Breaking Ground at Brokenwood
Hunter Valley's Brokenwood Wines impresses with its new Twenty70 range and its embrace of sustainable winemaking.
“Make great wine and have fun.” So reads the mission statement at Brokenwood, and it couldn’t encapsulate the ethos of the brand any better. Founded in the 1970s, the tales of the winery’s dress-up nights, barbeques around the campfire and dancing and drinking into the early hours are the stuff of legend in the Hunter Valley.
Today, Brokenwood is one of the country’s best-regarded premium wine labels, famed for its Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, ILR Reserve Semillon, and the popular Cricket Pitch series. Now, a new face joins them with the recent launch of Brokenwood’s Twenty70 range – a tribute to those dizzying 70s nights, harking back to that sense of foundational fun.
Overseen by winemaker Kate Sturgess, the Twenty70 wines exude the playfulness of times’ past while reflecting the contemporary sensibility of wine drinkers. As the so-called ‘wild child’ of the Brokenwood story, they are wines that have been crafted to be vegan-friendly, from sustainable, organic principles – a match for every casual occasion.
The resulting wines, the 2022 Twenty70 White Blend (Verdelho, Semillon and Chardonnay) and the 2022 Twenty70 Red Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc), are lively and enticing – the white delighting with lemon verbena and key lime pie notes, and the red showing a vibrant mulberry colour reflecting the fruit of the 2022 vintage. Their appeal to a new generation of wine drinkers is unmistakable.
“I’m really excited about Twenty70 – it’s a chance to have a bit of a play away from the traditional Brokenwood winemaking style and experiment and have fun with making some yummy wines,” says Sturgess, a former Brisbanite now very much at home in the Hunter.
WOMEN IN WINE AT BROKENWOOD
The same spirit behind the Twenty70 releases is also at the heart of Brokenwood’s broader embrace of women in winemaking, for which it’s been a long-time champion.
Indeed, 70 per cent of Brokenwood’s staff are women, with the winery boasting an impressive roster of alumni – among them Samantha Connew (founder of Stargazer Wine) and Australia’s “Chardonnay Queen” Liz Silkman.
“Historically it was very difficult for women to get a look in, just to get the opportunity to learn,” says Sturgess. “Now that’s definitely much less of a barrier… Brokenwood has always been very willing to take both women and men at entry-level positions and train them. It sets a really solid foundation for the family nature of the business.”
The proof of this inclusive edge is in the glass – these are wines that celebrate the past while leaning on the door of the future. “We’ve been around for 50 years, and we hope to enjoy great wine and have fun for the next 50,” says Carlee Watson, Brokenwood’s Marketing Manager. “That’s what Twenty70 is all about.”
Embrace the wild child of Brokenwood today with the Twenty70 range at twenty70.com.au