Q & A with Luke Eckersley
You’ve had so many accolades for Plantagenet wines, but what are the most meaningful, personally?
For myself it is not so much industry accolades or awards, it is more being a part of the Plantagenet history, heritage and consistency and the feeling it gives you. Plantagenet is a Pioneer of the Great Southern and that in itself is an accolade for vision and belief.
How did your 2016 vintage treat you? Anything unique crop up?
It was a cooler than average vintage with a longer growing period so I found the Rieslings to have really shined!
The wines of Great Southern are unique and diverse, but how have they changed over your time working this region?
I feel over time there has been a better understanding of what varieties excel in the different sub-regions (along with the subsequent variations in style), and this knowledge has helped winemakers within the region craft wines that have better balance and are true expressions of what the regions can offer.
What excites and inspires you living in the beautiful Mt Barker?
It is purely the beauty, uniqueness and sparseness of the region, we have the Stirling Range as a back drop and the Southern Ocean hugging us to the south. This combined with the vineyards and the people makes it a truly amazing place to call home!
Can you recall the first wine you tried?
A mid-eighties Wynn’s Coonawarra Cabernet that my father had brought back (in volume) from a trip to South Australia, tried in the early nineties. A fantastic savoury wine with very good bones!
When did you fall in love with wine?
Having grown up in agriculture and being involved in a family vineyard wine was always of great interest to me. After completing my studies of both winemaking and viticulture I found myself more drawn to wine. It is the crafting of something that is continually evolving (living) and the enjoyment it can bring to people on lots of different levels.
Do you remember that moment? What happened?
I think agriculture (both growing and crafting of grapes) is simply in your blood!
Do you have an all-time favourite wine to drink? Why is it this wine?
I find myself more often than not drawn to Great Southern Chardonnay (from various producers!). The purity, power and fineness always amazes me, the wines lend themselves to so many different occasions from an intimate meal to a winding down ritual on a Friday evening!
Do you have a favourite wine to make?
Chardonnay obviously (barrel fermented), so many different layers that can be built on the raw wine to craft and evolve a wine with balance and complexity.