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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.


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