The Knappstein name has been involved in the wine business in South Australia since 1895.
Tim became a third generation vigneron when he commenced his career in the family company, Stanley Wines, making his first wine in 1966, after graduating from the Roseworthy College Oenology course.
During these years, Tim amassed in excess of 500 show awards, including 120 gold medals and 24 trophies for the premium quality Leasingham range during a period when new technology was revolutionising both winemaking and the wines themselves.
Following the sale of the Stanley Wine Company in 1971, Tim developed his own vineyards at Clare and by 1976 had started his own wine company, Tim Knappstein Wines.
Always an innovator and pioneer, in 1978 he introduced ‘Fumé Blanc’ to the Australian market and in 1980 botrytised Riesling made under controlled atmosphere.
In 1981, Tim was the first to plant a vineyard in the Lenswood area of the Adelaide Hills, where he still lives. He has since sold the vineyards and works with a range of dedicated growers within the region. As the enormous potential of the Lenswood fruit emerged, Tim Knappstein sold all his Clare interests in 1995 to concentrate solely on the fruit and wines from this exciting new viticulture region of the Adelaide Hills.
Riposte has enabled Tim to fully utilise his rich and accumulated knowledge from a decorated 45 years of winemaking, and his boundless enthusiasm to keep making exceptional well priced wine from premium cool climate grapes of the Adelaide Hills.
What is Riposte’s philosophy?
Our passion is Pinot Noir, which had its origins in the days when you could actually afford to drink good Burgundy. We are unique in that we follow a multi site as well as multi clonal philosophy for ‘The Sabre” which is our top Pinot Noir. We comb the Adelaide Hills for the few sites that have the combination of altitude, clones and orientation that will provide top quality Pinot Noir fruit for this wine. For ‘The Dagger’ Pinot Noir we work closely with the growers to optimise the grapes. These come from lower, but no less carefully selected, vineyards. We also seek out quality vineyards for the remainder of our cool climate range – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, ‘Traminer, Halberd (co white wine ferment) and Shiraz. Fifty years of winemaking experience also helps.
Why did Riposte start?
In 2006, as a response to personal vicissitudes and the inability to use his own name as a brand, Tim launched the Riposte label, a small portfolio of complex and striking cool climate wines from the Adelaide Hills. A true family enterprise from its inception, Riposte is wholly owned and run by Tim with his wife Dale and son Nick.
What makes Riposte unique?
From the vineyard to the bottle, every aspect of each Riposte wine is personally crafted by Tim Knappstein. Tim’s driving passion is to create the finest wines possible from premium Adelaide Hills vineyards. Working closely with independent growers from selected sites in the lead up to vintage, Tim can most often be found in the vineyard checking, sampling and tasting to ensure that fruit is picked at optimum flavour. In the winery through crushing, pressing and oak regime right to the point of final fining and filtration, Tim, Dale and Nick taste again and again, seeking exquisite balance and varietal expression. No compromises are permitted, what we put into bottle are the finest Adelaide Hills wines we can produce.
Did you know...
Riposte is a fencing term meaning a quick reply or counterthrust and is my personal reply to the increasingly corporatised world of wine making.