Welcome to the Artisans of Barossa blog where we will highlight news and events from around the Barossa.
Visiting Barossa over the Summer Break? We'd love to see you at Artisans of Barossa and Vino Lokal.
Artisans of Barossa
Tasting Room & Cellar Door
Open Dec1 - Jan 31: 11am to 6pm
Closed Christmas Day December 25
Wine Tastings are available between 11am and 6pm.
For groups of 8 or more or for special requests, please contact us at 08 8563 3935 or email@example.com
For dining bookings with Harvest Kitchen please contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
corner Light Pass Road & Magnolia Road, Tanunda
08 8563 3935
Barossa Wine Room & Bar
Opens January 4
Wine Room & Bar:
64 Murray Street, Tanunda
08 8563 3935
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.
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.
Get yourself to Artisans.
Every Friday from 4.30pm ‘til sundown.
Great a seat with the best views in town.
Drink wine from big glasses.
Graze on bites from the sunset menu.
Set your gaze to the west.
Across the rolling vineyard landscape.
Bathe in the glow of the setting sun.
EAT. DRINK. SUN. SET.
Wines by the glass from $10
Casual eats from $12
Bookings are appreciated, but not required.
Best seats in the house available on a first in, first served basis.
Wines by Hobbs of Barossa Ranges, Massena, Spinifex Wines, Sons of Eden, John Duval Wines and Schwarz Wine Company.
Food by Harvest Kitchen.
RSVP to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/218342892218045/
This year, John Duval Wines are celebrating the 15th anniversary of their foundation vintage, and have added a sixth wine to their range. Plexus was first in 2003, followed by Entity (’04) and Eligo (’05) in quick succession before a short hiatus leading to the release of Plexus White (’10) and Annexus Grenache(’13).) 2018 sees the release of the first vintage of Annexus Mataro from the stellar 2016 vintage, and this is what John had to say about the new wine.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Mataro, it’s a critical element of Plexus and a grape variety that deserves to be celebrated by Barossa winemakers. We’ve sourced fruit from this dry grown 100 year old vineyard at Light Pass for all the years we’ve produced Plexus - and with 2016 being such a great vintage the time was right to release a small quantity of Mataro under the Annexus label. We’re very happy with the first release wine - it shows plenty of classic savoury spiced fruit on the nose and powerful, yet restrained black fruit flavours on the palate, supported by ample, long flowing waves of tannin. It sits very comfortable amongst our small family of wines. Will we make an Annexus Mataro every year? I think the answer to that is entirely dependent on the qualities of future vintages.”
Also this weekend, the new vintage of Eligo will be available for tasting - the 2015 vintage. John’s aim with Eligo is to produce a structured but elegant expression of Barossa Shiraz - a wine with restrained power, rich texture and palate length in the classic John Duval Wines mould. From a master winemaker with access to exceptional and rare Barossa vineyards, the release of the 2015 Eligo will be one of the highlights of 2018 at Artisans.
John will be our Winemaker in the House this weekend at Artisans, from 12-4pm both Saturday and Sunday presenting these brilliant new release wines along with the rest of the family of wines that has been carefully framed over the past 15 years. Not to be missed!
Congratulations to Sons of Eden whose 2015 Remus Eden Valley Shiraz has just been awarded Best Shiraz at the 2018 Winewise Championship.
The Winewise Championship is open to gold medal-winning wines from regional and the National Wine Show. It is judged by winemakers, media commentators, retail trade people and Winewise to decide the “best of the best”.
Buy wine: /product/Sons-of-Eden-Remus-Shiraz-2015
Are you looking for some inspiration to get you through the last week of summer holidays? Whether it's cooling down, burning off some energy, or treating the little ones with an ice cream sundae while the grown-ups enjoy a treat of their own ( you know we're talking about wine!) - the Bethany to Angaston Trail has something to keep everyone happy.
The Bethany Reserve is a great spot to spend a few hours. Well equipped with a shelter, bbqs, toilets and picnic tables, you can enjoy a picnic lunch and let the kids burn off some energy. There’s a playground and plenty of room to kick a ball, or the more adventurous could explore the creek area (keep an eye out for wildlife).
Local’s Tip - Our picnic would include some local specialties from Steiny’s Traditional Mettwurst (F6) and the Barossa Cheese Company (F1), and perhaps a bottle of multi-award winning Grenache from nearby Bethany Wines (W3).
Bethany Road, Bethany.
image by The Barossa Council
Barossa Sculpture Park at Mengler Hill
Enjoy expansive views of the Barossa Valley from the Mengler Hill lookout while discovering sculptures that reflect the spirit, environment and ambience of the Barossa region. Get the kids to explain their thoughts on the art – or just enjoy walking through the local marble and granite pieces.
Mengler Hill Road, Tanunda
Image by Art Music Design Barossa
Barossa Farmers Market
The Barossa Farmers Market is a ‘must-do’ if you are visiting the region on a Saturday. Stallholders have an amazing array of fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs, meats, smallgoods, baked goods, fresh milk, honey, olive oil, muesli and confectionery (with many available for tasting).
Local’s Tip – have breakfast at the market. Options include a special kid’s breakfast, pancakes and the legendary Market Burger.
Saturday 7.30am – 11.30am
Corner Stockwell Road & Nuriootpa Road, Angaston
Phone 0402 026 882
Map Location: F2
Image by the Barossa Farmers Market
Water Park – Barossa Valley Discovery Park
The recently opened Waterpark is a fantastic place for the whole family to cool down. The Waterpark includes 3 slides, a huge tipping bucket, water cannons, spray zones and a new resort-style pool.
Local’s Tip – call ahead to check availability as priority is given to guests staying at the park.
Barossa Valley Discovery Park
Barossa Valley Way, Tanunda
Phone (08) 8563 2784
Map Location: A2
Image by Discovery Parks
Artisans of Barossa / Harvest Kitchen
Views, vines, wines, cricket and ice cream – Artisans of Barossa and Harvest Kitchen have something to keep all ages entertained! Wine tastings from 6 artisan winemakers, all-day dining at Harvest Kitchen (including several vegetarian and gluten free options), vineyard views, beanbags, a large grassy area just perfect for an impromptu game of cricket and did we mention the ice cream sundaes...
Artisans of Barossa / Harvest Kitchen
Open 7 days 11am – 6pm
Corner Magnolia Road & Light Pass Road, Tanunda
Phone 08 8563 3935
Map Location: W1
Download your copy of the Bethany to Angaston Trail Map here - https://bethanyangastontrail.com/the-map/
Plan your Barossa visit at www.barossa.com
Learn about Barossa Wine at www.barossawine.com
I hate to say I told you so but … well, I told you so.
In my first column for this newspaper a year ago I hailed grenache as a grape variety on the rise in Australia. And look what a huge year 2017 turned out to be for this once-maligned red wine.
At the Barossa Wine Show in September, the 2016 Bethany Old Vine Grenache won three trophies, including the gong for best wine of show. And in October the 2016 Turkey Flat Grenache, from a vineyard just up the road from Bethany, won the famous Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy. It's the first time a wine made from grenache has won the Jimmy, and from what I can gather it's also the first time the grape has achieved such prominence in the Barossa show.
It came as no surprise, then, to learn that during the 2017 vintage the Artisans of Barossa group decided to play a little game with some grenache grapes to explore the role of winemaking in the expression of terroir.
The Artisans are six wine producers – John Duval Wines (John and his son Tim), Sons of Eden (Corey Ryan and Simon Cowham), Massena (Jaysen Collins), Schwarz Wine Co (Jason Schwarz), Spinifex (Pete Schell), and Hobbs of Barossa Ranges (Greg and Allison Hobbs) – who share a beautiful cellar-door tasting room near Tanunda in the heart of the Barossa.
In late March, they each picked a parcel of grenache grapes from the 46-year-old Quarry Hill vineyard near Angaston and took the fruit back to their respective wineries. A fascinating project: same vineyard, same fruit, harvested at the same ripeness, but six different approaches to winemaking. How would they turn out? Would vineyard character – terroir – triumph? Or would the fermentation techniques stomp all over the flavour of the grapes and produce six wines that reflected maker more than provenance?
It's not the first time something like this has been done. In 2008, 2010 and again in 2015, for example, a group of six grape-treaders (including Pete Schell from Spinifex) ran a similar exercise with shiraz grapes from the Chalk Hill vineyard, with the wines sold in a six-pack under the Alpha Crucis label.
The Grenache Project six-pack was released just before Christmas. The Artisans kindly sent me the wines to taste, which I did, blind, over a number of days. And I can tell you that right now, 10 months after vintage, the winemaking influence is far more obvious than the vineyard-derived characters that all six wines should, theoretically, share (they were made from the same fruit, remember).
This fits with my experience of other wines made from the same site by a number of producers. In their youth, the differences can be stark, thanks to factors such as how much (if any) whole bunch fruit went into the fermenter, how long the wine spent on skins after ferment, what kind of oak it was aged in and so on.
But as wines age, the winemaking influence recedes a little (it never disappears) and the underlying terroir and vintage conditions emerge. In the case of the Grenache Project wines, despite their differences, all of them do have a savoury, sinewy edge – albeit subtle – and I'd expect this to build over time.
The only way to find out, of course, is to buy a couple of six-packs – one to try now (chuck some garlicky lamb on the grill and invite some wine-geek friends over to share the bottles with you) and one to try in five years' time.
Grenache six ways
2017 Grenache Project Schwarz [Barossa Valley]
Jason Schwarz's 100 per cent whole-bunch fermented grenache, bottled early straight from tank, is the lightest and most immediately quaffable of the six wines. With its perfumed red cherry fruit and squishy tannins it tastes almost more pinot-like – no, gamay-like – than grenache-like.
2017 Grenache Project Ryan/Cowham [Barossa Valley]
Corey Ryan and Simon Cowham chose to make their grenache using very different techniques to those they employ for their Sons of Eden wines: 100 per cent whole bunch, fermentation in an egg-shapped vessel, and two months' maceration on skins. This explains the wine's savoury, sappy, slightly minty characters and persistent powdery tannins.
2017 Grenache Project Collins [Barossa Valley]
Another 100 per cent whole-bunch wine, left for a month to ferment in a closed tank, where it underwent carbonic maceration before pressing. At first taste this was the earthiest and funkiest of the six wines (in keeping with the Massena style) but exposure to air revealed some lovely, crunchy, bright purple fruit flavours.
2017 Grenache Project Schell [Barossa Valley]
Pete Schell's use of 50 per cent whole bunch, carbonic maceration and ageing in large old oak all contribute to this exceptionally vibrant expression of grenache – intensely aromatic (sarsaparilla, Campari, rose petals, vermouth herbs), wonderfully lively and juicy in the mouth. My pick of the six right now. Will be fascinating to see how it ages.
2017 Grenache Project Duval [Barossa Valley]
As you'd expect perhaps from ex-Penfolds chief winemaker John Duval, this expression of the Quarry Hill grenache is well balanced, approachable and generous. Just a little whole bunch in the ferment and gentle pressing have resulted in a wine with lovely supple dark fruit and flowing tannins draped across the tongue.
2017 Grenache Project Hobbs [Barossa Valley]
Greg and Allison Hobbs chose to turn the volume up to 11 on their grenache parcel by drying the grapes on racks for five days before crushing and fermenting them. The result is a quite different style of wine to the others: dark, dense, glossy blueberry and black cherry fruit, round, slick dark chocolate tannins.
The 2017 Grenache Project six pack – one of each wine in each pack – is available for $250 plus $10 delivery. artisansofbarossa.com.
Article by Max Allen
Appeared in the Australian Financial Review, 12 January 2018