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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.

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