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Daily Archives: April 18, 2008

Meteorological Bureau issues earliest ever typhoon warning


by Kimberly Johans

The Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) yesterday issued a tropical cyclone warning for typhoon 'Neoguri', the earliest period at which such warnings have ever been issued.

With the signal No. 1 being hoisted at 6:am yesterday morning, the warning forecasted strong rain and winds ad was heading toward Sanya City, in southern Hainan.
The signal at No. 1 showed that the centre of the tropical cyclone was less than 800 kilometres by 5:00 pm last evening from Macau and could later affect the peninsula.
It was packing winds of up to 126 kilometres per hour.
The Bureau said the centre of the typhoon would move north-westward at a speed of 15 km per hour and may hit the southern coast of Hainan this afternoon or tomorrow morning, or skim over the offshore areas.
The Bureau urged ships and boats to return to shore and local residents to take precautions against the typhoon.
Neoguri, the first tropical storm to hit this year, was formed in the South China Sea on Tuesday. It strengthened into a typhoon on Wednesday afternoon.
Last year two typhoons were identified, one in August and the other in September.
The former had signals hoisted till No. 3 while the latter only reached the No.1 signal.
Historical data for typhoons from the Bureau has been published only since 1968, the earliest such data has been recorded.
April 23 had previously been the earliest record of a typhoon heading towards Macau, which occurred in 1978.
Since the conception of such data, the Bureau has recorded a total of four typhoons that have had the No. 10 signal hoisted, the highest signal possible.
For the No. 1 signal, safety recommendations include checking the safety of objects which might be carried or destroyed by the winds such as fences, scaffoldings, flower pots, antennae (aerials ). Residents are advised to keep boats and small crafts in the nearby shelters.


If the above sounds like a dynastic name, it is. The family brand name reflects  favourably on the Osborns from great grand-father to today’s celebrated winemaker, Chester d’Arenberg Osborn. 
Located on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, McLaren Vale is a renowned wine region with mainly limestone soils and sub-soils, the same material found in some outstanding vineyards in Burgundy, France. Another soil instrumental in making good quality wines in that region is the iron-rich terra rossa. McLaren Vale’s climatic resources rely on winter rains to provide enough moisture. Moreover, cool summer air streams from the St. Vincent Gulf as well as gully winds from the Willunga Hills supply a dry growing environment to the grapes. 
Originally a sea a couple of million years ago, soils are not too fertile but display light and airy access to nutrients for the vines. It was in 1841 that the first vines were planted in McLaren Vale, some of which still produce grapes today.
Purchased in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, the Milton Vineyards in McLaren Vale produced for 45 years dry and fortified red wines. In 1957, the d’Arenberg brand was born based on traditional vineyard and winery principles yet producing fruit-forward and ready to drink wines accessible to a wide audience.
Today, their wines have achieved fame. In 1999, it was named as one of the top 70 wineries in the world. While Chester Osborn relies on temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve the freshness of the fruits he harvests for white wines, he also gently presses red wine grapes with century-old basket presses that need careful maintenance. To eliminate harsh tannins, he uses the gentlest fermentation methods with no cap-punching or pumping-over instruments, only heading down boards similar to those used for Grange at Penfolds Winery in Magill Estate. The result is a stunning line up of name inspiring white and red wines such as “The Lucky Lizard” Chardonnay, “The Noble Riesling”, “The Feral Fox” Pinot Noir or the “Dead Arm” Shiraz. 

The Hermit Crab 2006, d’Arenberg. McLaren Vale, South Australia

Named after the limestone crustacean remains from very early ages that form the bed of McLaren Vale, The Hermit Crab is a blend of two grape varieties, Viognier and Marsanne originally from the Northern Rhône Valley in France. 
Dressed in a straw-lemony colour, this white wine is enjoyed both as aperitif wine and with white meat stews or preserved sausages and semi-matured cheeses. 
Almost extinct 50 years ago, Viognier brings aromas of honeysuckle and flavors of ripe apricot, pineapple and peach, mostly contributing freshness. Marsanne adds fullness, buttery notes and silky touches. The final result is an ultra smooth, highly aromatic, full bodied and balanced wine outlining butterscotch character with long nutty finish. Selling price is around MOP140. 13,5% alcohol.

The Footbolt Shiraz 2004, d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale, South Australia

With a deep, opaque purple robe and highly concentrated smells, this red wine is a fruit bomb – blackberry, plum and mulberry – laced with spices, mint, cocoa, cedar wood and cinnamon. A harmonious and perfectly balanced reflection of the Shiraz grape variety –named Syrah in France – it calls for only one thing: one more glass.
Footbolt was a race horse in the late 1800’s. His prize monies enabled the purchase of vineyards where some of the centenary vines still produce grapes for this wine.
Selling for MOP150, its alcohol stands at 14,5% and the best matching foods are spicy dishes and rich juicy grilled meats. Both wines are available at Summergate Tel: 2875 2566.