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Howard Duncan
 
4 January 2018 | What's Happening at Artisans | Howard Duncan

Introducing our Winemaker in the House program

At Artisans, we’re obsessed with promoting consideration for where each wine comes from, and encouraging your appreciation for how it’s made and who made it. All with the singular aim of helping you make sense of Barossa wine, helping you drink better wine, and assisting you to be more adventurous along your wine journey.

There is no wine experience more engaging and rewarding than meeting the people and shaking the hands that have produced what is swirling around in your glass. Our aim is to personally introduce the very best of them to you through our 'Winemaker in the House' program.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm, the people who revel and excel in making the Barossa wines we most love to drink will be dropping into the Artisans house. A mix of established names alongside some new and exciting talent. They’ll be there to talk about their wines - where they come from and how they’re made, and (with great pride) how supremely special each one is. They’ll have a selection of their current best on tasting, and perhaps the odd rare gem of an older wine or special release direct from the their cellars. A great opportunity to immerse yourself in their winemaking world and be consumed by their expression of Barossa wine.

Our first Winemakers in the House are Phil & Sarah Lehmann from Max & Me.
Max & Me

Max has a lot to answer for. A chance meeting of Sarah with Phil’s dog Max marked the start of their journey together. Sarah, a professional ballet dancer, and passionate dog lover, was performing at the Barossa Music Festival. She met Max at rehearsal whilst waiting for the rest of her production crew. Meeting Max led to meeting Phil. Max was always with either, or both of them; he was included in everything. Whether working in the vineyard or winery with Phil, or work or University with Sarah. He went to the wedding, and tagged along to Tasmania on their honeymoon. So what to call their wines made from their beautiful Eden Valley vineyard? ‘Max & Me’ of course!

Phil & Sarah’s home, Boongarrie Estate, is a 120 hectare property in Eden Valley, in the Barossa Ranges. The soils are thin and underlain with rose quartz and siltstone; the landscape is undulating, studded with ancient redgums and rocky outcrops. The elevation tempers the summer heat, and provides cool air flow during the nights, ideal for nuanced and mineral flavours in the wines. Their philosophy for managing the land is to look after the soils and use minimal chemical inputs; biodiversity in mid-row grass and weed populations is encouraged and pest and disease pressures are minimal. Sheep and cattle graze the vineyard grasses during winter, and European species of dung-beetles have been introduced to recycle the animal manure as fertiliser, improving the fertility, water retention and structure of the vineyard soils. The vineyard is planted half to Shiraz and half to Cabernet. The Eden Valley Riesling grapes are purchased from a grower they’ve had long association with, and for who they have great respect for his fruit quality and careful stewardship of his vines.

Phil’s ‘day jobs’ over the years making wine for Yalumba, Peter Lehmann Wines, Teusner and now for St John’s Road, Parker Estate, Vickery and Hesketh have kitted him out handsomely in the winemaker skills stakes to enable him to make the utmost of these outstanding vineyards.

Meet Phil & Sarah this Saturday and Sunday 6 & 7 January from 12 to 4pm.

Contact Artisans of Barossa on (08) 8563 3935, or tastingrooom@artisansofbarossa.com for more information, or to book a time to talk and taste wine with the people that made it.

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