We are properly stoked to have the work of Rolf Binder wines back in the house! This time it’s not just Rolf Binder wines but also the wines he makes for JJ Hahn and Magpie Estate. We did stock JJ Hahn about 10 years ago and since that first batch ran out we’ve had requests for us to get it in again pretty much every other week. Here’s a little more on the winemakers.
Character and passion are reflected in the range of wines produced by Rolf Binder and his sister Christa Deans. These siblings who grew up in a winery family make exceptional wines. Winemaking in the Binder family stems back to 1955 with the purchase by Rolf Heinrich Binder and his wife, Franziska of a business they renamed Veritas. The subsequent name change from Veritas to Rolf Binder occurred in 2005 to honour Rolf Snr.
Rolf focuses on red winemaking, receiving international accolades. He worked his first vintage in 1978 for his parents. His formal education
Mike Farmilo is a former maker of Penfolds Grange, St Henri and Bin 707 and twice winner of the Jimmy Watson Trophy. He has been making wine in McLaren Vale for over 30 years and is a legend of the industry...A truncated bio for Mike reads as follows:
- Completed winemaking at Roseworthy in 1977
- Seaview winemaker in the 80s
- Worked for Angoves in the late 70s - including winning a trophy with a Riverland Riesling in 81
- In the late 80s Mike became Group Red winemaker for Penfolds/Southcorp – responsible for all Penfolds red wines including Grange and St Henri, Lindeman’s wines, Seppelt’s, Wynns and Leo Buring
- During his tenure with Penfolds/Southcorp Mike won at least one trophy at every capital city wine show every year and twice won the coveted Jimmy Watson trophy
- In the midst of all this Mike has also completed vintages in
Despite family roots and vineyards in the Clare Valley Stuart has made his name as a top end winemaker in the Barossa. He's spent the last fifteen years squishing Barossa grapes and turning them into quality kit. His love for the region comes from it having "some of the oldest vines on the planet, the history of the area and its culture." We'd be loath to call him lazy but he attributes his success to doing as little as possible in the winery. Old fashioned techniques and equipment are employed with minimal new oak. Fruit is simply destemmed but not crushed. Much of his work is with the growers, making sure the fruit is as good as possible. In this sense he sees himself being as much a farmer as a winemaker. He loves the ancient building where he makes the wine and its living cultures. The indigenous yeasts and malo bugs perhaps reflective of their origins in Château Tanunda's brandy production back in the 1800s are uniquely hardy beasts. They can operate in conditions that would
Dandelion, Sister’s Run, Heirloom Vineyards, Cien y Pico
Elena originally hails from Lyaskovets, Bulgaria, a small town famous for its wine. She is a qualified winemaker, BSc (Oenology) Adelaide and has made wine for various Australian Wineries as well as being a consultant winemaker to a number of leading wine companies in Spain, Italy and Bulgaria.
Born to a MIG Fighter Pilot and Helicopter Mechanic (both of whom happened to be involved in the wine industry in Lyaskovets), Elena's interest in winemaking stemmed from time spent translating for Australian Winemakers Stephen Bennet, David Norman, Dylan Rhymer, Kym Milne MW and others, who worked at her mother's winery between '93 and '98.
With Stephen Bennet’s support and her family’s encouragement, Elena made the move to Australia and started studying winemaking at Adelaide University in 1998, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science (Oenology). (Elena’s mum was
The Lane Vineyard
Michael Schreurs' scientific brilliance and disciplined focus on the health and purity of the wines is the perfect foil for John Edwards’ unbridled wine making ambitions at The Lane Vineyard. Michael’s approach to winemaking, utilising his extensive experience as winemaker at Henschke's and Seppelt's Great Western is non-interventionist and minimalist, a case of less is more.
The Lane Vineyard
John Edwards is not a conventional winemaker...
His insight and skills were acquired working alongside brilliant winemakers and eating and drinking the world’s finest during the Starvedog Lane era. Now, at The Lane Vineyard, John is passionate about having his own exceptional vineyard and winery. John says it affords him the opportunity of taking a long-term view.
We are not afraid to take risks and we do whatever is vital to bring the beauty of The Lane Vineyard into every glass of our wine.
Tim Adams Wines, Mr Mick’s
Tim Adams is widely acknowledged as a legend of the Australian wine industry. His career began in 1975 as a cellar hand for then noted Clare winery Stanley Wine Company. He worked his way up to Lab Assistant in 1976 and with encouragement from GM Mick Knappstein enrolled in Wine Science at Charles Sturt Uni graduating in 1981. By 1982, Tim was appointed winemaker under the guidance of Mick Knappstein.
In 1984 Clare cooper Bill Wray suggested Tim partner him in a small run of wines and by 1986 the first wines under the Adams & Wray label were released. In 1988, Tim and partner Pam took ownership of the Adams & Wray winery and cellar door and Tim Adams Wines was in full swing. Tim left Stanley Wines by then but maintained a relationship with Mick Knappstein until Mr Mick passed away in 1997. Mick is now lionised in Tim and Pam’s other Clare winery Mr Mick which they began in 2011.
Today, Tim's skills as a winemaker cov
Mr Riggs, Penny's Hill, Woop Woop, Zonte’s Footstep
We often joke that there must be more than one Ben Riggs, that no one winemaker could have his hands in such a range of premium McLaren Vale wineries. And yet, after thorough research (we asked) he has not cloned himself.
With 14 years making wine at Wirra Wirra alone, Ben's experience totals a quarter century of producing notable wines, including Penny's Hill, Tatiarra, and Cazal Viel in France. But his real love for McLaren Vale remains, and along with Tony Parkinson, he has crafted successful brands like Woop Woop and his own Mr. Riggs.
With such a broad portfolio, Ben picks up awards with regularity. Twice named Bushing King (for making the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show), and winning the first two Great Australian Shiraz Challenges. His wines have also won best in show at the Sydney International Top 100 (1991 Wirra Wirra "Angelus").
The son of self-starter Denis, Ben Jeanneret sticks to a philosophy of very truth-in-the variety winemaking. As he states on his web site: "I am not too fussed if nature beats me and wild yeasts begin the ferments. I encourage minimal handling of the juice, allowing the ferments to progress in a slow and easy manner."
Ben uses no river water to irrigate his vineyards, and bravely lets that wild yeast talk in his wines, adding fragrant ripples to his Riesling. Picking up trophies as early as 1996, that Riesling speaks volumes about Ben's approach being right for the wine, and led to he and partner Carissa represent Jeanneret at the Young Winemakers Tasting, Toronto in 2003. One of only three labels selected to participate.
Recently, the 2008 Doozie Riesling picked up Gold at the London International Wine Challenge, proving Ben's approach is no passing fad. Just good fruit talking in the glass, as it should be.
Alex White is one of Australia's best known and highly regarded winemakers. The cellar of wines created during his career is impressive, including those made while Chief Executive and winemaker of Lilydale Estate Vineyard, 1982 to 1994. Other highlights include winemaking and/or consulting to St. Huberts, Port Phillip Estate, Plunkett Winery, Moorooduc Estate, Mount Avoca and Lost Valley Estate. His experience led him to taking on the production of the Lost Valley Cortese, a variety not found anywhere else in Australia.
A very difficult wine to get right, Alex has been on record that the grapes needed the unique challenge of Lost Valley's vineyard conditions. That and his against the norm decision to forgo common fermentation techniques has created a wine that writer Jeni Port regards as one of Australia's top 10 must drink cult wines. His experience and love of innovation has led to demand for Alex's services as an Oenological consultant
Bird in Hand
Having grown up next door to Penfold's Magill vineyards, then spending his formative years in McLaren Vale (they make a few good wines down there, you may have heard), Andrew Nugent was very ready to break exciting new ground in the Adelaide Hills when he planted vines in 1997. His skills as a viticulturalist, vineyard manager and winemaker may have been honed in McLaren Vale, but were realised at Bird in Hand.
In his words: "We live and work at the winery. We know the best thing we can do for our community is grow and produce the best wine and olives we can. Our success will be our community’s success. A high tide lifts all the boats in the bay. At Bird in Hand we’ve assembled the best team of people, we’ve painstakingly selected the perfect terroir and we’re well on our way."
Nugent considers Chardonnay and Shiraz as his favorite varieties, but has successfully led the field in other varieties, such as