More than a winery, Cofield Wines is a family of wine lovers
Cofield of Rutherglen crafts distinctive varietal, high quality wines exhibiting great integrity, to be enjoyed fully and with confidence. Cofield are especially known for sparkling wines, in particular their Sparking Shiraz, Cofield's icon wine. Cofield Sparkling Shiraz is positioned as one of Australia's premium sparkling reds, crafted by a boutique winery, it offers excellent value, distinction and refinement.
Max Cofield's career spanned 25 years of Rutherglen winemaking around various estates in the Rutherglen region. He and wife Karen established Cofield Wines in 1989, initially specialising in sparkling wines, in particular the Shiraz. Their aim was to provide distinctive varietal, high quality wines that are value for money. As the popularity of the Cofield wines grew, the range was extended to include more sparkling, white, red and fortified wines. The legend of Cofield Sparkling Shiraz has grown, it continues today as the estate passes on to the next generation of Cofield, maintaining the traditions which have delivered so much renown.
The social side of Cofield Wines has continued to develop with the addition of a rotunda and barbeque area in 1993 and many special dinners held at the winery throughout the years. The Cofield family has always treated their customers as friends and continues to do so. In the 15 years of operation Cofield Wines has grown from a Mum and Dad (Max and Karen) operation to now involve two of their sons Damien (with wife Melanie) and Andrew and a team of dedicated wine lovers.
Divine Magazine voted the 1992 Cofield Wines Sparkling Shiraz as the Best Sparkling Burgundy in Australia
Today you can still call into the winery and find a family member working behind the counter, in the winery, the office or out in the vineyard. The family is involved in all aspects of the business. Max and Karen's friendly faces are often seen cruising around and chatting to old and new friends at cellar door. They have always made everyone feel welcome and part of the extended Cofield Wines family. The next generation, Damien and Andrew have inherited the friendly personalities of Max and Karen and continue the tradition of enthusiastically welcoming new generations into the enjoyment of Cofield Wines.
The free draining clay/loam soils of Rutherglen are enhanced on this sight by a barren gold reef depositing fingers of quartz throughout the site. These quartz veins enhance the continental climate of Rutherglen by trapping the sun's heat during the warm autumn days and releasing this warmth over the cool nights to produce grapes with harmonized ripeness levels across sugars, colours, flavours and tannins.
The vineyard is approximately 10 acres (4.1 hectares) in size and planted to 7 varieties (Shiraz, Durif, Malbec, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay and Muscadelle). Handpicking and careful barrel selection further enhance the quality of wines from this vineyard. The careful culling of fruit and barrels also leads to smaller production levels limiting quantities of each wine from between 100 to 600 dozen dependent on vintage quantities and quality.
The Cofield Wines Quartz Vein vineyard was one of the principal selection criteria for the location of the winery
Wahgunyah Viticulture is the name of the Cofield's vineyard located on the outskirts of Wahgunyah and a stone's throw from the Murray River. It is the original vineyard established by Cofield Wines and was chosen because it is a good location for irrigation needs and has free draining deep sand which allows the vine roots to go down to the river level.
Wahgunyah Viticulture is trellised differently to the QuartzVein Vineyard, which is a single wire, Vertical Shoot Position, Scott Henry variation. The trellis system at Wahgunyah Viticulture was originally Scott Henry. It has since been altered to a Vertical Shoot Position system to reduce the risk of disease and enhance the fruit flavours of the grapes. The vineyard is approx 10 acres and is planted to 5 varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon). Wahgunyah Viticulture is mainly handpicked with crop levels being maintained at 3-4 tonne per acre.