Each release of Head not only represents Alex Head's strong views on what makes balanced, drinkable wines but a guarantee of absolute quality, value and consistency
Head Wines is an open journey of learning. Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go. Graduating from Sydney University in 1997 with a degree in Biochemistry, Alex entered the Wine Industry. After a trip through the major wine-growing vineyards of Europe, he immediately started working in fine-wine management, wholesale importing and an auction house to gain a broad understanding of the world of fine wine. He then worked vintages with the wineries he held in the highest regard. Tyrrells in the Hunter, Torbreck, Laughing Jack and Cirillo Estate in the Barossa Valley followed and in December of 2008 he gained a Producers Licence and released his first wines to the public.
Alex has long been interested in Old-World wines and their symbiosis with all things culinary; particularly Shiraz from an appellation in Frances Northern Rhone Valley called Cote Rotie (roasted slope). Shiraz has been the only red grape grown there for thousands of years, initially thought to have been cultivated by the Roman Empire. When Alex started out in the wine industry, he quickly fell in love with shiraz from the Barossa. However, it was the discovery of shiraz from Côte Rotie in Frances Rhone Valley that would ultimately give him the inspiration to work as a winemaker.
A great legend states that in the Middle Ages, a Seigneur of Ampuis called Count Maugiron owned the steeply terraced hills of Cote Rotie. He was also blessed with two beautiful daughters, one a blonde and the other a brunette. When Count Maugiron finally retired he passed on the two Cotes to his daughters and to this day, they are still referred to as the Cote Blonde and Cote Brune.
The Southern slope of the Cote (also suited to viognier) which contains more granite, mica and limestone made a softer, rounded more elegant wine which delighted its drinkers with perfume and femininity. Here, the soil and wines showed colour and character of his blonde daughter.
The Northern slope contained heavy soils of schist and iron, producing an intense wine with dark fruits and tannin that required age to show its true potential. Here, the soil and wine showed colour and character of Count Maugiron's brunette daughter.
These soil structures and colours are of utmost importance to the properties of the fruit which grow in these vineyards. For Alex's unique Barossa Valley wines, he selected two vineyard sites where, similar to Côte Rotie, the soils produce contrasting styles of Shiraz. The Blonde comes from a vineyard in Stonewell, which consists of sandy loam mixed with quartz on a limestone base that gives the wine accentuated perfume and complexity. The Brunette comes from a high elevation vineyard in Moppa, which consists of heavy soils of deep red clay and ironstone that give structure, longevity and reward from cellaring.
It’s hard to generalise about vintages when the grapes that you are using come from 6 different growers and 5 different varieties (early and late ripening) to make 5 unique wines. When you read a vintage report about a mass producer it has absolutely no relevance to a small producer like Head Wines. The fruit is micro managed every stage from vineyard to winemaking to bottling to ensure that the highest quality level is maintained.