative of a fine wine, but the idea for my own wine began in earnest a few years ago when I was working on my album "Golden" in Nashville. After the long days in the studio, I would unwind, with my manager, enjoying the balmy evenings with a glass of light Rosé. It was such a pleasant ritual it made me think about how lovely it would be to have my own Rosé and to be able to learn more about the process of creating a fantastic wine.
I struck gold when I met the Benchmark team. Not only were they a lovely, genuine bespoke team with a passion for wine but we shared the same vision of what KMW could be.
Starting with the Rosé, can you tell me about the process of working with Benchmark to select this particular drop?
It was incredibly important to find the right team and luckily I hit it off straight away with Benchmark. They understood how important it was for me to be completely involved in the process, this was never going to be a case of me just lending my name to a product. The Signature Rosé was the first endeavour and had to deliver on every level, as this would be the flagship wine and introduction to the brand. Our goal was to get a well balanced, fresh and delicate taste with a hint of spice and complexity whilst also achieving that perfect light salmon pink colour.
I love the delicate style and dry minerality of this Rosé that you can’t find elsewhere in the world.
After an amazing response, we released a beautifully elegant Sauvignon Blanc from Gascony and a juicy, rich Merlot from Languedoc in the south of France. I wanted this Signature range to reflect my tastes in wine.
Releasing a Côtes de Provence Rosé was the cherry on top for me and was the first vintage of the Collection range. I love the delicateness of the style and dry minerality of this rosé that you can’t find elsewhere in the world.
Next year we can look forward to a Margaret River Chardonnay and a Pinot from Yarra Valley. Was the Australian connection a coincidence, or were you passionate about celebrating wines from your home turf?
It was enormously important to me that as soon as we were able we would be adding Australian wines to the collection. I was thrilled when we were able to collaborate with the Burch Family from Howard Parks in Margaret River to create our first Chardonnay. I am a huge fan of their wines and the love and passion they have shown for KMW is second to none. I know we’ve created something special.
Likewise, I also really wanted to produce a wine from my home state of Victoria and we have been working with De Bortoli on a Pinot Noir. The De Bortoli team are a family-owned company with deep roots in Australia and I’m thrilled to have them on board as distributors. I’ve enjoyed working with winemaker extraordinaire Steve Webber, who is incredibly talented and taking good care of how the Pinot is developing.
What is next for your involvement in the wine industry? Do you have any long-term plans for KMW?
The first priority after we launched here in the UK this year was to make it available in Australia, which we have now done with the Signature Rosé. Tick! We do have ambitious plans to launch in many more territories next year, but we always take our time to get everything just right, the proposition has to be undeniable for the customer so we work hard to get all the elements in place. My ambition is that Kylie Minogue Wines will be a long-term player in the industry and will become a trusted source of quality and value.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to when COVID is under control and borders open up?
The same as everyone, I would imagine, to travel home and spend time with my family and loved ones.
You can shop the Kylie Minogue Wines Signature Rosé here.