Menu

News

Welcome to the Artisans of Barossa blog, here is where we will be highlighting events and news from around the Barossa.

 

 

Sal Johnson
 
15 March 2017 | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - Spinifex Wines

 

Peter Schell and Magali Gely have had a home in the Barossa Valley for over twenty years and hold a strong commitment to and passion for the Barossa.  They also have a strong French connection, both physically and philosophically.

Magali's family, who up until recently were vignerons with a long lineage in Lunel, near Montpellier, still live in south west France, and over the last ten years Peter has worked six French vintages, in Provence, the Languedoc, Bordeaux and Burgundy. Time spent in the south of France has fuelled their interest in making unique, hand crafted wines with personality, which are generous and honest expressions of the varieties and their provenance.

Grapes are sourced from a group of dedicated growers in both the Barossa and Eden Valleys, taking advantage of the great diversity of the soils and meso-climates of the Barossa to create wines with balance, character, depth of flavour and Barossan generosity.

10 questions – Pete Schell

1. What is the oldest vineyard that you make wine from?

- Grenache from the Stonegarden Vineyard, 1850 something would be the oldest, we have quite a few vineyards planted in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, an amazing resource.

2. What is your favourite part of Vintage?

- being in sync with the progression of fruit maturity in old vineyards is a buzz.

3. What was your very first job?

 - milking cows, digging holes and chasing cattle

4. What do you love about your job and why?

 - grape growing and wine making are an interface between nature and culture, its exciting to be a part of that connection

5. What grape variety or style excites you?

- right now I’m on a Riesling trip – it does change quite a bit?

6. What was the first wine you drank?

 - a full glass of red wine (variety and vintage unknown) when I was 2 ……..I was later found asleep under the dinner table.

7. What is your favourite meal or dish?

 - My wife Magali slow cooks hare fore-quarters in a red wine and vegetable stock, deep, earthy sweet goodness..unbeatable

8. How many vintages have you completed?

32…and starting to feel them.

9. What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you?

 - 1996 Barossa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – don’t make Barossa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

10. What bought you to the wine industry

 - dumb luck and a strong thirst

 

 

10 question – Magali Gely

1. What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted?

- 1978 Haut Brion

- 2010 Domaine Ott Cuvee Marine

- an old bottle of Muscat de Lunel from my Grandfather’s cellar

2. What is your favourite part of vintage?

 - to be honest, the end as it’s when I get the more relaxed version of my husband back.

3. What was your very first job?

- working in dad’s bakery

4. What do you love about your job and why?

 - I love working for ourselves and the flexibility that brings to our lives.

5. What is your role and what does it entail?

- my role is pretty varied, basically if it doesn’t involve winemaking I do it. Sales, packaging, general admin, export documentation and bookwork.

6. What are your top three desert island wines?

- Champagne, Riesling and Rose

7. How many generations have your family been in the wine industry?

My paternal Grandfather came from a long line of vignerons in the south of France however it skipped my father’s generation, he hated vineyard work and decided to join the French navy and trained as a chef which then eventually led to training as a pastry chef. My father was thrilled that I had found my way back to the industry that he felt was in the blood (but I also dislike vineyard work!)

8. What is your favourite meal?

 - Anything my kids cook for me

9. What was the first wine you drank?

 - Asti Spumante

10. What makes the Barossa home for you?

 - Family and friends.

Time Posted: 15/03/2017 at 10:15 AM
Sal Johnson
 
13 February 2017 | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - Hobbs of Barossa Ranges

 

Winemaker of the Month - Hobbs of Barossa Ranges

The Hobbs name is relatively new to the Australian wine landscape. Greg and Allison Hobbs' postage stamp sized vineyard in the upper reaches of the Barossa Ranges is anything but, with Shiraz vines dating back to 1905. The Hobbs family moved to the historic 15 acre vineyard in 1995. In 1998 30 dozen bottles of "house wine" was made for the family and Hobbs of Barossa Ranges was born. Greg and Allison collaborate with winemakers Peter Schell and Chris Ringland to create their wines, spearheaded by a powerful trio of old vine Barossa Shiraz. "Our philosophy is to nurture rather than interfere with nature. Even in bad years, this block produces good fruit. Maybe it is simply being stubborn in old age, refusing to bend to the whims of nature".

 

10 questions with Allison Hobbs

What is the oldest vineyard that you make wine from?

The beautiful 110 year old vineyard on our property in Flaxmans Valley, which is in the high hills of the Eden Valley.

What is your fvourite part of vintage?

The last day of picking!

What would you do if you weren't in the wine industry?

Working as a registered nurse.

What do you love about your job and why?

I love my office out in the vineyard, my wonderful team (Greg) and being the boss (in a mostly equal partnership with Greg...)

What grape variety or style excites you?

Viognier. It's a temperamental and unpredictable grape to grow, but it makes a beautiful full bodied wine with layers and layers of flavour. Every vintage is different.

What are your top 5 tips for people visiting the Barossa?

 - Stay in one of the Barossa's B&B's rather than a hotel.

 - Breakfast burgers at the Farmers Market on Saturday morning

 - Casa Carboni for coffee and cake, lunch or drinks on a friday evening.

 - Artisans of Barossa for a fabulous wine tasting and lunch, or a drink on the deck on a friday evening

 - Hamburgers at Appelation on a summer evening under the stars

What was the first wine you drank?

Lindeman's Ben Ean Moselle, you will have to guess which year!

What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you?

1998 Old Vine Shiraz from our own vines. It taught me to choose only the finest quality and let the grapes be the hero.

What is it that makes the Barossa home for you?

Sitting at home on the verandah, overlooking Flaxmans Valley with Greg and the family sharing wine and something delicious from the Farmers Market.

How many vintages have you completed?

21

 

10 questions with Greg Hobbs

What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted?

Billecarte Salmon Nicholas Francois, Kracher Icewine and the 1945 Haut Brion.

What is the oldest vineyard you make wine from?

The 1905 Shiraz vineyard on our property.

What is your favourite part of vintage?

The first Shiraz pick of the 1905 block

What would you do if you weren't in the wine industry?

I would still be working in the Police Force in the STAR Group.

What do you love about your job and why?

Working with my wonderful wife Allison every day.

What are your top five tips for people visiting the Barossa?

Taste, Eaat, Drink, Laugh and enjoy one of the top ten wine regions of the world.

What was the first wine you drank?

Mateus Rose.

What is your favourtie meal?

Seafood Laksa

What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you?

1998 Old Vine Shiraz. It taught me that I know notheing and have everyhing to learn, and I still have a great deal more to learn.

What is it that makes the Barossa home for you?

The Barossa Ranges, our home and vineyard.

 

 

Time Posted: 13/02/2017 at 10:57 PM
Sal Johnson
 
16 January 2017 | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - Sons of Eden

 

 

Winemaker of the Month - Sons of Eden

Sons of Eden has a simple philosophy to produce wines with flavour and personality from vineyards of unique character within the world class Barossa region. Sons of Eden takes its name from the two partners, Winemaker Corey Ryan and Viticulturist Simon Cowham, who both learned and refined their trades in the vineyards and cellars of Eden Valley. Sons of Eden specialises in varieties that the Barossa produces to the highest standard. Varieties such as Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre from the Barossa Valley and Riesling from the Eden Valley

 

10 questions with Corey Ryan

What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted?

2005 Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache

2006 Domaine Leroy Nuits St George 'Aux Allots'

2005 Gravner 'Breg' Anfora

What is the oldest vineyard that you make wines from?

The Cowham Light Pass Shiraz Vineyard is the oldest vineyard we make wine from. The exact age of this vineyard is sketchy, it is likely to be 100+ years old.

What is you favourite part of vintage?

My favourite part of vintage is filling to new oak barrels with freshly pressed red wine. These barrels have such a beautiful aroma when being filled for the first time. My other favourite time is at the end of harvest when I line up all of the individual wines from the year and review them side by side, this is the time of reckoning.

What was your very first job?

My first job was working in a kitchen washing dishes as a high school student. Back breaking work standing over a sink for hours, but taught me some important lessons in life.

What do you love about your job and why?

Meeting new people, travelling and discovering new wines, challenging myself each year to make a better wine than the year before.

What grape variety or style excites you?

Besides Shiraz, Mourvedre and Sangiovese, I have a keen interest in Sagrantino at the moment.

What are your top 5 tips for people visiting the Barossa?

-Visit the Artisans of Barossa Tasting Room and have lunch there

-Visit Seppeltsfield and have lunch at Fino - organise a tasting of your birth year Tawny

-Drive out to Eden Valley and return along the High Eden Road - really gives you an understanding of the diversity and beauty if the Barossa region

-Stay overnight or for the weekend in a BnB rather than return to Adelaide

-Visit the small producers of the region - there are plenty

What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you?

The first wine I made was at university studying Oenology - it was a Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Plains and the wine went hazy (it was protein unstable). It taught me to pay attention to detail.

How Many vintages have you completed?

I did a number of Northern and Southern Hemisphere vintages in the same year for several years so I have clocked up a few. I think it is around 29 vintages now.

How many countries have you made wine in?

Italy, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

 

 

10 questions with Simon Cowham

What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted?

1999 Guigal Condrieu Viognier- honeymoon, Paris, chocolate Croissant

2006 Sons of Eden Remus - Trophy Best Mature Shiraz - Barossa Wine Show 2009

1998 Chateau Reynella Cabernet Sauvignon - 1st vintage at Tintara, McLaren Vale

What is your favourite part of vintage?

Tasting the wines post press - vineyard expression at its finest.

What do you love most about your job?

Working with nature and combining science with creativity to produce something tangible. Also love the vintage variability bought on by site and climate interaction.

What are your top three desert island wines?

Freya Riesling, Pierre Gimmonet Champagne, Guigal Condrieu Viognier

What are you top five tips for visiting the Barossa?

-Allow time and stay mulitple nights

-Have a beer at the Tanunda Club, a local institution

-Seek out small independent wineries by appointment

-Go for a bush walk in Kaiser Stuhl National Park

-Settle in for a long meal at Fermentasian, Hentley Farm or Fino

What was the first wine you made and what did it teach you?

As a cellar rat in 1998 I was amazed at the diversity of Shiraz coming into Tintara Winery from McLaren Vale, Reynella and Padthaway. I learnt the lesson of importance of site.

What makes the Barossa home for you?

It's definitley the community spirit and being small enough to be familiar with its beautiful surroundings and people.

How many vintages have you completed?

23 vintages and counting.

How many countries have you made wine in?

All winemaking in Australia but I have been fortunate to visit many well known regions. The highlight would be clonal selection work in the famous Guigal Cote Rotie vineyards and Chapoutier Hermitage La Chapelle vineyard.

Time Posted: 16/01/2017 at 9:47 AM
Sal Johnson
 
9 December 2016 | Sal Johnson

10 questions with Tim Duval

 

This year saw the next generation of Duvals join the John Duval Wines family. After a 7 year stint working as a commercial Lawyer specialising in Wine, Agribusiness and Hospitality, Tim joined the family firm in January this year just in time for vintage madness.

10 questions – Tim Duval

What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted?

- While I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, drinking Cristal as a 17 year old on site at Champagne House Louis Roederer

- Sharing a great bottle of 1986 Grange with family – a birth year bottle for my brother and one of JD’s favourite Grange’s

- Trying Seppelt 100 year old Para Tawny for the first time

What is your favourite part of vintage?

- the first cold beer at the end of a long day is pretty good.. following wines through fermentation and seeing the reflection of the vintage conditions and of the site is a highlight.

What was your first job?

 - working some long, hot, Barossa summers training vines.

What would you do if you weren’t in the wine industry?

- I would probably still be a commercial lawyer, having 7 years as a lawyer under my belt before I joined John Duval Wines. Having said that, my practise as a lawyer still centered around the wine, agribusiness and hospitality industries, so I always had a connection with wine.

What grape variety or style excites you?

- I’m most excited about Grenache at the moment. The Barossa is undergoing a Grenache renaissance, with more serious attention being given to Grenache. And why wouldn’t we, having access to some of the oldest Grenache vines in the world.

What are your top three desert island wines?

- Start with Krug, throw in a 1973 Leo Buring Eden Valley Riesling and finish with some 1978 Conterno Monfortino Barolo.

What are your top 5 tips for people visiting the Barossa?

- Take your time to explore – don’t try and do too many wineries in one day

- check out historic Seppeltsfield, try your birth year tawny and eat at Fino.

- Take a walk in the Kaiserstuhl Conservation park

- Visit Hutton Vale Farm – great history, produce and people

- And, of course, spend a lazy afternoon tasting and grazing at Artisans of Barossa.

What was the first wine you drank?

- I was practically weaned on Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet..

What is your role at John Duval Wines and what does it entail?

- I work across a wide range of areas within John Duval Wines. During vintage I am out in the vineyards and in the winery with John. Following vintage, we are on the road or on a plane visiting key markets and connections. I also co-ordinate our labelling, bottling and packaging along with other commercial activities.

The great Bakery question – Apex or Linke’s?

- Apex – I’m a Tanunda boy through and through.

Time Posted: 09/12/2016 at 2:46 PM
Sal Johnson
 
5 December 2016 | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - John Duval

Winemaker of the month - John Duval of John Duval Wines

With over 40 vintages under his belt here in the Barossa and winemaking across three continents, what JD doesn't know about making wine - and in particular Shiraz, isn't worth knowing. After a career defining stint as chief Winemaker at Penfolds, John stepped out on his own in 2003 and developed his own label, finally geting his name on the label! I recently caught up with John for a vintage update in one of his top Eden Valley Shiraz vineyards and squeezed in the following 10 questions.

What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted?

 - 1966 Penfolds Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Coonawarra Shiraz – tasted while studying at Roseworthy and influenced me to want to work for Penfolds

- 1948 Penfolds Kalimna Cabernet – a bottle that was given to me while I was at Penfolds and the oldest Penfolds table red wine that I have tasted and a wine that Penfolds didn’t even have a bottle of in their own museum.

- Seppelt Para 1878 Tawny (First vintage of 100 year old Para) remarkable in its concentration and complexity – Barossa at it’s best, unique and world class.

What is the oldest vineyard that you make wine from?

 - 1858 Grenache in the Stonegarden Vineyard in Eden Valley

What is your favourite part of vintage?

- Watching the transformation of fruit during fermentation from some of our best vineyards into wine.

What do you love about your job and why?

- It’s different every day, no two days are the same and it involves a mix of the art and science of wine, it’s a great opportunity to experience great food and cities around the world.

What grape variety or style excites you?

- Shiraz – I am lucky enough to make wines from Shiraz across three continents!

What are your top five tips for people visiting the Barossa?

- try hot air balloon, it gives you that other perspective of the Barossa

- enjoy some Apex bakery pasties, the unique wood fired oven’s pasties are to die for;

- visit in spring time; the new season; the green of the new vineyard growth, excellent weather, pretty Barossa – at it’s best

- Stay in the Barossa for at least a night, there is much more to do and see than just a day trip

- Visit the Barossa Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning from 7.30am

What was the first wine you drank?

-My grandfather worked for Reynella Wine, so I can remember as a young child being poured a little glass of port and lemonade – quite the treat.

What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you?

 - The first wine I made (employed as a winemaker) was in 1974 which was my first vintage at Penfolds. It was a wet, difficult year that reinforced the basics of winemaking.

What is it that makes the Barossa home for you?

- It’s the place that I bought up my family. It’s an easy comfortable way of life, full of good food, wine and people.

How many vintages have you completed?

43 Barossa Vintages, with 14 vintages in the US as part of the joint venture with Longshadows in Washington and 13 in Chile with Vina Ventisquera (can I claim 70?)

Time Posted: 05/12/2016 at 1:30 PM
Sal Johnson
 
30 November 2016 | Sal Johnson

It's a tough job!

The last few weeks the Artisans of Barossa and Harvest Kitchen crews have been out and about visiting some pretty special single site vineyards.

First of the rank was the Angaston foothills vineyard that Jaysen Collins from Massena uses for his JC's Own Originale Grenache. The vineyard is a stunning 150 year old, dry grown & bush vine gem that is nestled into the foothills just out of Angaston - a pretty special spot indeed.

Then it was off into the Eden Valley with John Duval to visit the vineyard that is home to some stunning Shiraz that goes into JD's Entity and Eligo. A quick tasting through the John Duval lineup including a sneak peek at the yet to be released 15 Annexus Grenache.

 

After that the team headed over to the settlement of Bethany, the original settlement of the German population here in the Barossa and home to the Schwarz family. The Thiele Road Grenache block is one of those hidden gems, Jason Schwarz has been making his old vine and dry grown Grenache of the same name for the last 12 years from this same plot.

 

Time Posted: 30/11/2016 at 2:47 PM
Sal Johnson
 
14 November 2016 | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - Jaysen Collins from Massena

Winemaker of the Month - Jaysen Collins from Massena

A quick chat with Jayse over a glass of Saperavi and a plate of Ribs and I am all caught up on the happenings at Massena including some exciting new releases. This year has seen Jayse take a quick trip to the States for vintage with Forlorn Hope winery and two new products come into the line-up under the JC's Own label. For years Jayse has been setting aside small parcels of fruit and playing around with winemaking techniques to enure that the Massena wines are constantly evolving. Some stellar Grenache from 2015 that was just too good to blend away is the first (of many to come) wine to be released. Adding another string to his bow this year Jaysen has produced a Wermut (aka Vermouth), using Marsanne as the base and then infused with wormwood, juniper, rosehips, lemon peel and a raft of other delicious botanicals, its a beatifully crafted gem.

What is the oldest vineyard that you make wine from? - 150 year old bush vine Grenache in the Barossa foothills near Angaston that goes into my JC’s Own Originale.

What is your favourite part of vintage? - Looking at each vineyard and batch that comes in and deciding on the spot what to do with it.

What was your very first job? - Disbudding roses at a local glasshouse that is long gone.

What would you do if you weren’t in the wine industry? - I’d have a well paying, secure job in finance somewhere, probably more financial success but maybe not so happy.

What do you love about your job and why?- Everyday is different and you get exposed to the whole spectrum of the trials and tribulations of small business, but mostly it is that I can wear casual clothes every day.

What are your top five tips for people visiting the Barossa? 

- Have a bacon challenge – Schulz’s vs Linke’s and see who wins.

- Visit Artisans, grab a glass of Massena Surly Muse Viognier Marsanne and a serve of Harvest Kitchen’s fried chicken.

- Eat at Vintners Bar and Grill in Angaston, a truly iconic regional restaurant.

- Play a round of golf at Tanunda Pines

- Go for a walk in the Kaiser Stuhl National Park

What was the first wine you drank?- Mateus Rose with my folks as a well under age drinker

What (and when) was the first wine you made and what did it teach you? - I started making wine in 2000 from a vineyard that promised a lot but delivered very little. I quickly taught me the importance of the vineyard in making good wine.

What are your top three desert island wines

- Domaine Tempier Rose

- Forlorn Hope Ribolla Gialla

- Etna Erse Bianco

How many vintages have you completed? - 20 - Every Southern hemisphere vintage since 1999 plus 2 northern hemisphere vintages at Forlorn Hope in Califonia

Time Posted: 14/11/2016 at 9:44 AM
Sal Johnson
 
28 October 2016 | Sal Johnson

Spring is here.

A quick trip up to High Eden yesterday with Pete Schell from Spinifex and a wander through the Spinifex Riesling & Shiraz block left me in no doubt that Spring is actually on the way. Tiny little buds have appeared on the vines and flowering will be just around the corner. The High Eden vineyard is home to the Riesling that Pete and Magali source for the Spinifex Riesling, a wine that shows it's Eden Valley origins but also speaks to Pete's European winemaking experience.

Time Posted: 28/10/2016 at 4:29 PM
Sal Johnson
 
10 October 2016 | Sal Johnson

Winemaker of the Month - Schwarz Wine Co

 

Winemaker of the Month - Jason Schwarz from Schwarz Wine Co.
The Schwarz family has been farming in the Barossa for the last five generations and have a long connection to the land. Both Jason's Father and Grandfather were state Pruning Champions and despite growing and pruning grapes for generations, Jason is the first in his family to make wine. Jason sources fruit from family owned vineyards around the Bethany sub-region of the Barossa Valley as well as Stonewall, Stockwell, Light Pass, Eden Valley and Vine Vale. The wines are a true expression of place.

I recently caught up for a chat with Jas in the Nitschke Block vineyard (above) and he was telling me about how the family have a long connection to the Bethany region, sure enough just up the road in the Bethany Pioneer Cemetery are the headstones of the first Schwarzs to arrive in the Barossa. Now that’s local.

10 questions with Jason Schwarz.

What are the three most memorable wines you have tasted? - An old mid 80’s Peter Lehmann Stonewall Shiraz, Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz and the wine I drank last night.

What is the oldest vineyard you source fruit from? - The 1881 Schiller vineyard at Hallett’s Valley, planted by Carl August Otto Schiller 130 years ago and still in the Schiller family to this day.

What was your very first job? - Cutting Apricots for drying on the family orchard at Bethany.

What do you love about your job and why? - Creating a unique product from grapes grown by family and friends that you then get to see people enjoy.

What grape variety or style excites you? - Funky Grenache – in particular Old Vine Grenache like the fruit we source from the Thiele Road vineyard in Bethany.

What are your top 5 tips for people visiting the Barossa?

Stay longer – there is plenty to see and do in the Barossa.                                                                                        

Listen to the local’s recommendations – especially when it comes to which wineries to visit.                                                

Drink a bottle of wine at windy point – grab a bottle and head up Rifle Range Rd at Krondorf and watch the sunset.      

Hire a driver – that way everyone gets to enjoy the experience.                                                                                        

Visit the unknown – head off the beaten track and visit the lesser known wineries, who knows you might find a new  favourite.

What was the first wine you drank? - Riesling and lemonade with my dad at the Leo Buring weighbridge when delivering grapes during vintage in the 70’s.

What and when was the first wine you made and what did it teach you? - Four Flags Grenache in 1997 with mates from university and it taught me that it’s hard to make good wine.

What is your favourite part of vintage? - Getting dirty and the beer at 4am is pretty alright too.

How many countries have you made wine in? - Three - Australia, South Africa and Germany.

Time Posted: 10/10/2016 at 2:45 PM
Sal Johnson
 
16 September 2016 | Sal Johnson

For the Love of Grenache

 

There’s history in Grenache.  A history that goes back to the 1850’s here in the Barossa.  Normally that’d be reason enough to join International Grenache Day but here in the Barossa and at Artisans of Barossa we’ve got more.

Our Artisans love the variety, and are dedicated to ensuring the story of this much loved variety continues to grow.  From delicate rosés to lightly extracted examples right through to something you can cuddle to up to after a meal there is no doubting the diversity this grape variety offers. With winemaking references that span the globe this is one of the most interesting varieties that creates such diverse styles.

We’ve put together a unique line up to celebrate International Grenache Day on Friday the 16th in the Artisan’s Lounge.

It’s a great opportunity to taste current releases, an old one, and even a sneaky pair of pre-releases. 

 

Time Posted: 16/09/2016 at 11:30 AM