|Blue Pyrenees were established through a no expense spared approach, by two of the wine world's most revered, accomplished and resourced estates. A superior standard of viticulture and exacting vinification techniques were the priority, they remain at the very core of the Blue Pyrenees raison d'être. Blue Pyrenees»|
|A collation of superior vineyard parcels, crafted by a boutique estate which has been recognized as one of Australia's leading wineries. Clonakilla is dedicated to making distinctive, handcrafted wines, only ever released in limited quantities, anything by Clonakilla can be hard to find, but they are worth the search. Clonakilla»|
|So popular are the wines of Pepperjack, that the label hosts its own society of dedicated enthusiasts. This devout cohort of zealots, converges at bespoke venues to discuss matters Pepperjack, they dine on prime beef and imbibe in their cherished libation. Pepperjack»|
|The enthusiastic maritime climes of Martinborough are heaven sent for a style and quality of Sauvignon Blanc to rival the world's finest. Mother nature sets the stage, but ultimately it is the thoughtful viticultural practices of the Palliser Estate team, which ensures a harvest of ripe and intensely flavoured Sauvignon Blanc at every vintage. Palliser Estate»|
|A classic, bone-dry flor style of great finesse, produced using the traditional Solera system, the finest example of its style in Australia. Fragrantly lifted and refined with a lively intensity of flavour, it is best served chilled as the ideal aperitif. Seppeltsfield»|
|Named for a rare grasshopper Sigaus childi, found only at Central Otago within the Earnscleugh gold mine tailings, just across the road from Grasshopper Rock vineyard. The site is fortuitously harsh and sufficiently challenging to make the vines work their hardest. Grasshopper Rock»|
|Tio Pepe is the world's leading Fino, a very pale and dry style of wine made in the southwest of Spain. Produced since 1844 by the Gonzalez family of Jerez, Tio Pepe has a distinctive aroma and a unique taste. Tio Pepe»|
|Earnscleugh Valley was the site of a gold rush in the 1860s, the industrious miners dug a watercourse through the valley which today serves to nourish the world's southernmost appellation of Pinot Noir. The Last Chance is a small scenic terrace, planted to a special Burgundy clone of Pinot Noir which yields a magnificently structured, generously proportioned wine. Two Paddocks»|
|A vineyard of some historical import, Bernoota is the original block, planted to the Follett family homestead along the banks of River Bremer, two decades before federation. A splendid construct of Langhorne Creek Shiraz Cabernet, selected from old vines around the distinguished Follett family vineyard, perennially released to resounding accolades. Lake Breeze»|
|A stellar achiever around the national wine show circuit, Wicks have claimed significant trophy triumphs for the excellence of their Pinot Noir. After a long family history of orchard farming and viticulture in the Adelaide Hills, priority was given to the establishment of choice clones Pinot Noir along the scenic slopes at Woodside. Wicks»|
|David O'Leary really knows about things Cabernet Sauvignon, having claimed a Jimmy Watson Trophy and twice International Red Wine Maker of the Year. From low yielding vines up to fifty years of age, grown to superior sites within the Armagh Valley and Polish Hill River districts, the O'Leary Walker team create a powerful and complex, exquisitely perfumed and seamlessly layered Cabernet Sauvignon, framed by judicious oak and supported by graceful tannins, reflecting the idyllic growing climes of Valley Clare. OLeary Walker»|
|Crafted by a rising star of the Padthaway region, recipients South Australian Cabernet Of Year Trophy and runner-up South Australian Wine Of Year. Their commitment has not gone unnoticed by the global industry press, Decanter has identified Browns as one of the Hottest Wineries to Watch. Browns of Padthaway»|
Robert Crabtree studied law at Oxford University and was a practising lawyer/ academic at Cambridge, he always had an interest in viticulture and made fruit wines as a hobby
Crabtree's curiosity in winemaking led him to complete two vintages at Bergerac and another in New Zealand, before landing in Australia and deciding that he would become a full time winemaker. After careful selection of possible wine regions, Robert decided that the Clare Valley was to be the region of choice. Whilst studying winemaking at Roseworthy, Robert purchased a small existing property at Watervale in 1980 and named it Watervale Cellars. In 1983 Robert purchased the old Flax Mill building in Auburn. He equipped it as a small (somewhat rough and ready) winery and planted two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. The business became known as Crabtree’s Watervale Cellars for a number of years. Robert built an enviable reputation for fine classic Watervale wines over the following 27 years and became a passionate advocate for the Clare Valley and South Australian wine industry. Robert sold his beloved property and winery in 2007 but remains a welcome friend and advisor to the new Crabtree Crew.
The Crabtree site has been planted to vineyards for well over 100 years, with the first vines being planted in the 1880s, though none of these original plantings exist. Adolf Glaetzer and his sons were largely responsible for the planting of the vineyards as they are today, with the remainder being largely Robert Crabtree’s more recent plantings of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and a little more Riesling. Although the original plantings have long since gone, most of the current vineyards are still quite mature, including 60+ year old Grenache, 50+ year old Shiraz, and 30+ year old Riesling vines.
The winery is quite small overall, and is very much a boutique operation so far as production is concerned. The greater part of the production, as for many of the Clare Valley wineries, revolves around Riesling, with this variety accounting for approximately 50% of overall production. Second in production volume is Shiraz, and then Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller amounts of Tempranillo, Grenache, and Semillon.
Traditional rod and spur hand pruning is used on all vineyards, and all grapes are handpicked. All fruit is estate grown for the dry white and dry red wines, with a very small percentage of high quality Muscat grapes from the Smith family in the North of Clare (from 140 year old vines) added to complement the estate's own Muscat of Alexandria supply to make sweeter Muscat and Zibibbo wines. Vines are very low yielding and are essentially dry grown, although most of the vineyards do have drip irrigation lines to ensure the vines do not suffer from too much water stress.
The house that makes up the cellar door dates back to when the Clare Valley was first settled, and has been the home of a number of local identities over the years. Robert Crabtree resided here while making wine on the estate. Adolf Glaetzer was one of these residents, known best in the Clare Valley for his fresh fruit and vegetables rather than winemaking, though his descendants have made the Glaetzer name synonymous with Australian winemaking. Robert Crabtree purchased the house from the Glaetzer family, it is heritage listed, the oldest sections date back to 1849.
The estate is home to a family of very inquisitive alpacas, which apart from being pets, also keep the grass at bay around the winery. José, the older male Alpaca, has the handy habit of being very protective of his family of females and keeps the sheep safe. The alpacas and sheep love nothing more than eating freshly crushed grape skins and stems during vintage, and will crowd around the winery when they see grapes on the tractor hoping to get a feed, which they usually do. Free roaming geese, an increasing number of ducks, chickens, cats, and some lorikeets, all of which can be seen wandering around the house (except for the Lorikeets of course), and some of which occasionally join in the cellar door for visitors wine tasting. Sales of alpaca wool or chicken and duck eggs through the cellar door go directly to improving education at a school in Africa that the winery sponsors.
All the stake holders and staff at Crabtree Watervale Wines are hands on, completely involved in the winemaking process and pruning the vines etc. The annual crush is around 100 tonnes of grapes per year, and will remain around that amount as there are no intentions to make larger volumes. The miniscule winery is at full capacity most vintages as it is. This means many of the wines are very limited in production, and is the reason why you won’t see Crabtree wines everywhere.