|What makes a great vintage for Hunter Valley Semillon? Most would say one without flooding rain, ravaging fires or devastating drought. While this is certainly important, balance in the wine reigns supreme. Brokenwood»|
|The higher altitudes and slower ripening climes of King Valley are a blessing to wine growers. Some of the more fortuitous sites boast soils and aspects which are nothing short of idyllic, yielding harvests of vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon. Gracebrook»|
|A solid Cabernet Sauvignon with profound structure and vigorous fruit, the essential Coonawarra style, exuding rich bramble, berries and cassis aromas characters over soft, elegant tannins. Extended maturation in the finest French oak contributes to the wine's overall balance and drinkability. Hollick»|
|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»|
|Like an uncut diamond, the Chardonnay grape lends its sparkle to the Ruinart wines. In the constant pursuit of perfection, the Ruinart House excels in the art of handling this very special grape variety. Ruinart»|
|Following a visit to France where he studied the ancient pastoral practices of breeding the world's best chickens, Adam Marks gained the inspiration to create great Australian wines in the very same manner, adopting an artisanal approach to production, employing traditional, age old methods. Gold Label is the flagship Shiraz by one of Victoria's most adroit, small batch producers. Bress»|
|The first and final word in world class Barossa Cabernet, aged in a luxurious selection of completely new French oak hogsheads. The Ashmead block is so low yielding that it was almost gutted and re established to more productive plantings. Elderton»|
|From the home of the 2007 Jimmy Watson, prior vintages of School Block have claimed gold medals at the London International and UK Sunday Times. A deluxe assembly of Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot from three Scarpantoni vineyards, each with a unique terroir and mesoclime. Scarpantoni»|
|She's such a special wine, that a distinctive hand blown bottle was designed just for her. Tempus Two is the definition of romance and desirability, elegance and finesse, all who have countenanced her endowments agree. Tempus Two»|
|The inaugural release of Hanging Rock Shiraz was vintage 1987 and what an event it was, immediately claiming gold and inspiring comparisons to Grange by the industry press. From from fruit grown to the estate Athols Paddock, a complex Heathcote style, more Syrah than Shiraz, boasting several trophies and over fifty gold to its distinguished history, big, powerful and rich, yet exhibiting an elegance and finesse that's rare in Australian wine. Hanging Rock»|
|A Coonawarra Shiraz of elegance and finesse, Penley's vintages are regularly awarded with prestigious international trophies and accolades, outclassing some of the nation's icon wines. A splendid effort exhibiting generous varietal fruit and spiced pepper, perfumes of good French oak and plenty of flavour. Penley Estate»|
|Bloodstone was originally intended for the UK Oddbins retail chain. It turned into a runaway success and went on to claim a litany of international accolades, 5 Cuisine Magazine Stars & Best Buy, as well as Gold & Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco International. Gemtree»|
Paul Osicka is one of the longest established Heathcote estates, planting vines in the 1950s, when Heathcote as a winegrowing region was but a twinkle in the eyes
Grown without irrigation on sandly loam soil over quartz and red ironstone gravels, the vineyard is managed according to organic principles without the use of herbicides or insecticides. The vines are hand pruned to balance the yield and the grapes are hand picked to achieve optimum fruit quality. These factors combine to produce small intensely flavoured and coloured fruit necessary to make premium wines. The principal red wine produced is Shiraz followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The vineyard and winery are situated in Heathcote, and due to the close proximity of the Graytown Box-Ironbark State forest, it is common to find all manner of native animals amongst the vines, including kangaroos, wallabies, emus, lizards and echidnas. The vineyard is non-irrigated and deliberatley kept to a low yield ensuring the berries are smaller and more intense in colour and flavour. A number of varieties are gronw including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Merlot and Roussane, with the Shiraz vines dating back over 45 years. The soil consists of a sandy loam and gravel topsoil with a crushed quartz and red ironstone buckshot gravel underlay which makes for excellent drainage.
Traditional methods are used to manage the vineyard with the grapes being carefully handpicked, and the vines painstakingly hand pruned. Conscious of their impact on the environment and wine, no herbicides or pesticides are used in the vineyard, instead organic fertilisers are used to provide the vines with nutrients. The winemaking is also a hands on affair with winemaker Paul Osicka personally implementing each stage of the process. Extensive use is made of new oak barrels in the maturatin of the wines, and is an expensive although important part of the quality process.
Wine was always destined to be part of Simon Osicka's life
Simon literally grew up surrounded by full-bodied, red wines produced at his family's Majors Creek Vineyard, today known as Paul Osicka Wines. Not surprisingly, for someone immersed in wine from birth, Simon didn't just complete his Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Oenology) at University of Adelaide in 1997: he graduated with first-class honours.
Following cellar-hand work and two overseas vintages in Canada and Italy, he joined Houghton Wine Company in 1999 as Assistant Winemaker at the company's Swan Valley site. At Hougton he gained immeasurable experience producing prestige red wines under the Gladstones and Jack Mann labels.
The following year, Simon was promoted to Winemaker and completed a second 1999 vintage in Sicily at Casa Vincolia Calatrasi. Returning to Houghton, he transferred to Nannup in 2001 and worked with the Senior Winemaker Manager, Gretel Friend, to complete the site's inaugural vintage. As the most technologically-advanced winery in the region, it provided both enormous opportunities and challenges. Within seven months, Simon was promoted as the site's Senior Winemaker Manager. In late 2005, Simon went to Leasingham as Winemaker Manager and is now responsible for the day-to-day workings. Simon has judged at both the Mount Barker Wine Show and West Australian Wine Awards.
“The Osicka family arrived in Australia from Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s. Vignerons in their own country, they settled at Graytown, and commenced planting vines in 1955. Their vineyard was the first new venture in Central and Southern Victoria for over half a century. It keeps a low profile, but produces consistently good shiraz from the 10 ha of estate plantings (the remainder cabernet sauvignon, merlot and riesling).”
-James Halliday, www.winecompanion.com.au