Welcome to the Artisans of Barossa blog where we bring you news and events from Artisans of Barossa, Vino Lokal and the Barossa region.
Just four months ago we decided to open a ‘place’ in the main street of Tanunda.
We hadn’t planned on opening a wine room and wine bar.
And the building was still under construction.
And we didn’t have a name.
But the will to do it, the idea of what it could be and how it would work crystallised in an instant, and we’ve charged on at a relentless pace ever since to meet our opening night deadline of January 4, 2019.
The name Vino Lokal seemed logical. Vino means ‘wine’ where ever you go, and this is a wine place. The Spanish origins of the word tied in neatly with the origins of ‘Barossa’, and ‘Lokal’ is a German word for ‘local’. Bring them together, and you have a gentle nod to the heritage of the region, and a clear message that this place will be all about Barossa wine… hence ‘Barossa Wine Room & Bar.’
So what can you expect from a Barossa Wine Room & Bar?
The Wine Room is our re-imaging of a winery tasting bar. A shift from just wine, to wine and food, it’s about sitting down and slowing down.
The Wine Room will operate every day from 11-5 and offer over 50 Barossa wines on tasting from our Artisan winemakers – John Duval Wines, Spinifex, Schwarz Wine Company, Hobbs of Barossa Ranges and Sons of Eden. Wines will be available in flights of four/ six/ or eight tasting pours and will be accompanied by 4 bite sized selections from our wine bar menu.
The Wine Bar will open from 11am - 8pm Monday to Thursday, 11am – 10pm on Friday and Saturday and from 11am – 6pm on Sunday. Matching our Wine Room program, we’ll offer a similarly extravagant selection of ‘lokal’ wines by the glass, carafe and by the bottle. Grower Champagne by the glass will also be in the mix, as will a few featured imports from familiar places and friends around the world. The Wine Bar will offer a menu of 10-12 small plate designed by our Chef Ryan Edwards to match perfectly with a glass of wine.
As for beer? Yes, we’ll have one. Gin and tonics? Maybe not. Possibly. Probably. Not sure. That’s a work in progress. Can you book a tasting in the Wine Room? Of course – drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll lock it in. Can I book a seat or table in the Wine Bar? Unfortunately, because we’re a Wine Bar and not a restaurant, that won’t be an option. But by all means, give us a call on 8563 3935 before you head out the door and we’ll let you know the lay of the land.
Cheers from the team from Vino Lokal & Artisans of Barossa
The Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project is an exciting initiative that brings together each vintage six Barossa winemakers and a single Grenache vineyard in a brilliant showcase of individual expression in the art of small batch winemaking. The 2017 vintage sold out in six weeks.
The 2018 Grenache Project features six individual wines produced from the same Barossa Valley Grenache Vineyard. The wines are made by Peter Schell of Spinifex, John and Tim Duval of John Duval Wines, Jason Schwarz of Schwarz Wine Company, Greg and Allison Hobbs of Hobbs of Barossa, Jason Collins of Massena, and Simon Cowham and Corey Ryan of Sons of Eden.
Each winemaker was allocated a single row of 60 year old bush vine Grenache in the Kylie’s Garden Vineyard at Stockwell in the northern Barossa, and presented with a simple brief – make a Grenache you’d like to drink. The results are outstanding and a superb reflection of the 2018 vintage which is considered to be a standout year for Barossa red wine. And whilst through each wine you can taste the consistent thread of the vineyard, each stands alone as an expression of six individual approaches to making Barossa Grenache.
The Grenache Project is an experiment designed to explore the influence of winemaking on the terroir of a single vineyard. The first vintage release in 2017 received acclaim from Australia’s most respected wine commentators.
“Grenache is the grape of the moment, at least in the warmer regions of South Australia… The Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project is in many ways the culmination of this obsession. The wines sold out long ago, but the six winemakers who share the Artisans of Barossa cellar door released six 2017 grenaches which demonstrate just how strongly the winemaker’s thumbprint can trump terroir, at least while wine is very young… Each treatment yielded a wine that is different from every other wine. All are interesting, several sublime.”
Huon Hooke, TheRealReview.com, April 2018
“There are all manner of groups and initiatives that have proposed a collective yet individual approach to a winemaking schemata, but by my reckoning none so far where a single vineyard of grenache has been explored through the lens of six, diverse winemakers.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, January 2018
“Artisans of Barossa are a bunch of like-minded souls from six wineries who share a goal to “promote small batch, sub-regional winemaking. They collaborated last year on Grenache Project 2017 – an experiment designed to explore the role of terroir. And let me tell you, they made six glorious Grenache.
James Halliday, Weekend Australian Magazine
Each pack contains a single bottle of each plus an exclusive storybook detailing the story behind the Project and each wine.
Price is $250 per pack plus $10 delivery.
On December 31 we close the door on our time in Vine Vale, and just days later open the doors to Vino Lokal, our new wine room and bar in central Tanunda. In April 2019 we begin construction on the new home of Artisans of Barossa which will be located at Kroemer’s Crossing at the top end of Tanunda. That will open in early 2020, and Vino Lokal and Artisans of Barossa will then operate in tandem offering two fantastic, but very different ways of enjoying Barossa wine and food.
The seven years we’ve called Vine Vale home have been quite a ride. What started as a simple idea for a group of small Barossa winemakers to share a cellar door mushroomed into something much, much more. The team at Harvest Kitchen have played a pivotal role in that story, and we wish them well as they stay on in a new partnership with Calabria Family Wines who take up residence from January 1. Make sure you head up the hill and say hi to Bill, Michael and Andrew Calabria. This a great family and we welcome them warmly to the Barossa wine and food community.
The first set of new doors to open for Artisans will be at 64 Murray Street Tanunda, in a building once known as Roger’s Shoe Store and then for a time as Nosh. Construction and fit out will be completed in the next six weeks, and we’ll tear down the brown paper to reveal ‘Vino Lokal Barossa Wine Room & Bar’.
Vino Lokal will be a melting pot of ideas, opportunities and possibilities. A distillation of our collective experiences, of much time spent in some great (and occasionally not so great) wine bars and wine places around the world. Time spent thinking how, and wishing that, we could bring all of the good bits together in a place we called our own, right here in our Barossa backyard. A place where you can taste and drink and buy across the spectrum of Barossa winemaking, with wines from a few overseas friends thrown in to the mix as well. Somewhere to snack and graze from a compact wine bar style menu of tasty food, with its soul and its foundations in the lands of the farmers and the hands and minds of the artisans food-makers of our fair valley. A place to meet up with friends, and a place to take guests to and show them what Barossa does best. Even a place for a quiet moment of solitude and a sneaky glass of Eden Valley Riesling before you head home to face reality.
We hope Vino Lokal will be all of that.
The doors at Vino Lokal will be open 11am to 8pm Monday to Thursday, and 11am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is an 11am to 6pm affair. During the day we'll offer a completely re-vamped cellar door style tasting program featuring our Artisans of Barossa wineries in the front room. Think of sitting on luxurious, art deco inspired, velvet bar stools along a white marble topped bar, or sinking deeply into tub chairs. Think of pondering, and then creating tasting flights that can lead you astray, in a Barossa wine kind of astray. In the back room, drop in for a glass of wine and a light bite to eat anytime. Take a seat at the window, or somewhere along the 20 seater communal table. Come 5pm, the front room converts from wine room to wine bar, and we'll offer over 50 great Barossa wines by the glass and plenty more by the bottle. Yes, we aim to proudly overwhelm you with choice.
Alongside everything we do in wine, throughout the day and into the night we’ll have delicious bites on offer prepared by Ryan Edwards. We welcome the former Executive Chef at the one hatted Appellation at The Louise as our ‘food artisan’ and trust he is slowly coming to terms with the fact he will soon have two places to look after!
We’re on track for a January 4 2019 opening. The construction team from BGI have worked nothing short of miracles - Michael Hannay, you need to be cloned! Thanks also to Andrew from Homburg, and our landlords Robert and Pam for being so responsive and positive to our idea for Vino Lokal. Thanks too to Jenny & Steve from Decor Made Easy who have been a tour de force - just wait until you see the interior design they’ve come up with.
As you can see, there’s a strong ‘lokal’ flavour to this endeavour, from the wines to the food and to the people who helped bring it all together at breakneck speed. We can’t wait to welcome you through the doors at Vino Lokal when we open on January 4, and for it to become a place full of happy and contented lokals.
Howard and the team at Artisans of Barossa
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Congratulations to John Duval Wines whose 'Plexus' Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre has been awarded in the recently released Langton's Classification VII.
Plexus SGM is one of only 12 Barossan wines selected in the Excellent category which is for "Australian wines of consistent merit. Steadfast, popular and expressive".
The Barossa Grape & Wine Assocation (Barossa Wine) says "The Langton’s Classification, now in its 30th year, bases eligibility on how well a wine performs on the open auction market; the volume of demand it attracts and the prices it realises. Revised every five years, Langton’s comments “ultimately, the reputation of a wine is based on its auction pedigree, the record it builds up, over time.” The success of Barossa’s wines in the Classification underlines the exceptional quality of both the region’s viticulture and winemaking."
Barossa continues its reign as the highest represented region" representing 28% of the Australia-wide list.
Purchase your John Duval Wines at our online wine store .
Langton's image courtesy Barossa Grape & Wine Association
We've been working on some new projects here at Artisans and we're very excited about our new collaborative winemaking project - Artisans Of Barossa Small Batch Wines.
The Artisans collaboration of John Duval Wines, Spinifex Wines, Schwarz Wine Company, Hobbs of Barossa Ranges, Massena and Sons of Eden gives unparalleled access to the cellars of some of the Barossa best small winemakers. Our winemakers are able to hand select individual barrels and small parcels of wine to craft these Small Batch wines.
The first wines in the Small Batch series are made by Sons of Eden Winemaker Corey Ryan. Winemaker and self-confessed wine tragic, Corey lives and breathes wine, having worked in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. Whilst equally comfortable crafting cool climate Pinot Noir as he is signature Barossa styles, it was Corey’s time as Winemaker for iconic Eden Valley producer Henschke that established an appetite for Barossa wines that is now his passion as co-proprietor of Sons of Eden.
The Small Batch wine series includes a Rosé, Graciano, Grenache and Shiraz. We have a limited amount of Small Batch reds available in a six pack (see below for details).
2016 Artisans of Barossa Small Batch Grenache.
The approach in the winery is very much around preserving and promoting varietal character, and ensuring the wine is an honest showing of its Vine Vale locale. There’s lifted fresh maraschino cherry with spicy cinnamon and clove aromas and the palate is loaded with delicious, juicy, fleshy & succulent Grenache flavours with terrific depth and richness
2016 Artisans of Barossa Small Batch Graciano.
Growers Simon and Kendy Cowham from Light Pass are producing outstanding quality fruit. This is an exciting wine for us given the rarity of this variety in Barossa. The wine features blueberry and lifted sour-cherry aromas, a richly concentrated and rounded mid-palate framed with focused acidity and freshness. We recommend enjoying this as a young wine when the fruits are bright and fresh.
2017 Artisans of Barossa Small Batch Shiraz.
A delicious, rich, flavoursome and beautifully balanced wine.
The pack features two bottles each of the Small Batch reds and can be delivered to you for $160.00 ($150 + discounted shipping of $10) saving you over $75. Inside the case, we'll include Corey's tasting notes on each of the wines
Be the first to find out about our new projects and special offers by become a Friend of Artisans. Sign up here.
Secure your Small Batch special offer at our online wine store.
We welcome some new releases from Schwarz Wine Company to the Tasting Room (and our online wine store) this week.
The Chenin Blanc is bright, fresh and laden with tropical aromatics. It is a wine to enjoy now, not deliberate over. Chill, pour and relax!
The Rosé is equally delicious and would be perfect to enjoy with an antipasto platter (or on its own 😉 ).
Both wines are now available for tasting at our Tasting Room (11am-6pm every day) or purchase through our online wine store.
Jaysen Collins from Massena is in the Artisans house this weekend. (And because winemakers are real people too, he’ll be a little late on Saturday as he heads back from Adelaide after watching the kids play soccer.) Catch him from 2-4pm Saturday, and 12-4pm Sunday.
A Massena tasting can be best described as an adventure – the wines once described by Lisa Perotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate as “…exciting departures from the status quo.” This weekend’s tasting will definitely have you venturing off the high street – the Eleventh Hour Barossa Shiraz surrounded by a bedazzling collection of diverse varietals including Saperavi and Primitivo, and red and white blends that reflect the eternal willingness of the Massena winemakers to take a path less travelled in the pursuit of making wines that are a sheer pleasure to drink. If you happen to make the journey to Artisans this weekend, you’ll also be treated to a sneak pre-release tasting of the first edition 2017 Massena ‘Stonegarden’ Grenache. Jaysen has smuggled a few bottles out of the winery ahead of the official release (which is on June 6 at Rockpool in Sydney) making it well worth a drive to the top end of Magnolia Road over the weekend.
Massena celebrates 20 years of winemaking next year, and I sense it’s a coming of age moment for founders Jaysen Collins and Dan Standish, along with their new collaborator - vigneron Glen Monaghan. Jaysen and Dan were young blokes in their early 20’s when they thought it might be ‘a bit of fun’ to partner up to make ‘a bit of wine’ – an opportunity to express some artistic licence free of the restraints of their respective day jobs at Turkey Flat and Torbreck. With the benefit of hindsight, those founding ideals of ‘a bit of fun’ and ‘a bit of wine’ now appear to be equally gross understatements. Plenty of wine has been made (albeit in small batches), and plenty of fun has been had… some would suggest fun on a scale previously unimaginable in the business of making wine.
2017 was a watershed year for Jaysen and Dan’s, bought about by the decision to head out in search of a peerless Barossa vineyard to produce a new range of top tier wines for Massena. They say fortune favours the brave, and an introduction to Glen Monaghan who’d only recently purchased the Stonegarden Vineyard in Eden Valley saw a partnership of two winemakers grow to include a vigneron. The platform for Massena ‘Stonegarden’ wines was in place and the first wines are now released. The 2017 Riesling was an impressive debut, as was the 2017 Fruit Salad Block White – a brilliant example of the power of collaboration between committed grape grower and innovative winemaker. Few would think to hang onto a vineyard block containing 20 something grape varieties – and I suspect only Massena would think to have a go at making a wine by blending the lot! The 2017 Stonegarden Grenache is next on the release schedule, followed by a 2017 GSM blend, then a second vintage of Riesling and a Shiraz and a Cabernet Sauvignon. And there is talk of a Mataro and a Malbec made in tiny quantities from fruit picked from individual vines found here and there amongst plantings of other varieties at Stonegarden. All exciting examples of extreme and rare Barossa provenance.
For 20 years, Massena has lived and celebrated the Artisan ideal of individual expression in Barossa winemaking. And whilst the Stonegarden wines might represent (dare I say it) a ‘maturing’ for Massena, the determination to keep making sure it’s fun has not diminished. To prove the point, Jaysen tells me they’re testing a new Shiraz-Tannat blend from the 2018 vintage – apparently it’s going to be called “Shitnat”.
If there were such a thing as 'Barossa Shiraz divining rods' then Pete Schell, proprietor at Spinifex Wines must own a set! This winemaker's ability to seek and find the patchwork of small vineyards that supplies an incredible array of superb expressions of this wine region's hero grape variety is certainly impressive. If not uncanny. Or possibly god-like if you really love your Barossa Shiraz. Either way, a tasting with Pete of his myriad of Spinifex Shiraz (at least 7 different ones at last count) is what we're offering this Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 up at Artisans. This is your chance to meet, talk and taste with a true Shiraz Sifu. (Or 'master' if your Cantonese is a bit rusty.)
Pete is clearly comfortable with the idea of embracing diversity. In contrast with some of the bigger wineries, his wines are driven by the landscape and his preference for expression of varietal and site typicity rather than the winemaker's influence. This is a winemaker who both understands the land, and respects the importance of building relationships with good growers. He rejoices in the differences. and that shows in the wines on tasting this weekend.
The 2015 La Maline is a fine and elegant example of Shiraz produced from mostly Eden Valley Vineyards. Just 60 dozen of the 2012 Old Vine Shiraz were produced, from a 110 year old vineyard at Nuriootpa. A great vintage and as good an example of Barossa Shiraz you're ever likely to taste. The 2016 Indegine introduces a good dollop of Mataro blended with old vine Shiraz from the Eden Valley and Moppa - it's a bold, tannic and structural expression of Shiraz, in contrast to the elegant La Maline...the sort of Shiraz you'd drink listening to ACDC at 80 decibels. The 2015 Bete Noir is fine - it's lean, it's structured, it's athletic - I think it to be cast in the image of Michaelangelo's David. And then there is the youngster produced from 20 year old vines grown at some of the higher points around Barossa - the 2017 Syrah is loaded with soft, plush and bright primary fruit. Barely a hint of oak, and so pure! Finally 2015 Miette - made with a singular mission in mind - to bring drinking pleasure to the table.
One winemaker, six diverse expressions of the art of making Barossa Shiraz on tasting (with the winemaker) this weekend at Artisans. Don't miss out!
Cheers from Howard at Artisans.
Browse/buy the Spinifex range here.
The Hobbs' were always guaranteed to arrive in the Artisans house a little later than the others. Their vineyard in the high country of Eden Valley is generally the last to be picked of all of our Artisans' vineyards, and it wasn't until the last week of April that the call was made to bring the last of the fruit into the winery. With the hard slog of vintage now behind them, Greg and Allison join us this weekend to present the latest releases of their imperious and delicious reds alongside a superb Viognier.
Anyone that knows Greg Hobbs can appreciate he's a man not to mince his words. Nor is he a chap prone to hyperbole. In short, Greg calls it as he sees it. When I asked him early this morning for his thoughts on the 2018 vintage, he was emphatic. "At this stage, it's as good as Allison and I have seen since we bought the vineyard back in 1995. Plenty of power, but balanced with refined, silky and beautifully elegant tannins. We had a near perfect run up here at the home block - the early February heat didn't affect the fruit, and from that point all the way through to the last pick, the conditions were nothing but absolutely perfect. We couldn't be any happier with the quality that we've been tasting in the vineyard."
On tasting this weekend will be the 2015 vintage Gregor Shiraz, alongside a first showing of the 2015 Tango Shiraz Viognier and the excellent 2017 Viognier. Apart from the opportunity to have a good yack with Greg and Allison and taste some exceptional wines, this weekend also provides you the chance to get to understand a little more about what makes the high Eden such a very special part of our Barossa wine world. We've also got a few tables available at Harvest Kitchen....a Hobbs red with the Hutton Vale lamb, or Viognier with the field mushrooms (or both) would turn your good weekend into a great weekend. Call ahead on 8563 3935 to make a booking.
Following a twelve-month search, Artisans of Barossa announced today plans to construct a new purpose-built home at a 56-acre vineyard property on the corner of Vine Vale and Menge Roads near Tanunda. The Barossa Council Assessment Panel approved the development application at their meeting last night, and construction will commence in April. Completion is expected by the end of this year and the doors to the new home will open in January 2019. In the interim, Artisans of Barossa will continue to operate from its Magnolia Road base at Vine Vale.
“Our aim is to make the new Artisans the keystone destination for any Barossa wine and food adventure – a place that enables people to make sense of Barossa in its entirety by bringing together every possible expression of Barossa wine along with stories, food and generous hospitality.” said Howard Duncan, Chief Operating Officer for Artisans.
“The best wine and food tourism destinations in the world share a number of key attributes, chief among them being a highly authentic expression of the produce of the region within which they operate. Throughout the process of designing our new home, we’ve challenged ourselves to create innovative and distinctive experiences around Barossa wine and food that encourage our guests to be more adventuresome and to discover more about this region’s brilliant produce - it’s culinary heritage, where it all comes from, how it’s made and the stories of the people who’ve made it. The new Artisans builds on our established position as the home of some of Barossa’s best small winemakers and, inspired by success stories from around the world, aims to set a new benchmark. Barossa is positioning itself as Australia’s global wine and food region, and Adelaide is known around the world as Australia’s ‘Wine Capital’. The new Artisans will play a leading role in supporting these twin endeavours that aim to draw increasing numbers of interstate and international culinary tourists to our State and region.”
With a new home comes the opportunity to set a new course, and from 2019 Artisans will deliver an integrated wine and food program through a single Artisans team of great Barossa wine and food people. Harvest Kitchen has chosen to remain at the current Magnolia Road location in a new partnership with Calabria Family Wines who purchased the site in 2016.
“Since early 2015, Artisans of Barossa has worked in tandem with Harvest Kitchen to become one of the most popular cellar door and restaurant destinations in Barossa. Peter, Tracy and Alex and their team have played a pivotal role, and we wish them continuing success working with Calabria Family Wines who have exciting plans for what we’ll always fondly remember as our first home.”
The new Artisans has been designed by local architects JBG, and Ahrens Construction and Engineering has been engaged as the builder.
“Through the construction stage and initial operations, the new Artisans home is expected to create more than 30 new full time equivalent jobs in addition to the team we currently employ. We’re all about offering our guests the best experience of Barossa they’ll find anywhere on the planet, and we’ll be bringing together a team that embraces our love of all things Barossa to deliver that. Recruitment should commence later this year.”
Artisans of Barossa is a group of like-minded producers with a common goal to protect and promote small batch, sub-regional winemaking. Our collaboration represents a shared way of thinking about winemaking and wine enjoying. The Artisans are Hobbs of Barossa Ranges, Schwarz Wine Company, Massena, John Duval Wines, Sons of Eden and Spinifex.
We look forward to welcoming you to the new Artisans of Barossa.