Each of the eight Artisans of Barossa winemakers is an independent, family owned business. And whilst each choses their own particular path in winemaking, they are bound together through a shared commitment to protect and promote the art of small batch Barossa winemaking.
Hobbs of Barossa Ranges
The vineyard that encircles Greg & Allison Hobbs' home high up in the Barossa ranges is one of the district’s oldest, and each year produces a tiny harvest of intensely flavoured grapes. The connection the Hobbs’ have to their vineyard is like few others. They look over it every morning when they wake up, they pass through it every morning taking the dog for a walk, they work in their vineyard every day… and each evening they enjoy a glass of wine from the fruit they’ve grown from the vines that surround them. Beautiful place, beautiful people…magnificent, richly flavoured wines that reflect the hard work and love that goes into making them.
Sons of Eden
The Sons of Eden are Corey Ryan (winemaker) and Simon Cowham (viticulturalist), who learnt and refined their respective crafts over many years working in the vineyards and cellars of Eden Valley. The Sons of Eden approach is simple - to produce wines full of flavour and personality from vineyards of unique character within the world class Barossa region. The combination of winemaker and grape grower working in unison defines Sons of Eden and makes them one of Australia’s great winemaker/ grape grower double acts.
Purple Hands Wines
When two good mates get together, one being one of Australia’s most experienced winemaker and the other in possession of an insatiable passion for wine, the inevitable had to happen and Purple Hands Wines came to be in 2006. From humble beginnings and a first vintage of 1,000 bottles, Craig Stansborough and Mark Slade have steered Purple Hands to become a highly regarded and exciting artisan Barossa winemaker. At the 2019 Barossa Wine Show, Purple Hands Wines were awarded 8 gold medals and 2 trophies, including ‘Most Outstanding Small Winemaker’.
Over the last two decades brothers John and James Lienert have converted the family’s farm land on the Barossa Valley’s western ridge from cropping to vineyards, planting the first vines in the distinctive rich red loam over limestone soils in 2001. These ‘terra rossa’ soils are renowned the world over for producing wines of rich flavor and firm structure, ideal for heritage Barossa varieties such as Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with emerging styles like Graciano and Malbec. What was once the family farm has now become a source of outstanding quality Barossa fruit which supplies many of the region’s leading winemakers. Each year, John and James reserve parcels of fruit from select vineyard blocks to be sold under the Lienert Vineyards and Jack West labels.
John Duval Wines
From a family boasting four generations of South Australian vignerons, John Duval is one of the world's best known winemakers. After 28 years with Penfolds, including 16 years as Chief Winemaker, John launched his own label in 2003 - a new challenge that would allow him to be involved first hand from vineyard to glass, and provide an opportunity to build something for his family. Rather than seeking to simply emulate Penfolds, the aim of John Duval Wines is to perpetuate the story of a South Australian wine family through a collection of structured and elegant wines made from fruit grown in exceptional old Barossa vineyards.
Schwarz Wine Co.
The Schwarz family most definitely qualifies as ‘local’ in a Barossa sense. Five generations as residents, then two as grape growers, and now Jason Schwarz as a first-generation winemaker. Jason hasn’t strayed too far from home either when it comes to sourcing fruit for his brilliant wines. The vineyards his parents planted are now the very same ones that form the back bone of his ‘Barossa to the bootstraps’ wines. Jason’s approach in the winery is very much one of a delicate hand guiding the grapes on their journey from vineyard to glass whilst retaining as much flavour purity and sense of place as possible.
With family roots and extensive wine-making experience in the South of France, there is a strong French connection which drives the style and feel of Spinifex. Peter Schell and Magali Gely, Spinifex source grapes from some of the oldest Barossa and Eden Valley vineyards planted to classic Mediterranean varieties (Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro, Cinsault, Carignan and Ugni Blanc) that have been successfully grown in the Barossa for over 150 years. With a winemaking philosophy that embraces sustainable vineyard practises and minimal intervention in the winery, there is a strong focus on producing wines where balance, purity of fruit and restraint is key. Such an approach delivers wines with a strong sense of integrity, personality, regional character and style.
Chaffey Bros. Wine Co.
Brothers in law Daniel Hartwig and Theo Engela are the latest generation of the pioneering Chaffey family to dedicate themselves to the cause of Australian wine. The original ‘Chaffey Brothers’ were Canadian irrigation scheme specialists who arrived in Australia from San Francisco in the 1880’s and set about the task of transforming the townships of Renmark and Mildura into modern day oasis and vibrant wine regions.
Joined by Barossa lad and young-gun winemaker Huon Fechner, the Chaffey Bros. Wine Co. team approach the task of making Barossa wine with balanced consideration for both the history and new possibilities of the Barossa wine landscape, as well as a deep seated desire to produce balanced wines of exceptional ‘drinkability’. They feel no need to subscribe to the usual way of doings things, which is reflected in the names and distinctive packaging of their wines. Experimentation and a low intervention approach to winemaking is actively encouraged, with the only caveat being to ensure each Chaffey Bros. wine is delicious and supremely tasty.