The Anniversary Collection – Milestones in Australian Wine
Celebrating 415 years of combined Australian wine history
Australia’s incredible wine history is punctuated with wineries both large and boutique, established and emerging, traditional and modern – all of these making our world-class wine industry the huge success it is today.
Join us as we celebrate some very special wineries and their very special milestones. From the icons of d’Arenberg, Katnook Estate and Mountadam, to the younger yet equally passionate and hard-working Thomas Wines, De Bortoli Yarra Valley and Wignalls Wines, this occasion is 415 years in the making and a journey to be commemorated.
d’ARENBERG… CELEBRATING 110 YEARS OF WINEMAKING MAGIC
Above: d'Arenberg family.
d’Arenberg’s vinous connections date back to 1881 when Chester Osborn’s great grandfather, Joseph Osborn, joined Thomas Hardy Limited, Wine Merchants. Although a teetotaller, he prepared the path for what was to become one of Australia’s most successful and driven wine dynasties.
Founded in 1912 by Frank Osborn, d’Arenberg is synonymous with McLaren Vale wine, and for over one hundred years has been responsible for some of the country’s most celebrated regional expressions. Flamboyant and incredibly driven, fourth generation family member, Chester Osborn is Chief Winemaker, and uses time-honoured techniques such as foot treading and basket pressing, to create wines full of personality.
“d’Arenberg is one of the only wineries in Australia to basket press whites as well as reds – it’s labour-intensive, but the results make it worthwhile,” says Chester.
When asked what it is about the d’Arenberg’s story that makes it unique in Australian wine, Chester explains – “There are certainly other wineries around that are at least 110 years-old, with old vines and old stocks from great wines,” he says. “However, I think one of the most unique things we do is create such a diverse portfolio of wines, using 39 grape varieties and nearly 80 different wines. And, they all speak of a sense of place – terroir.”
Featured in our Anniversary Collection are the d’Arenberg The Shepherd’s Clock Grenache Shiraz Mourvédre 2018, and the d’Arenberg The Prickly Pear Viognier Marsanne Chenin Blanc 2020, both wonderful Rhône blends of varietals that thrive in McLaren Vale and which d’Arenberg have long been masters of.
De Bortoli Yarra Valley… CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF GROWTH
Above: De Bortoli Family
With a family motto of ‘always striving for better’ the De Bortoli’s expanded their winemaking operations from their original Riverina estate, to include Yarra Valley, Heathcote and the Hunter.
They established the Yarra Valley Estate in 1987, acquiring some of the oldest plantings in the region and a brilliant piece of land to grow vines and make premium cool climate wine.
Leanne De Bortoli and winemaker husband, Steve Webber thrived under the challenges it offered learning about the seasons, experimenting with varieties and clones, all with the goal of making wine with a sense of place.
“I can’t believe how much time has passed since Steve and I were given this incredible opportunity to run the Yarra Valley winery and vineyard on behalf of my family,” says Leanne. “It really does call for a celebration and what better way to celebrate than with friends and family. We hope to release some of our older cellared wines to our cellar door and restaurant customers, so they too can share in the celebration… and also to highlight how well Yarra Valley wines age.”
And what of the future? “The next few years will be about revisiting the varieties we have planted here – experimenting with or finessing the different wine styles we produce,” Leanne explains. “After 35 years we have a greater understanding of our special piece of dirt and what makes it sing. Couple this with keeping up with changing consumer trends, and we have some pretty interesting, but exciting challenges ahead.”
Featured in our Anniversary Collection are the De Bortoli Villages Pinot Noir 2020 and De Bortoli Villages Chardonnay 2019 – both crafted using fruit from different villages within the Yarra Valley and both expressing the region’s unique terroir.
KATNOOK ESTATE… CELEBRATING 155 YEARS OF EXCEPTIONAL WINEMAKING
Above: Katnook Estate Wines
Katnook Estate was founded in 1867 by John Riddoch, a Scottish immigrant and true pioneer. With an amazing history and heritage, it lies in the heart of the fabled Coonawarra wine region and is home to some of Australia’s best terra rossa vineyards.
Katnook is the Indigenous word for ‘Fat Land’ denoting the fertile character of the soil.
One of the oldest existing wineries in Coonwarra, its vineyards stretch over 198 hectares and while the planted grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, the focus is certainly Cabernet Sauvignon for which the region is world-renowned. Coonawarra’s long but cool hours of sunshine during ripening means grapes can develop intense flavour whilst retaining good acid levels allowing Katnook to produce outstanding expressions including two Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy winners and premium wines that are worthy of world-wide praise and attention.
Featured in the Anniversary Collection are the richly flavoured and fine balanced Katnook Founder’s Block Merlot 2021 and the lively, long and generous Katnook Founder’s Block Sauvignon Blanc 2021.
When asked what she loves about the wines selected for this collection, Katnook Estate Senior Winemaker Natalie Cleghorn explains – “The Founder’s Block range is styled for everyday enjoyment, inviting a modern generation of wine consumers to explore the pleasures of Coonawarra wine. Vintage 2021 in Coonawarra has all the hallmarks of a brilliant one. Mother Nature was very kind to us from flowering until harvest and near ideal conditions have produced wines of great flavour and lovely natural acidity.”
MOUNTADAM… CELEBRATING 50 YEARS AND A RETURN TO FAMILY
Above: Mountadam Winery.
Mountadam was founded by the late David Wynn and established in 1972 as one of Australia’s pioneer Chardonnay producers. Recognising the potential of a cool, elevated site to produce wines of great elegance and structure, Wynn chose an area above the Eden Valley, and named it High Eden.
At 570 metres above sea level, Mountadam is still one of Australia’s most elevated vineyards. In 2005, it was purchased by Adelaide businessman David Brown and his wife Jenni, who have made a large investment in the improvement and expansion of the vineyard. They bought back the Mountadam Farm in 2007 and the High Eden Vineyard in 2015, re-establishing the original property and enabling them to continue Wynn’s vision to produce award-winning wines.
Included in our Anniversary Collection are two great examples of Mountadam’s winemaking talent for capturing the essence of the region – the powerful yet poised Mountadam Vineyards Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, and the pristine and elegant Mountadam Vineyards Riesling 2021.
“Both of these wines encapsulate the beauty of the altitude and climate we have here in High Eden,” explains Mountadam winemaker Caitlin Brown. “As Cabernet is a late ripening varietal, we aim to express the purity of the fruit the cooler climate has to offer.”
“What we love about our Riesling is that it isn’t just a summer white wine – we drink Riesling rain, hail or shine as its delicate florals, minerality and acidity stand up to so many different food styles, even curries and rich, wintery dishes,” she says.
THOMAS WINES… CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF HUNTER VALLEY HEROES
Above: Thomas Wines.
Andrew Thomas (aka Thommo) has a passion for Semillon and Shiraz. When establishing his Hunter Valley winery, he vowed to specialise only in these regional heroes. With Semillons ageing into gloriously toasty, complex wines and contemporary Shiraz displaying aromatic fruit purity and vibrancy, his wines are world class.
Established in 1997, and with more awards than you can poke a vine cane at, Thomas Wines is one of the younger Hunter Valley wineries that are doing the region proud. Making your mark in a wine region that has such an incredible history and reputation isn’t easy, but Thommo has certainly succeeded in doing just that. “Whilst I have always applied a no compromise, attention to detail approach to my winemaking, I truly believe that 90% of the quality lies in the vineyard,” Thommo explains. And, with fruit for his wines coming from iconic vineyards like Braemore, Oakey Creek, Fordwich Hill, Kiss, Dam Block, Cote d’Or, Sweetwater, and Déjà Vu, there’s a 100% guarantee that more Trophy and Gold medal-winners will be added to that impressive and ever-growing list.
When asked what has been his proudest achievement to date, Thommo said three things sprang to mind. “Purchasing the iconic Braemore vineyard in 2017 – my first vineyard purchase and one that provides us with a long-term supply of some of the best old vine Semillon fruit in the Valley; my eldest son Daniel joining me in the business and working alongside me; and being honoured with the Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year award in 2008, and again in 2014.”
From his ‘Synergy’ line and included in this collection, the Andrew Thomas Synergy Shiraz 2020 and Andrew Thomas Synergy Semillon 2021 are both blends of old vine vineyard fruit from across the region that create pure expressions of classic Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz.
WIGNALLS WINES… CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF OVER DELIVERING ON QUALITY
Above: Wignalls Wines
For Veterinarian Dr Bill Wignall, animals haven’t been his only passion. In 1982 after extensive research and investigations into the local terroir, he established Wignalls Wines on the outskirts of Albany, planting the Burgundian varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, plus Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz.
Wignalls is arguably Western Australia’s most southerly vineyard and is located in one of Australia’s most pristine environments adjacent to the Southern Ocean. The mild summer days, a guaranteed mid-afternoon cooling sea breeze and warm maritime evenings through the growing season means that while the development of the fruit is a little slower, quality is premium.
Over the years, the Wignall family has risen to the challenges of the isolated location with Dr Wignall’s son Rob and daughter-in-law Claire taking charge in 2004. “Good growing conditions make great wines and our onsite winery finishes off what nature has given us,” says Rob. And that is, outstanding Australian wines that have amassed over 60 Trophies and Gold medals.
“40 years in the wine industry is significant for a boutique winery like ours,” explains Rob Wignall. “So, to celebrate, we’re excited to release new premium wines from our 2020 range – a great year for the Wignalls vineyard. We’ll also be hosting a number of celebrations at our Albany cellar door and events mid-year linked in with the Great Southern ‘Taste Festival’ in May.”
Included in our Anniversary Collection are two great examples of Wignalls Wines motto of ‘over delivering on quality with great value’ – the easy-drinking Wignalls Cabernet Merlot 2020, and the Wignalls that the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel described as “one of the best examples of unoaked Chardonnay we’ve ever seen”.