I came to the Adelaide Hills in my teenage years after moving from a small town in south western New South Wales that was in the middle of a ten year drought. I instantly fell in love with the green rolling hills and the fact that there was always enough rain! After high school I started studying Oenology at the University of Adelaide and always considered the Adelaide Hills as the area I wanted to start producing my own wine from.
Working for several small wineries while studying at university, I saw that the Adelaide Hills was different to South Australia’s more established warmer wine regions. As I continued to study and travel to work vintages abroad, I kept coming back to the Adelaide Hills and felt that it had real potential for producing premium and exciting cool climate wines.
The Adelaide Hills has a variety of different soils and climates amongst its sub-regions. I feel this is why the region has the potential for producing a huge variation of high quality wine styles and varieties. It is this variation of site and climate that really excites me as a winemaker as these can affect the characters of a wine. I source grapes according to the geography and climate of a sub-region basing this upon the type of wine I wish to create. My philosophy is to make wine that allows site of the vineyard to influence the characters within the wine.
The Adelaide Hills has the potential to produce many high quality varieties of wine. It is well known for its white wines, namely the aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and mineral complex Chardonnay varieties. The cooler and wet western edge of the hills is well suited to the production of delicate varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The warmer easterly edges have the potential to produce Shiraz with elegant peppery characters through to the fuller bodied, more traditional masculine stonker red. There are some sub-regions that are also suited to producing alternative varieties such as Nebbiolo, Blaufrankisch, Saperavi, Arneis and Fiano, which I believe will only become more popular as drinkers look to trying new styles. It’s very difficult to make good wine from low quality grapes hence I am passionate about sourcing the best quality fruit I can from the region to produce what I believe is some of the best wine from the Adelaide Hills.
With this young region, there comes a new generation of winemakers, wineries and a huge amount of energy and passion. The Adelaide Hills is steadily developing its identity with the established wineries as well as an exciting new wave of natural and small batch movements. There is a community of collaboration and innovation which makes this a very cool place to start my career in the industry.
I look forward to continuing to produce modern and elegant wine from the Adelaide Hills and hope you can enjoy each vintage knowing they will be quality assured and uniquely individual, allowing the variety and site of the vineyard to speak for themselves. Most of all I hope you can enjoy them with good company and good times, after all, life is too short not to!