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Meet the Maker – Oliver’s Taranga

Spend some time with Winemaker Corrina Wright from Oliver’s Taranga, whose 2016 Fiano is our September Wine of the Month.

Your Oliver’s Taranga vineyards are located in McLaren Vale, what makes the region so special?

I think that McLaren Vale is such a beautiful region- the vines, the beaches, the food, the proximity to Adelaide. Pretty much Utopia!

Your family has a fantastic grape growing history in McLaren Vale dating back to 1841. In 1994 you made and launched the first Oliver’s Taranga branded wine – is that correct?

Yes, I am the 6th generation to grow grapes on our Taranga vineyard in McLaren Vale. So we are 176 years and still going strong! In 1994, I started my oenology degree and began making some wines from the vineyard after begging my Grandpa for some fruit. He was pretty keen to sell some wine to his bowls mates, so he was on board. I suppose things just grew and grew from there. I was working for Southcorp Wines and making Oliver’s Taranga on the side. Eventually, Oliver’s Taranga took over, and we renovated one of the old worker’s cottages on the property and turned it into a cellar door in 2007. We are still growers for a number of different wineries, but now around 35% of the crop from our vineyard goes to our Oliver’s Taranga brand.

Find out more about the Oliver's Taranga cellar door in our McLaren Vale Winery Guide.

Six generations on, you and your cousin Brioni Oliver are winemaker and cellar manager respectively – what’s it like working with family?

I love it. Brioni is actually on maternity leave at the moment –  little 7th generation Hugo was born a few weeks ago, and I am really missing her. We work well together and are focused on making our business as good as it can be.

Your wine labels are quite fun and quirky – who’s responsible?

We work with designer Chris Harris from Draw Studio, who has a very quirky sense of humour. Also, we know there’s a myriad of wine brands for people to choose from out there, so what makes us different? It is the people and the history, so being able to tell real stories are key to helping us stand out above the white noise! We have been on the property for 176 years now, and have many documents from back in the day. Producing the wine each year is a continuing documentation of our time on the land, so we use our little comments on the label “The Year That….” To tell something quirky that happened on the farm that year.

Our Wine of the Month is your 2016 Fiano –  what is it about alternatives like Fiano that you like so much?

They suit our climate and lifestyle so well. Fiano is very drought and heat tolerant and has lovely natural high acidity, it is also disease resistant and has great thick skins. Also, the resultant wine works so well with our foods and regional produce. Being coastal, we eat a lot of seafood in the region, and Fiano has lovely texture and line that works perfectly in this space. Find out more about Australian Fiano here.

In our food and wine matching calendar, we’ve paired it with a delicious avocado spring salad (avocado, snow peas, radicchio, witlof, radishes, red onions, pea shoots and roasted macadamias) – what’s your choice of food partner?

That sounds yum! I love it with kingfish ceviche with avocado, lime, cucumber, tomato, spring onion, coriander, salt, pepper – delish. 

What’s your favourite wine memory?

Probably doing the Len Evans Tutorial – a week of wine, learning, sharing and food. On a personal level, the 1996 Salon Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs I shared with my husband on our wedding day.

Other than your own wine, what wine do you like to drink at home?

Anything goes. Grenache is a current favourite. Riesling gets a solid bashing. I probably tend to drink more white wine at home and the Champagne is always cold.

What are your three top recommendations for a first-time visitor to the area?

  1. A summer day in the cellar doors, followed by a dip in the ocean at Pt. Willunga and fish and chips from the Star of Greece as the sun goes down.
  2. Early Saturday morning at the Willunga Farmers Market getting all your produce for a decadent feed.
  3. Visit tiny wine shop Fall from Grace in Aldinga for something quirky and meet up with the locals.

What is your favourie?

Way to spend time off?

Beachside/poolside somewhere warm with a book.

Holiday destination?

We are heading to South Africa for the first time, next year, so I am very excited about that. Our go to is Bali – surf, sun, food, easy as.

Time of year?

Spring

Movie?

I just binge-watched ‘The Handmaids Tale’ on SBS On Demand last weekend. So, so, so good. And disturbing.

Restaurant?

Pizza-teca or Salopian Inn. McLaren Vale has loads of choices, and it’s hard to go wrong!

Sporting team?

Adelaide Crows #weflyasone

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OLIVER'S TARANGA SMALL BATCH FIANO

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Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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