Bird In Hand - Adelaide HillsIn 1997, Andrew Nugent planted vineyards and olives on Bird in Hand Road in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia with the ambition to develop Bird in Hand as one of the world’s great wineries. The road itself was named after the "Bird in Hand" gold mine, which operated in the 1850s. Andrew, who grew up next door to Penfolds at Magill, honed his craft as a viticulturist, vineyard manager and winemaker in the region of McLaren Vale and is quoted as saying, “We live and work at the winery. We know the best thing we can do for our community is grow and produce the best wine and olives we can. Our success will be our community’s success. A high tide lifts all the boats in the bay. At Bird in Hand we’ve assembled the best team of people, we’ve painstakingly selected the perfect terroir and we’re well on our way.”
The Bird in Hand range is released every vintage however release is limited. Availability in Indonesia consists of Sauvignon Blanc, a vintage Sparkling Pinot Noir, a Rose and a Shiraz.
Two in the Bush range is a popular drink now style of wines comprising a Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon blend and a Chardonnay both from the hugely successful 2009 vintage.
In 2011, Bird In Hand cleaned up a bag full of awards including the Trophy for Best Australian Red Wine at the International Wine Challenge for its 2009 Bird In Hand Shiraz, available in Indonesia. The same wine received the trophy for Best Australian Shiraz at the same competition as well as a Gold Medal at 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards.
De Bortoli - GriffithNoble One, Australia's best sticky, was first created by Darren De Bortoli at the family winery in Bilbul in 1982. Noble One has gone on to be one of the most awarded wines in history, garnering more than 108 trophies and 358 Gold medals both nationally and internationally and in 2010, Noble One celebrated 25 Vintages of this lucious and decadent nectar.
Domaine APlanted in the chilly climes of Southern Tasmania's Coal River and named after it's owners, Peter and Ruth Althaus, Domaine A not only has a James Halliday 5 star rating while recently the Cabernet was included amongst the ultra exclusive, Langtons Excellent Wine Classification.
Peter Althaus personally selects the fruit for harvesting precisely at the point of optimum ripeness and flavour. The vines are hand-picked and delivered to the winery for immediate processing where the wines are made without compromise and in the spirit of the finest traditions of European winemaking.
Fire Gully - Margaret RiverIn 1998 Dr Michael Peterkin of Pierro purchased the nearby Fire Gully property which was named after two large bush fires in 1952 and 1970 that ravaged the gully which runs through the central block. The Taoist symbols for “fire” and “valley” have been chosen for the label to represent the warmth, strength, fertility and abundance that this special site offers.
Frankland Estate - Frankland RiverFrankland Estate was established in 1988 by Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam who after undertaking serveral vintages in Bordeaux, decided to diversify their farming interests to include viticulture and winemaking.
The winemaking philosophies at Frankland Estate reflect the experienced acquired in France as well as the hard-earned lessons gained from some 17 vintages in the Frankland River region.
Their approach to winemaking is based on the principle that the most significant characteristics of a wine come from the soil and the vineyard's microclimate, while also aiming to make wines which reflect nature rather than the hand of the winemaker. They have a long standing commitment to sustainable farming as well as working the land in accordance with the cycles of nature and in 2010 received their Organic Certification for their Isolation Vineyard.
Giaconda - BeechworthGiaconda vineyard and winery is one of Australia's iconic boutique fine-wine producers near the historic town of Beechworth, Victoria.
Giaconda produces about 2500 cases of wine each year. Giaconda produces wine from Chardonnay, Roussanne, Pinot noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a small amount from newly planted Nebbiolo grapes.
Two of Giaconda's wines are included in the Langton's Classification of Australian Wine, the Pinot noir at the "Excellent" tier and the Chardonnay at the highest classification level of "Exceptional".
The founder and owner, Rick Kinzbrunner has been described as one of Australia's greatest winemakers. In 2003 he won the Australian Winemaker of the Year award from Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine and in July 2006 he was named one of the world's best 10 white wine makers by Decanter Magazine.
Grosset - Clare ValleyJeffrey Grosset holds the mantle as Australias best Riesling producer. His quiet obsession with soil is matched by his fanatical attention to detail in the winery and the resulting wines make devout followers swoon and wine collectors scamper for an allocation of his prized Polish Hill Riesling. He has been the driving force behind the conversion to Screwcap and his influence has been so great, that the Clare Valley Winemakers Association has abandoned cork all together and committed their entire production to the Screwcap closure, instigating a domino effect Australia wide. Grosset also produces an impeccable Bordeaux blend, Gaia. These wines are on allocation only and will not last long in our warehouse!
Henshcke - Eden ValleyThe Henschke family is one of the longest-established wine names in the Barossa Valley. Johann Henschke fled for the new colony of South Australia from Germany in the 1850s, to escape religious persecution from the Lutheran church. A skilled farmer, he planted a small vineyard and an orchard, and after initially making wine for family consumption, produced his first commercial vintage in 1868, believed to be principally Riesling and shiraz.
Each generation has built upon the reputation of quality but it was the fourth generation Cyril Henschke who in 1958 created a wine, which has most captured the wine worlds attention – Hill of Grace. His first vintage of this Shiraz was produced in 1958.
Today, the fifth generation Stephen Henschke and his wife Prue, uphold the family name and reputation as winemaker and viticulturist respectively. The highly revered and much sought after Hill of Grace is at the apex of the range however the Mount Edelstone Shiraz and the Cyril Cabernet have forged their own niche with red wine lovers everywhere.
Prue's meticulous vine management has sparked a new life into the venerable vineyards as well as proffering a new direction in producing world-class white wines as evidenced by the immaculate Julius Riesling and Lenswood Pinot Gris.
Jim Barry - Clare ValleyThe late Jim Barry was a pioneer of the Australian wine industry and the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley of South Australia. He established Jim Barry Wines in 1959 with a special emphasis on Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines which have all over time, won international recognition. The flagship release, The Armagh Shiraz was recently awarded a rare 20/20 score by British wine writer Mathew Jukes when he announced his 100 Best Australian Wines at the 2011 London Wine Trade Fair.
“With more truffles and well-hung game than a Piemontese banquet and so much latent power that it makes me feel bashful to even type its name, 2006 The Armagh is a perfect expression of its site and it is also an awe-inspiring encapsulation of the paradise that is the Clare Valley. For me this means that it is a rare 20/20 wine,” Jukes said. The Benbournie and McRae Wood wines do not lag far behind.
Mollydooker - McLaren ValeThe story behind Mollydooker is one of highs and heartbreaks. Despite an illustrious winemaking career establishing the brands of Henry’s Drive, Parson’s Flat, Shirvington and Marquis Philips of which all were very successful, it has been a road of feast and famine for Sarah and Sparky Marquis. The Marquis Philips brand found huge favour with Robert Parker Jnr who wrote, ‘The greatest red wine values in existence…Run, don’t walk and secure as much as you can of these wines’. Demand became insatiable with production exploding from 8,000 to 120,000 cases overnight however disaster struck when their American business partner conducted a dodgy deal and subsequently lost all their money as quickly as they had made it.
In March 2006, armed with enormous talent, unwavering faith and $1,000 in the bank, Sarah and Sparky, with the support of their family and friends, began to conceptualize the Mollydooker brand. The first wines of Mollydooker, which is Australian slang for left-hander of which both Sarah and Sparky are oriented, were bottled however the money had run out and the wines were not yet labeled. Shortly after, an angel dressed as an Adelaide businessman who had heard about their plight, arrived at the winery with a cheque in hand to save the day.
Three months later, The Wine Advocate chose The Boxer as the Best Value Red Wine in the World, the Two Left Feet as the second, and the Maitre D’ as the fourth. These wines sold out in nineteen days, and all the debts were paid off.
In August of 2006, The Wine Advocate ratings were published with the Carnival of Love earning 99 / 100 by Parker and Enchanted Path 96 / 100. Within five days of release, the wines had sold out and Mollydooker was back on its feet and ever since, it has been a story of phenomenal success. Sarah and Sparky now have more wines of 94 Parker points and above than any other winemakers in the world. The Velvet Glove is the fifth wine of Mollyooker to be awarded 99 points, the Carnival of Love has twice been in the Wine Spectator’s Top Ten wines in the World, the Blue Eyed Boy is featured in the Qantas President’s Lounge and in Morton’s Steak Houses, and the demand for The Boxer is so huge, that from 2011, it will have its own special release day.
Sarah and Sparkly attribute their success to working from the heart and never compromising on their mission statement, which is ‘To make wines which make people go WOW’.
Moss Wood - Margaret RiverHailed as Australia's First Growth and shown alongside the likes of Latour and Lafite, Screaming Eagle and Ridge Montebello, Moss Wood's flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is well deserving to share the stage with such hallowed names yet at a fraction of the price. Dr Bill Pannell, one of the medical founding fathers of the Margaret River established Moss Wood in 1969 and 31 years later, was joined by Keith Mugford as assitant and then Chief Winemaker. In 2000, Dr Bill retired from the wine industry, selling the estate to Keith and his wife, Clare. The same year, the Mugford's acquired Ribbon Vale Estate, releasing vineyard designated wines under the Moss Wood umbrella however it is the much prized Cabernet for which demand continues to exceed supply.
Mount Horrocks WinesMount Horrocks Wines restricts production to approximately 3,500 cases per annum to achieve the highest quality single vineyard wines. All three estate-owned Clare Valley vineyards, totalling ten hectares, are ‘A grade certified’ by Australian Certified Organic (ACO).
Stephanie carefully crafts “essentially hand-made food wines with emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours”. Only estate grown grapes are used and these are hand-picked and gently handled under conditions that ensure the varietal and site-specific flavours in the resultant wine, as well as its organic status, are retained. As no finings have been found necessary the wines are all suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Only the finest French oak barriques are used for those wines spending time in barrel.
Stephanie Toole produces outstanding quality grapes from her own vineyards. Her persistence with classic, no-compromise winemaking and a fully integrated organic approach to growing and making sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream. The result of her unwavering focus over twenty two years is an exemplary range of wines, each of the highest quality and classic in style yet unique, due to their single site origins combined with the maker’s sensitive approach.
Mount Horrocks Wines has been widely recognised by experts and wine lovers. James Halliday in his 2014 Australian Wine Companion reaffirmed his Five Star Red Rating (Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity). In 2004 Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling was listed as an ‘Australian Icon Wine’ in Wine Spectator magazine (USA) and the 2011 Cordon Cut was awarded both the Decanter (UK) and International Wine Challenge (UK) Trophies for ‘Best Australian Dessert Wine over £10’; a rare achievement. Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling was also the only Australian wine to be served at the official Lord Mayor of London’s luncheon to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday at Mansion House.
In 2007 Stephanie Toole became one of just 120 or so Australian Winemakers in the history of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine to be nominated for the Australian Winemaker of the Year Award.
Penfolds - The Barossa ValleyThe Penfold story is one of the great success's of the Australian wine industry. From the most humble of beginnings in 1844, the name Penfolds has become synonymous with the greatest red wines in the world, growing from a tiny vineyard managed by the late founders wife and daughter to an International Conglomerate, under the stewardship of an Australian public company.
Max Schubert believed that Penfolds needed wines crafted in the image of his legendary Grange. Penfolds had long maintained a system of numbered ‘bins’ in the cellar where the finest wines, often for the exclusive enjoyment of the company’s directors, were stored. Max utilised this system to give clear and well defined identities to the new wines he was planning, starting with the famous Bin 28 of 1959 which grew to include Bin 389 and Bin 407.
At the pinnacle of the Penfold's stable sit the icon and luxury wines comprising Grange, Bin 707, Magill Estate and St Henri, each possessing a distinctive and individual style along with a well documented track record of excellent and cellaring performance.
Petaluma - Adelaide HillsBrian Croser, whose career and reputation in the Australian wine industry is nothing short of legendary, established Petaluma in 1976. Three wines have underpinned Petalumas success; the first is an estate grown red from Coonawarra simply labeled as Coonawarra, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The second is the Clare Valley Riesling from the estate owned Hanlin Hill Vineyard. The third is the trailblazing Chardonnay coming from the highest altitude of the Adelaide Hills known as Piccadilly. Brian sold Petaluma in the early 1990s however the company and the wines continue from strength to strength.
Philip Shaw - OrangeIn 1989, Philip Shaw, the former chief winemaker of Rosemount Estate, planted vines in Orange and his eponymous wine brand was launched at the same time. Orange is a rapidly developing wine region of New South Wales and one of 2 regions to have its boundaries delineated by altitude. The low temperatures of Orange are highly beneficial for even ripening and flavor development allowing the fruit to take back seat and the somewhere-ness to come shining through. The Idiot Shiraz earned its name after the family took their first sip and announced that it was so delicious, even an Idiot could enjoy it.
Pierro - Margaret RiverFounded in 1979 by Dr Michael Peterkin, Pierro was planted in the sub-region known as Wilyabrup, also home to the leading wineries of the Margaret River.
Pierro made its name with its Chardonnay, which today alongside the Leeuwin Estate Art Series, is considered the regions best. In the words of Australian wine critic Jeremy Oliver, ' Pierro has crafted a Chardonnay of not only monumental power, but of simultaneously smooth and silky delivery.'
Dr. Peter was the first winemaker in the region to produce and release the classic white Bordeaux blend of Semilion Sauvignon Blanc, labelling the wine as LTC, referencing the small component of grape other than Semilion Sauvignon Blanc as a Little Touch of Chardonnay. The wine was an instant success, instigating an outbreak of plantings and subsequent bottled imitations. Similarly, the red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot was labeled as LTCf or a Little Touch of Cabernet Franc.
St Hallett - Barossa ValleySt Hallett has a long and steady history of producing Shiraz of remarkable depth and class from ancient vines planted back in the 1940s on St Hallett Road in the Barossa Valley. The Old Block Shiraz has garnered International attention closely followed by the Blackwell Shiraz, aptly named after the winerys golf loving winemaker, Stuart Blackwell. The entry level Gamekeepers Shiraz and the Poachers Blend Semilion Sauvignon Blanc are not without merit as proven by a large and loyal following and a hugely successful presence in the U.S. and U.K.
TorbreckTorbreck Vintners was founded by David Powell in 1994. The roots go back to 1992 when David, who was then working at Rockford, began to discover and clean up a few sections of dry-grown old vines. He founded Torbreck with the aim and vision of producing one of the great wine estates of the world.
Near lifeless, he nurtured them back to health and was rewarded with small parcels of fruit that he made into wine. David was able to secure a contract for the supply of grapes from a run-down but ancient Shiraz vineyard.
The Torbreck endeavour is based around the classic Barossa Valley varietals of Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro, and a love for the wines of France's Rhone Valley. At the apex of this impressive range sits The Laird and Run Rig followed by an extensive range of premium wines that receive consistently high ratings each vintage.
Two Hands - Barossa ValleyThe Two Hands of Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz were a couple of Adelaide businessmen when they decided to launch a wine brand with the clear objective of making the highest quality Shiraz based wine sourced from the best vineyards in South Australia.
Two Hands debuted with the 2000 vintage and quickly rocketed to fame once Robert Parker Jnr labeled the brand as ‘The finest negociant operation south of the equator.’
Today the winery produces several tiers, which include their three flagship wines; the Ares Shiraz, Aphrodite Cabernet Sauvignon and Aerope Grenache, the Garden Series with each wine named after the various females within the Two Hands clan, followed by the irreverent and entertaining Picture Series. The Garden Series have been around the longest and it was largely these wines, which sealed the winery’s reputation when they caught the attention of Wine Spectator and Robert Parker Jnr.
Twelftree and Mintz set about not only to make wine, but to build a brand and a company around a set of core values: quality without compromise, differentiation through innovation and fun, using the best barrels for the best wines, sourcing the best available fruit and crafting wines which feature fruit as their predominant quality, not oak. As a matter of principal, grapes are only harvested when they taste ripe and not when the refractometer indicates a certain sugar or brix measurement. The grapes are not subject to extended time on the vine to increase sugar, nor does the resultant wine go through a watering down or a process of de-alcoholisation. Two Hands make no apologies for the 14% and 15% alcohol in the finished wine as they fervently believe that this is a transparent reflection of the vineyard and climate. Two Hands has a horde of followers and are consistently ranked amongst the top Shiraz in Australia.
Voyager Estate - Margaret RiverUp until the 2009 vintage, the wines were made by Cliff Royle, whose deft hand played a significant part in catapulting Voyager Estate to fame. Widely considered as one of the top guns of Western Australia, Voyager excels in the wine styles, which epitomize the Margaret River – Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semilion Sauvignon Blanc. Cliff has now moved on to his own winemaking venture however the 2010 vintage has managed to retain the hallmark intensity of flavor and finesse, surely a legacy of Cliffs soft touch.
Wills Domain - Margaret RiverGarnering a reputation as one of the more remarkable up and coming wineries in the region and run by one of the most awe inspiring men in the industry, Wills Domain's tag line is The Soul of Margaret River.
James Halliday writes, "When the Haunold family purchased the original Wills Domain vineyard in 2000, they were adding another chapter to a family history of winemaking stretching back to 1383 in what is now Austria. Remarkable though that may be, more remarkable is that 35-year-old Darren, who lost the use of his legs in an accident in 1989, runs the estate, including part of the pruning, from his wheelchair." With a 5 star Halliday ranking and a dominance of ratings above 90 points, Wills Domain wines are on the watch list.
Wolfblass - Barossa ValleyWolfgang Blass, a highly talented winemaker and visionary, established Wolfblass in 1966 and it was 'Wolfie' who carried the company from a modest sized winery to an International brand which by 1990, had received an astounding 2,575 medals and trophies. In the 1980's, Wolfblass acquired Mildara Wine Company to create Mildara Blass which a decade later, morphed into Beringer Blass after the purchase of Beringer Estates. Today, Wolfbass is part of the larger conglomerate, Foster's Wine Esates, however it still retains its own identity thanks to construction of a large and impressive winery and cellar door erected in the Barossa Valley in 2000.
Australia's most coveted wine accolade, The Jimmy Watson Trophy, has been awarded to 4 different vintages of the Black Label Shiraz, a record unsurpassed by any other winery to this day.
Wynns Estate CoonawarraIn the 1860's John Riddoch establised the Coonawarra Fruit Colony which was the areas first recorded planting of grape vines. In 1951, the property was purchased by Melbourne based winemakers and merchants, Samuel Wynn and Co who together with son David, turned Wynn's Coonawarra Estate into the regions finest producer.
The wine bearing John Riddochs name was first produced in 1982, made from the best Cabernet Sauvignon and only in years when overall quality is high. Many consider John Riddoch as the definitive Coonawrra cabernet, rich and more concentrated than any other wine from the district. It is appropriate that one of Australia's top Cabernet carries the name of the man who pioneered the district where it was first planted in 1890.
Michael Shiraz is Wynns Coonawarra Estate's best of vintage Shiraz and like the John Riddoch, the fruit comes from the best vineyard sites in Coonawara and only in years when quality is outstanding. The first Michael was a one off from 1955 vintage, made after new proprietor David Wynn noticed the exceptional quality of the wine from two particular barrels and then promptly ordered them to be bottled separately. Named after David Wynn's first son, Michael, this is a legendary Australian wine.
Yalumba - Barossa ValleyCarrying the mantle as Australia's Oldest Family Owned Winery, Yalumba, an aboriginal word meaning, 'All The Land Around', was established in 1849 by Samuel Smith. Six generations and over 150 years later, Yalumba has grown to embody a quintessential Australian wine brand with a repuatation envied by winemakers and winery owners domestically and abroad.
The top tier of red wines, The Signature, The Menzies, The Octavius and The Reserve Red, draw heavily from Yalumba's great Barossa Shiraz and Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which are matured in oak barrels that are made at Yalumba's own cooperage.