Then, Now and Next for Metala
With the iconic Australian brand finally returned to its home soils, the future is wide open for Metala and the family behind the name.
After decades in the winemaking hands of others, Metala – one of the most storied and celebrated names in Australian wine – returned its winemaking to its Langhorne Creek home in 2022, following over 20 years of tireless effort by present-day custodian Guy Adams, great-great-grandson of Metala’s founder, William Formby.
Together with his wife, Liz, Guy had seemingly achieved the impossible. This homecoming represented the conclusion of one chapter of Metala’s 130-year history, and the turning of a new page in its story.
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Today, the sixth generation to live on the property – Myles and Emily – are following in their forebears footsteps, helping both on the farm and in the winery while completing their studies. They are surrounded by excellent teachers, not least of which is the very land on which they walk.
With the Metala legacy re-established on its founding soils, winemaker Jim Urlwin is excited about what the future holds for the winery. “With the 2023 vintage now wrapped up, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the outstanding quality we’ve achieved this year,” he says. “The wines truly shine.”
One of those wines is Metala’s very first Rosé. Urlwin waxes lyrical about the upcoming release. “Picture a wine that seduces with a pale, inviting hue – with each sip, you’ll be greeted by a crispness that awakens the senses, perfectly complemented by a delectable taste that leaves you craving more.”
In addition to the promise of this Rosé is the creation of a program of fortified wines, which will prove a labour of love spanning several years before its eventual release.
“As we delve into this long-term project, we find ourselves immersed in the rich history of the estate, exploring the extraordinary legacy of fortified wines that have emerged from these grounds – the 1945 vintage in particular, which stands tall as one of Australia’s finest fortified creations,” says Urlwin.
“It’s a journey that fills me with genuine joy, relishing the opportunity to draw inspiration from the past as we meticulously craft wines that will shape our future.”
THE ESSENCE OF METALA
While the fortified program will take time to bear fruit, one highly anticipated wine is almost ready for prime time – the Metala Semper Fidelis 2021. A remarkable blend of Shiraz and Cabernet, it is a direct ancestor of the Metala wine that won the inaugural Jimmy Watson Trophy back in 1962, sourced from the winery’s esteemed 1891 Shiraz and Cabernet blocks.
“This one holds a special place in our hearts,” says Urlwin. “We’re confident that this Semper Fidelis will captivate wine lovers with its unique charm and quality, and serve as a genuine representation of our vineyard’s heritage – we believe it really does epitomise the true essence and character of Metala.”
This is the passion of winemaking. The respect for the past. The opportunities and challenges of the present. And the embrace of the future. Here’s to Metala – long may it be a name that lives on the lips of Australian wine enthusiasts.
Enjoy a taste of the enduring legacy of this iconic winery at metala.com.au