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Fantastic Aussie wines, exclusive to The Vinorium

Our Australian portfolio has taken a severe battering this year and is looking decidedly thin on the ground. Despite torrid times for many in our trade, we have been busy scouring Australia for the next group of amazing winemakers, and we have unearthed some absolute belters. Our aim is to double our portfolio in the coming months with firm UK exclusivities recently established with Shadowfax, House of Cards, Elderton and more. Samples are arriving daily and by the time you read our entry, we are likely to have added a further ten producers to our incredible collection. It is one of those ‘keep popping back’ moments.

After Five Wine Co

Barossa Valley, Australia

Purple Hands Wines is the solo venture of Grant Burge Chief Winemaker Craig Stansborough. Craig’s partner in crime is his “good mate” and fellow wine lover Mark Slade. Craig and Mark made their first vintage in 2006 from just over a tonne of hand-picked Shiraz from Craig’s own vineyard that they crushed and fermented in his shed. From there, they have gone on to produce a range of incredible wines that include their standout, single vineyard trio the After Five Wine Co range. Thes... read moree wines are sourced from three individual sites across the Barossa Valley, one of which is Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard. This particular vineyard is planted with 8 hectares of Shiraz and 1 hectare each of Italian varieties Aglianico and Montepulciano, as well as a third generation, family owned Grenache vineyard. Through their single vineyard range, Craig and Mark’s aim is to produce fruit driven wines with elegance and texture that reflect the vineyards from which they are sourced. Their After Five Wine Co Shiraz is sourced from Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard. The Old Vine Grenache is produced from vines sourced from the Zerk Grenache Vineyard, a family owned and run single site, planted by the Zerk family in 1961. The third vineyard that Purple Hands source fruit from is the Woodlands Vineyard, which Craig and Mark uncovered in 2012, discovering 468 exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon vines hidden at the back of an old vineyard across the road from the Zerk Family Vineyard. After some investigation by a historian, they discovered that the vineyard was planted some time during the mid-1800s with the Cabernet Sauvignon estimated to have been planted sometime between 1880 and 1890 and are thought to be some of the oldest Cabernet vines in Australia. It is these ancient vines that make up their Planta Circa Ancestor Vine Cabernet Sauvignon. They produced the first vintage of this in 2013 and it received 97 points from James Halliday, with the following vintage receiving an incredible 98 points. Due to the vine’s age of around 125 years, the yields are small, with usually only 2–3 barrels produced, which equates to only 100 dozen.

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Artisans of Barossa

Barossa Valley, Australia

"What binds them together is a commitment to making inspirational wines that uphold the culture and traditions of Barossa; producing wines that excite, inspire and delight." Artisans of Barossa is a group of like-minded producers with a common goal to protect and promote small batch, sub-regional winemaking. There are six individual wineries and we are proud to represent the stunning wines of four with Hobbs of Barossa Ranges recently joining our growing collection of exclusivities. Although each producer is unquestionably unique wit... read moreh different winemaking styles and techniques, they work closely together representing the breadth and diversity of their home. Artisans of Barossa is such an excellent kinship. Who originally put forward an idea of coming together? Over the 15 year journey, more than a few people have asked ‘How on earth do you get seven winemakers to work together!? The answer lies in the origins of the group which dates back to 2005 when a bunch of like-minded producers, all part of a new generation of Barossa winemakers that emerged around 2000, decided to work together under the Artisans of Barossa banner to promote their wines and how they were different to ‘the big guys’ in the UK market. They shared a common approach to wine, common beginnings and each was both winemaker and proprietor – all small, family owned winemakers with an intimate connection to place, to vineyards and to the art of small batch Barossa winemaking. Read the Artisans' story here...  

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Barr-Eden Estate

Eden Valley, Australia

Barr-Eden Estate is a unique property consisting of 130 acres of natural splendour. Nestled on Mengler Hill, the property originally settled in 1858. It rises in elevation from 1525 to 1788 feet (465m to 545m) above sea level. It sits amongst some of the highest vineyards in altitude in Australia and it is situated across two world acclaimed wine regions; Barossa Valley and Eden Valley. In March 2014 Joel Mattschoss, a renowned Barossa grape grower was fortunate enough to source a few tonnes of premium fruit from a long established Eden Valley... read more property. The original 4,000 acre property was settled by the Polhner family in the foothills of the Barossa during the early settlement of South Australia in 1858. After nearly 150 years under the original Polhner family ownership, the property was sold to larger than life, Australian wine industry icon, Bob McLean in 1997. Bob and Joel had a very close relationship and Joel was able to acquire this premium fruit. Through a common passion of great terroirs and premium wines, Joel showed the grapes to Pierre-Henri Morel, a Frenchman new to South Australia from the Northern Rhône region. Pierre-Henri spent over a decade working for Michel Chapoutier in Ermitage before he joined Two Hands Wines in early 2014. Pierre thought the fruit profile was reminiscent of the most uplifted and complex fruit within his home region.  Together, they agreed to crush and to ferment the 2014 fruit separately, after a meticulous hand picking and hand destemming process. In 2016, Love Over Gold extended their footprint on the property and created Avenue to Gold, from a younger block of vines on the same property. Sadly, only a few months later, Bob McLean passed away. Through their close friendship, an agreement was formed that Joel and Pierre, as well as Michael Twelftree and Tim Hower (proprietors of Two Hands Wines) would all become custodians of this unique property. From here, the Love Over Gold Estate was born. The name Love Over Gold comes from this spectacular property as the vineyards have been lovingly planted over historic goldfields in Eden Valley. In October 2018, 1,700 days after the first berries were picked, the first wine was released, thus creating a new chapter of this unique story by the new custodians.

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Cobaw Ridge

Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia

Cobaw Ridge is a fully certified organic and biodynamic winery producing spellbinding wines which are honest, authentic and unashamedly full of flavour. The winery was established in 1985 by Alan and Nelly Cooper who we have previously introduced. Their vines were planted on granitic, sandy soil in the cool climate Macedon Ranges, on the cusp of the Great Dividing Range at some 610m. Their positioning, in a natural amphitheatre, provides the perfect place to produce 100% estate grown, hand-picked, hand-pruned, hand-tended, terroir-driven ... read morewines. In short, a unique labour of love. Biodynamic principals have their sceptics however, and to quote Alan, “We feel these practices will further our holistic, sustainable, and above all natural approach to grape growing and winemaking, and provide an even greater opportunity for the wines to speak of the land which bore them.” Alan & Nelly start with super clean fruit that is not full of agro-chemicals, moderate potential alcohol is a result of their cool high-altitude site, lots of minerality from their old granite soils and amazing abundant acidity and tannins... “Why add anything to that” is their mantra. They have not set out to, "make a style," just what the vintage and vineyard gives them year on year. They work with fruit that is right at the outer margin of ripeness, but on the right side of ripeness. The big advantage being their ability to achieve a natural expression of a wine without resorting to earlier and earlier picking dates and lots of added acid. “True cool climate” as they like to refer to it. Their Syrah was totally sulphite-free in 2014, and the other wines receive only a minimum sulphur treatment. Sustainability is close to the heart of Alan & Nelly, who are constantly challenged by the whims of nature… You would be wrong if you believe these to be fluffy words, which lack substance. We kid you not, all wines from Cobaw Ridge are multi–layered, exceptional and offer extraordinary value. Wines full of individual character, style and show full flavours which richly reflect this special vineyard site which they almost lost in the bushfires of 2009.

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Coulter Wines

Adelaide Hills, Australia

Coulter Wines are minimal intervention, small batch wines that focus on cleanliness and purity. Working as a winemaker for a large company for a number of years, Chris Coulter always had a nagging desire to produce his own wine and eventually took the leap and created Coulter Wines. Fruit is sourced from premium growers in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Riverland. Fruit is handpicked and crushed on the same day.  You have spent many years working for large winemaking companies including McGuigan and 1847, did this experience hel... read morep you create a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘never in a million years’ pointers for your own wines? Chris - Winemaking is all about attention to detail, working for a large company like McGuigan taught me this. This includes thoughtful and careful treatment of your wine even down to minimizing movement and interactions with the wine where possible. The bottom line is look after the product and be fully aware of any consequences of your actions or lack thereof. Did you always have a little voice in your head urging you to create your own brand and how did you eventually manage to turn that nagging desire into Coulter Wines? Have there been any disasters that you’re able to look back at and laugh about now? Chris - I have always wanted my own brand. I started with one Tonne of fruit in 2015 and have slowly built that up to the current levels. Benefits include a broader knowledge of the various components within the industry like package design and the legality’s of producing alcohol just to name a few. Touch wood, there have been no disasters as I do my research before tackling any project I am not fluent with – I imagine this has saved me. I also draw information from various colleges and mentors within the industry.  

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Domaine Naturaliste

Margaret River, Australia

"Being named as "the newest buzz in Margaret River," Domaine Naturaliste is the project of Bruce Dukes, a highly experienced winemaker with a career spanning over 25 years... it is Bruce’s belief that a holistic approach reaps the greatest rewards, both for the wine and the environment." Whilst completing his degree, Bruce worked as assistant winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola at Niebaum- Coppola in the Napa Valley and has also had a significant stint at the great Pierro Winery closer to home in Margaret River. B... read moreruce approaches winemaking with the passion of an Agronomist, beginning with a deep understanding of soils and sustainable farming practices, it is Bruce’s belief that a holistic approach reaps the greatest rewards, both for the wine and the environment. Domaine Naturaliste vineyards are located in the heart of the highly regarded Wilyabrup sub-region, located on the north eastern coast of Margaret River. The vines are 7km inland from the magnificent Indian ocean. The gravelly loam soils provide a stable foundation for the 20 year old grapevines, allowing them to achieve the perfect balance. The maritime climate is characterised by cool wet winters, and long gentle summers. The Karri Trees that dominate the landscape here, provide shelter from the prevailing westerly and south-westerly winds that blow in from the Indian Ocean, making the area a pristine environment for growing high quality grapes.  

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Domaine Simha

Tasmania, Australia

Domaine Simha are creating a real buzz in both the Australian and international wine scene, their wines are in demand among the world's top sommeliers, from some of the best restaurants but until now, were not represented in the UK. We are over the moon to have partnered with such an exciting winery and bring them exclusively to the UK. "Domaine Simha, which follows biodynamic principles and employs only minimal sulfur in the production. Their micro-batch wines are excellent, but come at a price as a result. Which is scarcely surprisi... read moreng for someone who has made wine at Le Pin and Domaine d’Arlot... Low intervention wines from vineyards across the state, especially some old vines in Tamar Valley. Founded by husband and wife Nav Singh and Louise Radman. Very fine Chardonnay especially." Tim Atkin, 24th January, 2020 The man behind Domaine Simha is Nav Singh who, with his wife Louise produce a range of wines that are some of the most hotly anticipated to be coming out of Tasmania. When tasted by the world’s 50 top sommeliers, Domaine Simha Pinot Noir was rated as one of the top 10 in the world and equivalent to some of the premium Pinot Noirs from Burgundy that they have been pouring for many years. The Simha wines are now poured in some of the best restaurants across the world and allocations are very hard to come by. Nav developed much of his talents working at Burgundy‘s De L’Arlot in Nuits St Georges, the highly prestigious Château Le Pin and Vieux Château Certain in Pomerol and Château d’Yquem, Domaine Chandon as well as five years spent at Moss Brothers in Margaret River. Nav also has a host of qualifications which include both Viticulture and Oenology certificates from the University of Adelaide. Nav believes in a natural approach to winemaking, following biodynamic principles, paying careful attention to the harvesting dates, whole bunch and wild fermentations only using naturally occurring yeasts, basket pressing and bottling his wines unfined and unfiltered for purity and texture. The wines are made in tiny quantities and Nav works in micro batches to ensure production of the highest possible quality. Nav and Louise spent time searching for vineyards to source fruit from and have partnered with several growers based in the Upper Derwent Valley, Coal River and Huon Valley, whom they work closely with to ensure only the finest fruit is used for their micro batch, single vineyard wines.

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Dr Edge

Tasmania, Australia

Peter Dredge, also known as Dr Edge produces world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from three different vineyard sites in Tasmania located on the North, East and South side of the island. Three of his wines are individual single vineyard wines that are designed to show the unique expressions of each vineyard and highlight the regional diversity across Tasmania. The three wines are simply named North, made from grapes from the Stoney Rise Vineyard in the Tamar Valley, East, produced from Hazards Vineyards in the East Coast region and South whic... read moreh is made from Meadowbank Vineyard in the Derwent Valley. Dr Edge also produces a fourth of each varietal that is a blend of all three sites, simply named Tasmania. Peter has had an incredible career starting out at Petaluma in Adelaide Hills which is where he gained the nickname Dr Edge and where he was encouraged to travel to gain experience working a harvest at Dr Loosen in Germany. With a developing interest in Pinot Noir and cool climate winemaking, Peter took a temporary job at Bay of Fires winery in Northern Tasmania which turned into a permanent position as the senior winemaker and site manager. It was here that he was introduced to such names as Paul Lapsley, the chief winemaker at Hardys and sparkling wine legend, Ed Carr of House of Arras. The Dr Edge wines have become a cult icon of Tasmanian wine and his releases are eagerly anticipated. The single vineyard wines are only made in small quantities each year with tiny allocations being offered, most of which are snapped up by the Australian market.

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Eastern Peake

Victoria, Australia

“The team and I were gobsmacked with the entire sample line-up which arrived during the summer. There was not a wine (and we sampled 24 separate bottles) which did not impress. Owen’s Pinot Noirs dating back to 2001 were an utter privilege and a joy. So much so, we drank rather than ‘sampled’ every bottle over the course of a fortnight." We asked Owen to tell us about the story of Eastern Peake Winery and how he ended up as winemaker. "Eastern Peake was a small project that evolved from very humble beginnings... read more. Dianne Pym and Norman Latta purchased their property in the late 1970s in the tiny township of Coghills Creek, Western Victoria just 25 km north west from the City Of Ballarat. The idea was to build a Mud Brick home, grow and make all of their own food to be self sufficient on the land and escape from Melbourne, where Norman had grown up. They successfully built their own home, grew vegetables, had livestock on their beautiful piece of land over looking the Creswick Valley to the east with a dramatic backdrop to the west with the Granite outcrop of Eastern Peake on Mount Bolton... Read our full introduction to Eastern Peake and Owen Latta here...

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Elderton Wines

Barossa Valley, Australia

The Elderton Vineyard began when early German settlers gave the name to a vineyard on the banks of the North Para River in Nuriootpa in 1894. In 1916 it was purchased by Samuel Elderton Tolley who built himself a sprawling homestead on the estate and sold fruit to his family’s winery. In 1979 Lorraine and Neil Ashmead were given a proposal, “If you buy the house, I will give you the surrounding 72 acres of old vines for nothing.” The rambling old homestead looked ideal for a growing family and the Ashmead’s w... read moreorked tirelessly to salvage and restore this treasure of a vineyard. In 1982, the first wine was made under the Elderton label. Tough times prevailed but ultimately the vision of the founders shone through and Elderton is today celebrated as a major reason for the rejuvenation of the Barossa. In 1993 Elderton shot to national prominence after winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy. International success ensued. The second generation took the reins of the business in 2003. Brothers Cameron and Allister believe very strongly in continuing the traditions that began a generation earlier, on the Nuriootpa vineyard. They want to take the family company to the next level, so together they devised a plan to buy great vineyards in other significant sub appellations of the Barossa. Through using sustainable practices, the hope is that the next generation of the Ashmead family have a lot to work with when they are at the helm.

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Flowstone

Margaret River, Australia

"Accolades have come in thick and fast including the prodigious winner of James Halliday’s Best New Winery, 2015 and of course, receiving 97 points for his 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which is the highest score achieved for this varietal." Flowstone is the creation of Stuart Pym who has enjoyed a long and illustrious wine career spanning some 30 years. We first came across Stuart’s wines when he founded Suckfizzle in 1996 and then Stella Bella in 1999. In 2013 he handed over the Stella Bella w... read moreinemaking reins and moved to Flowstone in a permanent capacity and we’ve been tracking him and his wines ever since. Stuart is a perfectionist and his attention to detail is quite extraordinary, resulting in perhaps the best wine(s) made in Margaret River today. Accolades have come in thick and fast including the prodigious winner of James Halliday’s Best New Winery 2015 and of course, receiving 97 points for his 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which is the highest score achieved for this varietal. Stuart has a deep understanding of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which and personally, are his best wines. His craftsmanship is clearly displayed in each and every vintage with all varietals nodding firmly to their French counterpart. His Chardonnays sit shoulder to shoulder with great Burgundies, his oak aged Sauvignon Blancs are textural, nervy and are simply incredible with 4-5 years bottle age. James Halliday aptly describes Stuart’s Sauvignon Blancs as “A salute to the late Didier Dagueneau” which is some tribute... His Cabernet Sauvignon is handpicked from a dry grown vineyard in Wilyabrup, which was planted in the late 1970’s and all enjoy expensive French oak treatment. These wines are precise and elegant but do require 5 to 10 years to unlock their true potential.

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Gemtree Wines

McLaren Vale, Australia

We love all our wine producers however, there were three which rocked our vinous world in 2020. Standish Wines, Utopos and our third, Gemtree. Gemtree Wines is owned and operated by husband and wife team; Melissa and Mike Brown. They are dedicated to growing their incredible wines, naturally with minimal intervention in the winemaking process along with an environmentally friendly farming system. Gemtree produce biodynamic and certified organic wines which are powerful, concentrated and beautifully express the true characteristics of each grap... read moree variety and region. Team Vinorium have been blown away by their range and we are very excited to share them with you all. The purity and elegance of your wines speak for themselves but did you initially need some convincing to move into Biodynamic principles back in 2007?  Mike: In 2005, we had a trial underway farming a block of Petit Verdot organically. This was initiated by Melissa who was heading down the organic path at home and wanted to put it into practice in the family vineyards. Around this time, Mike attended a conference in the Barossa Valley on Shiraz and participated in a tasting of biodynamic wines. He was blown away by the purity and quality of the biodynamic wines and suggested to Melissa that we should give it a go at Gemtree. Melissa had come across biodynamics while at University on a field trip to Cullen Wines in Margaret River so had a basic idea of what it was about. Convincing Melissa’s father was a challenge, but persistence paid off!  Who better to ask than Mike and Melissa from Gemtree who have provided a fascinating insight into their world of biodynamic winemaking…

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Ghost Rock

Northern Tasmania, Australia

Nestled among the rolling patchwork fields of the beautiful coastline of Northern Tasmania, you'll find Ghost Rock, one of Tasmania's pioneering grower-producers. For over 20 years, the Arnold family have almost single-handedly created the Cradle Coast wine region. Every vineyard hand-built, hand planted to the exact specifications - no compromise, no concession. The Estate now spans 27 hectares of high density, hand-tended vineyards, mostly comprised of Pinot Noir, with significant plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Under the st... read moreewardship of second-generation Winemaker Justin Arnold, and his wife Alicia Peardon, Ghost Rock’s wines are driven by depth, sophistication and intensity. Strictly estate grown. Strictly estate bottled. Minimal intervention focused. It’s nearly twenty years since your parents planted their first vines at Ghost Rock. How did they come to own the vineyard and winery? Did they have a winemaking background before buying the vineyard or did it begin more as a hobby?  Are they still involved at all? Justin: You can thank Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for Ghost Rock.  When it first arrived on the scene both Mum and Dad (Cate and Colin Arnold) were encapsulated by it: the profile, the regionality, the impact. This point in time happened to coincide with Dad longing for a bit of land to reconnect him with his farming upbringing. And sure enough, a tiny vineyard (0.3H) planted to ‘you know what’ came up for sale in the area, and the rest as they say… Mum and Dad were self-taught really, with some good guidance from some good people along the way. Dad’s passion was for the farming aspect of what we do – the land, the vines and the challenge each season brings. And he loved tractors. He was also driven to prove our part of the world could also produce world class wine. That was deep within him. The same can be said of Alicia and I - it comes with the territory of owning/running Ghost Rock. From that initial 0.3H we have now grown into 27H. Every vine we have planted ourselves, every post we have driven in ourselves, every wire we have run ourselves. There’s nothing within our seven vineyards that isn’t intentional or done exactly as we wanted. It’s been a slow, somewhat painful approach, but it’s been an approach that is now paying us great dividends. We’ve never brought outside fruit into our wines. And it’s fair to say we’ve moved on from that initial fascination with Sauvignon Blanc. We do still have it planted within the estate, but only as a minority variety behind our Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

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Glaetzer-Dixon

Tasmania, Australia

"Nick's 2010 Mon Pere Shiraz was awarded the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show - the first time in the trophy's 50-year history for a Tasmanian wine." Nick Glaetzer of Glaetzer-Dixon is a member of one of Australia’s most recognised winemaking families, son of Baron of Barossa Colin, brother to Ben of Barossa’s Glaetzer Wines and nephew of John, the chief winemaker at Wolf Blass and creator of the famous John’s blend. Nick’s father, Colin began as a winemaker fo... read morer the Seppelt’s at Rutherglen and Great Western before establishing the Glaetzer name in the Barossa Valley where Nick worked his first vintages. Nick then moved on to work with some of the great names in Australian wine including Leeuwin Estate, Wolf Blass, Lindeman’s, Rosemount, Evans & Tate and Frogmore Creek as well as working some vintages in France at Domaine de la Ferrrandière in the Languedoc, Domaine Albert Morot in Burgundy and Weingut Egon Müller in Germany. This broad experience created a passion for Pinot Noir and Riesling and with his family name being firmly rooted as one of the greats of the Barossa Valley, Nick began to search for the finest terroir to produce the finest wines from these grape varieties. After tasting what he thought was a Grand Cru Burgundy at a blind tasting at Leeuwin Estate, Nick was stunned to discover the wine was in fact a Tasmanian Pinot Noir and his mind was made up. Nick moved away from his roots in Barossa and headed for the cooler climate of Tasmania where he converted an old ice factory in Hobart into a winery that Nick and his family live above, and established Glaetzer-Dixon in 2008. Sourcing some of the finest fruit from the Tamar, Derwent and Coal River Valleys, Nick’s passion is for Pinot Noir but it was his Mon Père Shiraz that earned him the coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy, an achievement made even more special as it was the first time in its 50 year history that the trophy has been awarded to a Tasmanian wine.

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Greenock Creek

Barossa Valley, Australia

The Future… Now, under new ownership, Greenock Creek is putting the wheels in motion to expand their global reach, which and to be fair to the previous owners, Michael and Annabelle, has lost much ground over the past decade. We have been provided with the freedom to represent these incredible wines throughout the UK, Europe and the USA which we will do with much vigour and with huge smiles on our faces, as these wines are simply fantastic.  The Past… Michael Waugh was a bricklayer, a trade which brought him to Barossa in ... read morethe 1970s. With his wife Annabelle, they purchased a 20-acre property near Seppeltsfield in the mid-1970s . The property was a neglected house along with an almond & apricot orchard and roughly 2 acres of old Shiraz vines. It is understood that Michael planted an acre of Chardonnay and produced several vintages from these vines. Of course, an ill-conceived idea as the Barossa climate and Chardonnay are a bad combination. Originally, Michael sold the grapes to Seppelt’s until the late 1980s when, and with the support of Chris Ringland, he began to produce his own wine from old Shiraz vines. In mid-1990, the celebrated Roennfeldt Road property which consisted of 6 acres of Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines along with 8 acres of apricot orchards, which naturally enjoyed basking in the Barossa sun was purchased. ’95 saw the first vintage of the Roennfeldt Road Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from this entirely dry-farmed vineyard. The apricot orchard was pulled out and replanted with 8 acres of Shiraz, and aptly named the Apricot Block. Alice’s Vineyard was planted on a 20-acre property adjoining the original homestead on Radford Road and produced its first vintage in 2008. The world market became obsessed with this small, boutique winery, when and at his most prominent, Robert Parker awarded 100 points for the ’95 Roennfeldt Road Shiraz. Parker awarded a further 100 points for the ’96 & ’98 vintage. Their ’98 Roennfeldt Cabernet Sauvignon also received 100 points. Skip a few vintages until the ’01 & ’03 Creek Block Shiraz scooped 100 points and both the ’02 Roennfeldt Road Shiraz & Cabernet received the same accolade. Five wines have been awarded 99 points and nine, 98 points… To date, Greenock Creek is the most ‘Parker’ celebrated Australian winery(Penfolds Grange & Torbreck The Laird have each received three 100-point scores, two for Torbreck Run Rig & Astralis and Hill of Grace has never been awarded 100 points).  

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Grey Sands

Tamar Valley, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmanian wines have been one of the greatest discoveries of the past few years for The Vinorium and Grey Sands with their tagline "wines made to last" have been a fantastic addition to the range. Bob and Rita Richter bought the Grey Sands vineyard back in the 80s, following a tour of the European wine regions where they were inspired to try growing grapes in the coolest part of Australia. This was back before the internet and never having visited Tasmania, they were forced to research their choice using the one book about Aus... read moretralia in their local library! Based in the Tamar Valley, in a scenic location just a short drive from the beach, they began by planting Pinot Gris and Merlot whilst the local industry were focusing on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Bob was convinced, from his time in Europe, that there were many alternative varieties which would thrive in Tasmania and we have to agree with that. Stu declared the 2018 Pinot Gris "without doubt the best new world Pinot Gris to have ever passed my lips."

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Hobbs Of Barossa Ranges

Barossa Valley, Australia

Now owned by Greg and Alison who, in 1995 left their life in the city to move their family Sean, Bridget and Jessica to start a new life among the vines. The historic vineyard located in the idyllic, rugged surroundings of the Barossa Ranges was planted at the beginning of the last century and is home to some of Barossa’s oldest vines. With a strong belief in organic and biodynamic practices, Greg and Alison have managed to bring renewed vitality to these ancient vines by carefully and painstakingly hand pruning and removing dead w... read moreood from the vines to re-establish their original shape, helping the vines to continue to prosper. The unique soil and cooler climate in the Barossa Ranges allow the vines to be ‘dry-grown’, only watering in extreme conditions to maintain the health of the plant. The soil is coarse, yellow, podzolic soil on top of clay subsoil, mixed with decomposing rock which has ideal water retention allowing for this practice. This results in extremely low yields of highly concentrated grapes, the cooler climate helping to preserve essential acidity, a combination that produces wines of great power and intensity. “Our philosophy in making our wines is simple; nurture the vines and concentrate on preserving the complex balance of flavours and acids as the grapes mature. The secrets of soil and seasons bring so much to the wines we make. Hand pruned, handpicked and hand made.” Greg and Alison have worked alongside Pete Schell of Spinifex for the past 10 year producing their flagship wine Tin Lids, a Shiraz-Cabernet blend. This is made from extremely low yielding vines in miniscule quantities of just 130 to 300 cases.Greg and Alison’s relationship with the winemakers they collaborate with is key, their influences showing throughout their wines.    

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Hoddles Creek Estate

Yarra Valley, Australia

"The estate is located in the Upper Yarra Valley which experiences a cooler climate leading to greater freshness and finesse in the wines. Franco notes his experiences in winemaking across the world as having significant influences on his style, learning something new from each place." Hoddles Creek Estate is owned and run by the D’Anna family who first established a vineyard in 1997 on the property that had been in the family since the 1960’s. The vineyard consists of predominately Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with additio... read morenal blocks of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to the steeply sloping aspect of the vineyard, machine harvesting is not possible and all pruning and harvesting has to be done by hand which ultimately ensures minimal fruit damage and a higher quality of fruit. The estate is located in the Upper Yarra Valley which experiences a cooler climate which leads to greater freshness and finesse in the wines. The viticulturalist and winemaker at Hoddles Creek Estate is Franco D’Anna who begun his career at the age of 13, working in the family liquor store, becoming the chief wine buyer by the age of 21. After completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree, Franco went on to study viticulture at Charles Sturt University whilst helping to maintain a newly planted vineyard, and working a vintage at James Halliday’s Coldstream Hills and two years at Witchmount, gaining further experience in subsequent years in France, Sicily and Northern Italy. Franco sought mentoring from Mario Marsen from Mount Mary who consulted on Hoddles Creek’s first vintage. Inspired by how his Grandfather did it back in Italy, Franco’s philosophy is about simplicity and making traditional wines with minimal intervention. The winery is split level with the tanks upstairs and the barrel store located 3 metres underground allowing the wines to be gravity fed, using no artificial cooling or heating, simply opening the doors of the winery at night to let in the natural cool air all leading to a gentler winemaking process. Franco notes his experiences in winemaking across the world as having significant influences on his style, learning something new from each place. His experience at James Halliday’s Coldstream winery taught him how fundamental a rigorous hygiene practice is in the winery, his time spent in Gevrey-Chambertin with Pierre Naigeon about monitoring tannin levels to produce gentler, finer tannins that help the wine to age. His time in Barolo working with Nebbiolo furthered his understanding on tannin management and at Mount Etna in Sicily, Franco gained a deep understanding of the natural wine movement.

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House Of Cards

Margaret River, Australia

Their goal for the winery was simple; to passionately create single vineyard wines of exceptional quality. House of Cards are 100% organic and arguably, they are some of the best value wines you will find in Margaret River. House of Cards was established in 2011 after owners Elizabeth and Travis returned to Yallingup from travelling overseas where Travis completed vintages in New Zealand and Canada.  Their wine is handmade onsite using traditional winemaking practices including hand plunging and manual basket pressing.  We... read more sat down with Elizabeth to find out what makes their wines so unique. It’s nearly ten years since you established House of Cards, how has the past decade treated the Wray family? Have all your initial plans now come to fruition? Any unexpected developments or surprises over the years? Wow it really has been that long! We are just about to harvest our eleventh Vintage, crazy how time flies!  I think most of our initial plans have changed and evolved quite considerably over the past decade. We were pretty fresh back in 2011, coming back to WA after living and working in New Zealand and Canada. We had also travelled throughout the US wine regions of Oregon and Napa. Vintage 2011, our first for House of Cards, the wines from these regions played heavily on our minds and these were the styles we chased. Over the last decade we’ve learnt about our particular site and the flavours of the grapes grown and how this translates into the wines we make. Trav’s winemaking gets better and better each vintage and I’m so proud of where he’s taken the wines... Read the full interview  

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Hutton Vale

Barossa Valley, Australia

We are thrilled to introduce our latest partnership with one of Eden Valley’s most historic producers. Hutton Vale Farm were put in touch with us by Craig Stansborough of After Five Wine Co who felt that “we would make a good fit”. Owned by the Angas family, Hutton Vale Farm has an incredible story with an ancestry steeped in Australian history dating back to George Fife Angas who founded South Australia. However it was the mention of the Mount Edelstone vineyard, one of the most famous and revered sites i... read moren Australia, which is now owned by Henschke that caught our attention. It was Ronald Angas, (the Great-Grandfather) who originally planted the great Mount Edelstone vineyard in 1912 and unusually for the time, planted 100% Shiraz. Ronald managed the vineyard and began selling the fruit to the Henschke family until they eventually sold it to Henschke in the 1970s. During the 1960s Ronald had taken cuttings from the Mount Edelstone vineyard and planted the Hutton Vale Farm vineyard just one kilometre north. At the same time, he planted single vineyard blocks of Riesling and Grenache which were followed by a further block of Shiraz (from the same root stock) and a single block of Cabernet Sauvignon during the 1990s. The first vintage was in 1987 with John Duval, the Penfolds Grange winemaker at the time who was also a family friend, who had promised to show the family how good the fruit was. The wines are now produced by Kym Teusner of Teusner wines who first became familiar and developed an ambition to work with the Hutton Vale fruit whilst at Torbreck. The vineyard contains some of the most sought after fruit in the region, the sheer quality of this fruit continuously confirmed by some of Barossa’s best producers who source grapes from the Hutton Vale Farm vineyard for their flagship wines. Wolf Blass platinum had previously won the title of world’s best Shiraz using fruit from the Hutton Vale vineyard which is an incredible statement to be able to make. But perhaps even more impressive to us was to learn that Dan Standish also used Hutton Vale grapes for his 99 point scoring Lamella, the wine that we had sold out of before it even docked in the UK!

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JC's Own

Barossa Valley, Australia

JC’s Own is the solo venture of Jaysen Collins. We know Jaysen very well, through his Massena wines that he produces with his friend, Barossa veteran and Vinorium favourite, Dan Standish. It’s fair to say that Jaysen follows a creative style of winemaking, interfering as little as possible and allowing the grapes to do the work for him. However, his twenty years of wine-making experience and his other project at Massena means that this experimental style is far more than just guess work! Very often, his wines are bor... read moren out of an idea and Jaysen, drawing on his years of experience, has an inherent ability to seek out the vineyards that will communicate this idea to its very fullest. He even conceived the idea for the label of one of the wines first, and set out to produce a wine that would express the sense of this, finding the ideal site in Adelaide Hills. Jaysen is Barossa born and bred, starting out as a qualified accountant, he began working in the business side of wine, becoming the general manager for Turkey Flat as well as the great Barossa winery St Hallett. It wasn’t long however, until Jaysen’s passion for wine grew and he decided that he’d “rather make wine than crunch numbers”. So scraping together enough money to buy some Grenache and Shiraz, he produced his first vintage with his good friend Dan Standish. Massena was originally meant to be no more than a side project for personal consumption, but grew to be one of Barossa’s most recognized and respected brands. After two decades honing his skills as a wine maker, Jaysen felt it was time to take another step and start his solo project. JC’s Own wines are about letting the grapes do the talking and allowing them to naturally express the site from which they are picked, seeking out sustainable vineyards and practicing minimalist wine-making, using natural yeast, minimal sulphur and no fining or filtration. His wines are about the unadulterated essence of the grape, combining a sense of place and some great looking bottles!

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John's Blend

South Australia, Australia

"It was his time spent at Wolf Blass that had already earned him the reputation as one of Australia’s greatest winemakers, winning the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy no less than four times plus eleven Montgomery trophies for the Best Red Wine at the Adelaide Wine Show." The Glaetzer name is almost woven into the very fabric of the Barossa region and Australian wine itself. John Glaetzer is the Uncle of Ben Glaetzer, of Glaetzer Wines in Barossa and Nick Glaetzer of Glaetzer-Dixon in Tasmania, John, along with wife Margarete, ... read morehad a vision of creating their own unique, premium wine label. They produced their first vintage of John’s Blend Cabernet Sauvignon in 1974, which was an instant success when released in 1977. John worked as senior winemaker for Wolf Blass from the early 1970s, and during his time here and thanks to his contribution; won an array of prestigious awards. These included four of the sought after Jimmy Watson Trophies, and eleven Montgomery Trophies for the finest red wines at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show… to name just a few. Based in one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, Langhorne Creek in South Australia and famed for its Cabernet Sauvignon, John’s Blend specialise in small batch productions of this premium grape. In 1995, Margarete’s Shiraz was added to their label, a beautifully rich and intense wine and the perfect companion to their Cabernet Sauvignon. John’s Blend continues the tradition that John established with Wolf Blass in 1974 - great red wines, full of soft, succulent fruit, matured in the finest oak. John’s work with Wolf Blass has had an undeniable influence on and helped to shape Australian winemaking. Notoriously, John is a man of few words and does very few interviews, but is recognised as being one of Australia’s most decorated winemakers. John retired from Wolf Blass in 2004 after three decades. However, he continues to put all his efforts into the growing success of John’s Blend and more recently, a new venture and wine label; Gipsie Jack, named after his beloved Jack Russell.

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Kay Brothers

McLaren Vale, Australia

"The oldest McLaren Vale winery to remain in founding family hands (since 1890) is no stick-in-the-mud. However, the Kay’s 22ha of ‘mud’ is special, especially Block 6, planted in 1892, which produces an iconic Shiraz. Attractively earthy, flavoursome reds (including a Nero d’Avola) are vinified in the original basket press and open fermenters. With more restrained oak, nothing is over-blown." - Sarah Ahmed, January 26, 2020 The French call it ‘patrimoine’ but in the realm of the Kay Brothers, it i... read mores simply tradition. The Kay Brothers tradition is to produce full bodied, fruit driven red wines with unabashed confidence. Being the oldest family run estate still to exist in McLaren Vale since acquiring their Amery vineyard in 1891, the Kay Brothers estate is revered both home and abroad for its loyalty to their traditions as well as their ability to produce fantastic wines for more than a century. Of note, however, is the fact that they were one of the first to embrace screwcaps in Australia with all of the winery’s production bottled under this closure today. With such a long history of winemaking, at the disposal of the winemaking team is an enviable stock of old vine Shiraz yielding immensely concentrated berries which are used in the two superior bottlings, Hillside Amery Shiraz and Block 6 Shiraz. What sets the two wines apart, despite coming from the same terroir, is the more favourable position occupied by the Block 6 plantings. Widely regarded as the junior sibling of the two, the Hillside Amery Shiraz is more approachable when young and offers comforting drinking whilst waiting for the grand Block 6 Shiraz to mature. Medium tannins, dried fruit and aniseed notes are usually complemented by a full-bodied weight that manages to deliver an extraordinarily balanced wine. Featured in Decanter's top 10 'Names to know in McLaren Vale.'

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Little Reddie

Victoria, Australia

Pat Underwood has an unconventional approach to winemaking and this alongside his charismatic style, shines through in the wines produced at Little Reddie.

His style and skill is the product of years spent travelling the prominent wine regions of Europe as well as harvest experiences closer to home in the renowned Bannockburn vineyards with Michael Glover and at Gembrook Hill.
 
His Bannockburn Chardonnay is a perfect example of how Pat has taken something with an established quality and reputation and put his... read more own exquisite stamp on it.

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Massena

Eden Valley, Australia

Massena was established at the turn of the century by Jaysen Collins and Dan Standish. In Jaysen's own words "What started as an adventure into wine by a couple of gung-ho fellas, looking to make some interesting wine, has truly been a journey. We started off by respecting our old vines and focussing on Grenache and Shiraz, moved quickly into alternative varieties and our production methods always held true to minimal intervention. In some ways we were trailblazers, in front of the curve; in new varieties or style interpretations. Lik... read moree making dry, light, textured, barrel fermented Rosé in 2007 and getting blank looks as to why we’d been doing this - roll forward ten years and everyone’s got one of these. Why would you plant Saperavi, Primitivo and Tannat in the heady days of the early 2000s Barossa Shiraz obsession? We were looking for drought tolerant, thick skinned or higher acid varieties that would combat our changing climate. When the style was big, black and oaky, ours was herbal, spicy and lowly oaked - designed for the dinner table not a glass staining contest. Now this is becoming the norm in our part of the world." Jaysen continues "Massena was not started as a profit making, slickly marketed wine company, it was conceptualised to have fun making wine that we liked to drink or had an interest in learning how to make. Our board meetings were on the golf course followed by a long lunch, when we really should have been combing through our sales budgets or strategising our cost saving initiatives. That sounded boring and we were only in it to actually make the wine, not ordering someone to do it for us. The authenticity in Massena is it has always been about making the most interesting wine possible at that given time and thoroughly enjoying the process, not chasing what is the current fad or trend. Then suddenly you become old enough in the cycle that the style of the day just rolls around and finds you!"

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Mulline

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Mulline is an exciting new wine brand created by Ben Mullen and Ben Hine and we are absolutely thrilled to be their UK agent. The purpose and concept of Mulline is to produce single site, structural wines with definition and freshness that bring new ardour and vitality to the Geelong region. The fantastic bottle labels were designed and painted by local Geelong artist, Amy Wright, using concept watercolours – too good not to share on their labels. Their wines are crafted by Ben Mullen who grew up in the Barossa and studied at Adelaide U... read moreniversity. Ben has worked at numerous wineries around Australia including Yarra Yering, Oakridge, Torbreck, Leeuwin Estate, and worked as winemaker at Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay in 2015. His love for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay truly originated during his harvest at Domaine Dujac in 2013. Ben was credited with significant industry recognition for his two years at the helm at Clyde Park, winning the Shiraz Trophy at the National Wine Show (2017 vintage) and the Geelong Trophy at the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge for 2017 and 2018. After only a few years making wine in the Geelong region, getting to know the people, and seeing the fruit quality available, Ben considered that he had no other choice than to create a 100% Geelong based brand. And so Mulline was born. Geelong is an exciting region in which to be making wine and the sub-regionality allows Ben the opportunity to craft some very different and interesting styles of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. He uses predominately French oak (some Austrian barrels in the Fumé Blanc) and full solids in his white wines and whole bunches in the reds.

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Nocturne Wines

Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

"Julian's wine show success (and the team he has led) have gold medals flying around the room like confetti, with trophies (including the biggest of all, the Jimmy Watson) equally plentiful. And most of all, he is universally admired and liked by all who have had contact with him and/or the great wines he makes."James Halliday Nocturne is the husband-and-wife partnership between recently-crowned Jimmy Watson-winner and James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year, Julian Langworthy and his wife Alana who also owns and ru... read morens the Yallingup Cheese Company. We are proud to be the exclusive UK agent for Nocturne, which is a serious new venture producing single-vineyard wines from exceptional sites in Margaret River. This is the region where Julian grew up and where he’s honed his winemaking skills. The pair are acutely sensitive to the best fruit sources in the region including their pride and joy, the newly acquired Sheoak Vineyard with its beautifully mature Cabernet vines. Both Julian and Alana are incredibly ambitious and highly skilled which will certainly manifest into Nocturne being some of the most sought-after wines coming out of Australia. Julian is also the chief winemaker at Deep Woods Estate and is responsible for transforming the estate after his appointment to the position in 2011 and since then has been awarded a seemingly endless collection of gold medals and trophies gaining him a reputation that will cement his place as one of the greats of Australian wine-making. Our exclusive Q&A with Julian & Alana - Read more Julian Langworthy crowned Winemaker of the Year 2019 - Read more

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Pooley Wines

Tasmania, Australia

"Pooley Wines – a multi award winning family winery located in the heart of the famous Tasmanian wine producing region of the Coal River Valley. " Pooley Wines are truly special and one of the leading family-owned wineries in Tasmania. They are recognised as one of the foremost producers of premium cool climate wines (not only in Tasmania, but in Australasia) winning over 100 awards since Margaret Pooley’s first vintage in 1988. Members of the Pooley family have been actively involved in the business for three g... read moreenerations with their longstanding passion and commitment to fine wine being your assurance of uncompromising quality. Pooley Wines are renowned for their exquisite Single Vineyard examples of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Their Cooinda Vale Chardonnay once formed an integral component of the famous Yattarna Chardonnay from Penfolds. Their Butcher’s Hill Chardonnay is another beauty and similarly, the fruit from this block was also once used for Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay… Pooley’s Pinot Noirs are pure, impeccably balanced, crystalline and eminently cellar worthy.

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Purple Hands Wines

Barossa Valley, Australia

Purple Hands Wines is the solo venture of Grant Burge Chief Winemaker Craig Stansborough. Craig’s partner in crime is his “good mate” and fellow wine lover Mark Slade. Craig and Mark made their first vintage in 2006 from just over a tonne of hand-picked Shiraz from Craig’s own vineyard that they crushed and fermented in his shed. From there, they have gone on to produce a range of incredible wines that include their standout, single vineyard trio the After Five Wine Co range. Thes... read moree wines are sourced from three individual sites across the Barossa Valley, one of which is Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard. This particular vineyard is planted with 8 hectares of Shiraz and 1 hectare each of Italian varieties Aglianico and Montepulciano, as well as a third generation, family owned Grenache vineyard. Through their single vineyard range, Craig and Mark’s aim is to produce fruit driven wines with elegance and texture that reflect the vineyards from which they are sourced. Their After Five Wine Co Shiraz is sourced from Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard. The Old Vine Grenache is produced from vines sourced from the Zerk Grenache Vineyard, a family owned and run single site, planted by the Zerk family in 1961. The third vineyard that Purple Hands source fruit from is the Woodlands Vineyard, which Craig and Mark uncovered in 2012, discovering 468 exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon vines hidden at the back of an old vineyard across the road from the Zerk Family Vineyard. After some investigation by a historian, they discovered that the vineyard was planted some time during the mid-1800s with the Cabernet Sauvignon estimated to have been planted sometime between 1880 and 1890 and are thought to be some of the oldest Cabernet vines in Australia. It is these ancient vines that make up their Planta Circa Ancestor Vine Cabernet Sauvignon. They produced the first vintage of this in 2013 and it received 97 points from James Halliday, with the following vintage receiving an incredible 98 points. Due to the vine’s age of around 125 years, the yields are small, with usually only 2–3 barrels produced, which equates to only 100 dozen.

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Rymill

Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

In Rymill's own words "We believe Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Coonawarra, which is why over fifty percent of our vineyards are planted to this variety. The unique combination of the region’s famous terra rossa soil, and a long, cool ripening season results in grapes with exceptional flavour, intensity and structure. This is why Coonawarra has become internationally renowned for producing premium wines, in particular, Cabernet Sauvignon."

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Shadowfax

Victoria, Australia

Established in 1998, Shadowfax is a boutique winery located just 30 minutes from Melbourne in the heart of Werribee Park. Dedicated to creating high quality and handcrafted wines, their renowned varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Shiraz as well as a selection of highly limited, single-vineyard wines. Chief Winemaker Alister Timms has a strong focus on regionality with the majority of fruit sourced and hand-harvested from vineyards in the Macedon Ranges and Werribee. Alister Timms - Chief Winemaker: I have seen ... read moreand been part of growing the oldest Shiraz vines in Heathcote Victoria.  We sold these vineyards ten years ago now and took a deliberate step into the coldest mainland Australian grape growing region.  Climate change forced our hand on this somewhat.  The Macedon Ranges in the 1960s was originally planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for Sparkling Wine production.  Over the years, as the sites have warmed up, the Chardonnay and Pinot wines produced from here now are some of the most expressive in the country. Production has been kept small so we can focus on the quality of each wine and not get distracted by corporate rubbish.  The flexibility is still there, as we are always on the lookout for new vineyards coming up for lease in the Macedon Ranges, giving the opportunity to experiment with new wines.

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Soumah

Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

The Hidden Gem in the Yarra Valley... We find this hidden gem located down a country lane, in the dress circle of the Warramate foothills of Gruyere. It is from here that Soumah set out to make wine with the charm of northern Italy but the provenance of the majestic Yarra Valley. Unravelling the story behind the exotically named Soumah, it is in fact an abbreviation of South of Maroondah, hinting at its location in the heart of Yarra Valley. Their wines however are far from exotic and instead they brim with the cool climate character an... read mored provenance of the majestic Yarra Valley. The perfect state of balance, calmness and composure of Soumah wines are expressed across the range, with the flagship wines receiving the graceful name ‘Equilibrio’. The global press wax lyrical with strings of medals including the Decanter Gold winning Equilibrio Chardonnay and Decanter Platinum Equilibrio Pinot Noir. "If I had to provide a brief statement to describe their wines – I would state, they are truly splendid and offer compelling drinking without the need to stress one’s wallet. From bottom to top, I believe these to be perfectly tuned with a satisfaction level of 100/100. They are not ‘pretenders’ and overdeliver with pure energy. The winemaking is skilful and the fruit, pure and natural. All in all, Soumah offer great drinking at affordable prices." - Stuart McCloskey

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Standish Wines

Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Stylistically Dan's wines are as rich and profound as you would expect from Barossa Valley old vines, but they have a satin texture and dreamy perfume that sets them far apart from his contemporaries Simply put, Dan Standish produces the best Shiraz to come out of the Barossa, hence our excitement to be Dan’s UK importer. A 6th generation Barossan, Dan Standish established his eponymous winery in 1999 whilst still working as winemaker at Torbreck Vintners. His endeavour initially began around an ancient ... read moreparcel of Shiraz owned and farmed by his father... All batches of fruit are fermented and matured individually then follow a strict selection in the winery that can see as much as 80% of the original blend discarded and sold off in bulk. As with the finest producers in Europe only the finest material is sold under the Standish Wine Company label. Dan is credited as being one of the most experienced winemakers in Barossa, not only for his incredible work at the great Torbreck winery but also working with his friend Jaysen Collins of JC’s Own, on their joint project Massena. He has also spent time honing his talents working vintages in both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California and Rioja in Spain, but his real passion developed through the experience gained whilst working in France’s Rhône Valley. The time in Rhône working with Shiraz, which Dan is almost unrivalled in his expertise with, and the techniques he learned there led to the creation of The Relic in which Dan co-ferments a small quantity of Viognier with Shiraz to create a wine that stands up to the very best in the northern Rhône. Stylistically Dan's wines are as rich and profound as you would expect from Barossa Valley old vines, but they have a satin texture and dreamy perfume that sets them far apart from his contemporaries. Here, dark fruits are encased in cocoa and earthy richness but with gentle spice, soil tone, asphalt and a stony minerality that gives the wines a beautiful dimension. These are very special Australian wines. The Standish 2016 wines cemented Dan’s reputation as one of Barossa’s greatest winemakers even further when several of his wines including The Relic and The Standish were awarded a huge 99 points by Robert Parker.com. Dan's reputation as one of the emerging greats of Barossa has recently been recognized when his wines were included on the list of The Barossa Super 100 Classification, the first ever regional classification, highlighting some of Barossa's very best and most sought after wines.

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Topper's Mountain

New England, NSW, Australia

  Winemaker, Mike Hayes says, “My philosophy is to express the terroir of the vineyard and not the barrel maker from the south of France. I feel that great wine comes from great vineyards, not great winemakers. I also feel that to capture the flavour of the earth and express it in the bottle is a far greater challenge than manufacturing wine in the lab. Topper’s Mountain unique terroir arises from its high altitude location on the western edge of the Great Dividing Range and deep, volcanic (Krasnozem) soils. Over more than a ... read moredecade, Mark Kirkby, in close collaboration with winemaker Mike Hayes, has established a vineyard packed with exciting alternative varieties that revel in their terroir. New England is unlike any other wine producing region in Australia. In a country which NASA declared ‘the flattest in the world’ we find a wine producing region situated at over 1000m above sea level, putting them at a similar altitude to the peak of Mount Snowdon! This provides a cool climate, with soils and topography which work perfectly for the mostly Mediterranean grape varieties that the team at Topper’s Mountain focus on growing here. Topper’s Mountain is our first, exclusive winery from New England which is an exciting, re-emerging wine region with a captivating history dating back as far as the first settlers, who began planting vineyards and making wine there due to the difficulties in transporting alcohol from other major centres. The Topper’s vineyard was founded by Mark Kirkby in 1998 and sits at 900m ASL, meaning that despite sitting much closer to the equator than most of the world’s viticulture, they are still bestowed with cool nights, low maximum temperatures and a generally continental climate. These all combine to create wines of great elegance and fruit definition which are more comparable to wines grown a thousand kilometres or more from the equator.

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Two Hands

Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Two Hands were featured more times than any other producer on the Barossa Super 100 Classification. Two Hands Wines have become a beacon for artisan, single vineyard Shiraz in Barossa Valley as well as other premier regions in South Australia. Winning admiration from leading critics around the globe such as Robert Parker, James Halliday and Jancis Robinson demonstrates that the wines are far from one-dimensional in their outstanding balance, structure and elegance. Further testament of this came in 2012 when the estate was named in Wine Specta... read moretor’s Top 100 for the 10th consecutive year. Both from négociant fruit in McLaren Vale, The Two Hands Lily’s Garden and their Bella’s Garden Shiraz are single vineyard expressions of Shiraz combining ripe black fruit wrapped in chocolate and smoky richness. Lily’s Garden is widely regarded as the more approachable of the two when young with Bella’s Garden having the staying power of a premium red Rhone, avoiding the often jammy character found in other examples from the region. Two Hands were featured more times than any other producer on the Barossa Super 100 Classification, a list of some of the most highly regarded and collectable wines from Barossa drawn up by the Barossa Grape and Association, which saw its inaugural launch in 2019. Two hands have have an incredible eight wines on the list including their My Hands, which is one of only seven wines featured in the above $500 dollars category.

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Utopos

Barossa Valley, Australia

"A great deal of my time was spent snooping around the Barossa trying to source grapes from established growers for Teusner Wines in the early days.  It was in this endeavour that I first came across the vineyard that we now call Utopos.  We were already sourcing fruit from vineyards adjacent to this property for Teusner that were making some of our very best Shiraz wines (Albert and Righteous) so I knew the ability of the geology and microclimate of the area to produce outstanding reds.  I instantly fell in love with the... read more site and the way that it was planted.  I so desperately wanted to play with the fruit that was growing here.  However, the owner of the property was signed into pretty tight contracts with Penfolds and wasn’t willing to jeopardise that to sell me a bit of out of contract.  He did nothing to lessen my desire, however…  Bragging to me that the cabernet sauvignon was some of the only Barossa fruit to make Bin 707 grade etc etc.    So I was forced to just dream about it every time I drove past to visit my other growers in the area. Until the day in late 2014 that the owners decided it was time to slow down and move into town and put the property up for Auction. All of the big names from around the area were at the auction.  Standing on one of the highest points of the area overlooking some of the most beautiful views in the Barossa. I was so desperate to have it – these properties rarely become available over multiple generations - so I just went in with all guns blazing and put in my best offer as first bid.  It was the one and only bid and the property was ours!" - Kym Teusner   Read our Q&A with Kym Teusner - Read article Read 'Tasting Utopia' - Read article

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Vinden Estate

Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

"When you go to Burgundy, you drink Burgundy. Therefore, when you are in the Hunter Valley, you should drink from the plethora of stunning and ancient viticultural sites we possess.” "I maintain my families’ traditional label, which embodies a traditional ethos paying homage to my parents legacy as well as the traditional wine styles and producers of the region. The Vinden Headcase was established in 2015 when I took over the family business. The goal was to create great wines, which are as fun and distinctive to drink, a... read mores they were to make. The range focuses on producing delicious, unique, progressive styles that both respect and challenge the traditional regionality of the Hunter Valley. I believe it is my responsibility, just as O’Shea did up on the old hill, to continually redefine and reinvent the Hunter Valley. Tradition is not stagnant; it should constantly be redefined as we learn from the previous generation.” – Angus Vinden.  The Hunter Valley is the oldest commercial Wine Region in Australia dating back to 1828. As the current custodian of Vinden Wines, Angus Vinden has taken on the role to not only maintain, but to improve the Hunter Valley. All wines Vinden Wines produce are strictly sourced from Hunter Valley Vineyards, Angus believes "when you go to Burgundy, you drink Burgundy. Therefore, when you are in the Hunter Valley, you should drink from the plethora of stunning and ancient viticultural sites we possess." Vinden Wines sources from two vineyard sites, the estate vineyard and old vine blocks at Somerset Vineyard in Pokolbin where Angus was mentored under the 6th generation grower Glen Howard. The estate vineyard was first planted in 1995, the soil is heavy red clay; Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Gamay and Alicante are currently planted. Angus is in the process of expanding the estate vineyard holdings over the coming two years with Cinsault, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, additional Gamay and new clones of Chardonnay and Tempranillo going in the ground. Somerset vineyard was originally planted in 1891, unfortunately during WWII the vines were pulled as demand for war time food outweighed grapes. Luckily in 1965 replanting began to re-establish one of the great sites in the original Parish of Pokolbin. As a hillside site it has both fine sandy loam soils and boasts a limestone hillside with granular red volcanic clay. Shiraz, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho, Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc are planted. “Winemaking is an extension of farming for me, each vintage we are dictated to by Mother Nature and our grapes are a reflection of that growing season. That is the beauty and the art of viticulture and winemaking. Each wine and every bottle encapsulates that growing season. It is my role in the winery to guide them as carefully as possible from grapes and into wine, to ensure they are a true representation of that year and the terroir. The wines are made on-site from hand-picked grapes, wild yeast is employed and we ferment and mature in a multitude of vessels; concrete fermenters and eggs, stainless steel tanks, clay amphorae and oak 500L-2000L foudres. I showcase a different side to the Hunter Valley which keeps pace with the current market and new wine trends that are emerging.”  

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Wantirna Estate

Victoria, Australia

These are beautifully judged, handcrafted and terroir driven wines which reflect meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of viticulture and winemaking. Reg and Tina Egan of Wantirna Estate were among the early movers in the rebirth of the Yarra Valley. The vineyard surrounds the house they live in, which also incorporates the winery. Today much of the winemaking responsibility has been transferred to daughter Maryann. Reg and Maryann have honed their practical skills among the small domaines and chateaux of Burgundy and Bordeaux, inspire... read mored by single vineyard, terroir-driven wines. Established in 1963, Wantirna Estate ranks among the elite in Australia and we are so thrilled to exclusively launch their wines across Europe. These are beautifully judged, handcrafted and terroir driven wines which reflect meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of viticulture and winemaking. Unquestionably, this trio represents the most classical examples we have sampled from Australia, which effortlessly compete with Bordeaux and Burgundy, albeit with their own footprint of brilliance. Thoughtful and intelligent wines which demand everyone’s attention. The label artwork: Wantirna gradually renamed their wines to include the names of their four granddaughters. In addition to that, there is an illustration by the well-known cartoonist and artist, Michael Leunig depicting something about each of the girls’ personalities.

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Wild Duck Creek

Heathcote, Australia

"Today, the area under vine totals some 15 ha that are dedicated to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and have helped them achieve cult status" David and Diana Anderson first planted vines in their family-run Heathcote estate Wild Duck Creek Estate in 1974. Today, the area under vine totals some 15 ha that are dedicated to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and has helped them achieve cult status in the eyes of many. Their first commercial release was in 1991 and things have only got better with the ... read morecouple now joined by their son, Liam who is going full steam ahead with biodynamic practices in the vineyard. In the winery, traditional winemaking techniques are the status quo, with winemakers David and Liam choosing to use open top fermenters, basket presses and the finest French barrels and American hogsheads for extended ageing. Produced only in exceptional years, the Reserve Shiraz uses fruit predominantly from the Original Vineyard that has been barrel aged and then selected for the final blend after extensive tasting. A blockbuster with high alcohol, its richness is seamlessly balanced by moderating acidity and ripe tannins, which prevent it from becoming syrupy. The Springflat Shiraz comes from a small 1ha site planted in 1988 that yields just over 20,000 bottles annually. After maturing in French and American oak barrels for a year or more, the wine is bottled unfiltered for maximum flavour expression that results in a deeply coloured, sweet-fruited red with an intense concentration and a long finish. Renowned American wine critic, Robert Parker regularly awards these wines 90 points or more.

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