Those who remember us as “Bantry Grove” will recall that very occasionally I would put pen to the paper and write a little about what we are trying to achieve here and give you an insight into how we do it. Insights will be the subject of this blog, with the intention of keeping it relevant, interesting, timely and, most importantly, from a diverse spread of staff, customer and experts.
Well, to mark the change of winemaker for the 2013 vintage, we have re-branded and for nearly a year our portfolio of wines has seen a reasonably rapid changeover to our new label and brand. The response has been great and much appreciated.
I have had one negative response, and that was from one very dear loyal friend who has spent many a night arguing with me while leaning against our old fireplace at BANTRY GROVE. See the name lives on and it is the place where all our grapes are grown, nurtured and packed into small individual trays for transport to Borenore near Orange where Will Rikard-Bell, our winemaker, takes over.
Will is part of the new breed of young winemakers who love getting their hands dirty while they slowly coax their babies towards full flavour and enough maturity to put into bottle. Wild ferments in oak, oak maturation, plenty of lees stirring, and, most importantly, individual care and attention to every barrel/batch with minimal intervention through use of additives.
This takes time. In fact, it normally takes two years from bud burst to bottle, hence the name Slow Wine Co. When Australia competes at the highest levels with the best winemakers in the world using modern scientific wine making processes, why do it another way? Well, we see no future competing at that level and, along with others, we are interested to see how far old world techniques can take us in developing wines with character that fully express what our very old volcanic soils have to offer.
Under Will’s care and attention our terroir is starting to emerge. Will and I are absorbing the knowledge that flows from observing many small batches. Viticulture and winemaking are increasingly aligned. We have now completed four vintages and a gradual improvement is being seen every year. We are half way through selling the first vintage and will be releasing the second early in 2017. It is now well and truly time we talk to you, our friends and supporters, and absorb your thoughts and insights.
We will be sending out our first newsletter in the first week of September, please look out for it. I hope that you can find an offer that attracts you so that you can get as much pleasure as I do when sharing a slow glass or two with friends and family at the end of a busy week. I look forward to your feedback.