|Stephen Pannell is one of Australia's most decorated winemakers, Jimmy Watson and twice Max Schubert Trophy winner, London International Winemaker of Year and Chairman National Wine Show. He found time in between tours of duty at Wirra Wirra, Tintara and BRL Hardy, to do vintage in Burgundy, at the illustrious Mouton Rothschild and amongst the grand old vines of Barolo. SC Pannell»|
|Pinot Meunier like no other, certainly the most distinguished bottling of its kind anywhere in the new world. Mostly old vine Concongella Pinot Meuniere, from grapes picked off parcels established 1970, with the inclusion of a priceless component of ancient vines 1868 Pinot Noir. Bests»|
|. . Bottega»|
|Enthused by a consuming desire to make great wine, Andrew Nugent honed his craft as viticulturalist and winemaker amongst the vines of McLaren Vale before returning to the Adelaide Hills, where he established his very own wineworks at Woodside. Hand crafted from fruit grown to mineral rich soils above the historic Bird in Hand gold mine, a pure Pinot Noir with superb effervescence, dominated by red berry characters, adorned by a lift of stonefruits and floral.. Bird In Hand»|
|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»|
|Whole bunches and oak barrel ferments, the costly extravagance of three years tirage on sedimentery yeast lees, each bottle individually riddled by hand, disgorged and sent to cellar for the ultimate indulgence of extra age before release, Pamela is the zenith of the sparkling winemaker's art. Her luxurious effervescence exudes brioche, tarte tatin and French boulangere, her creamy textural mousse unravelling ribbons of rich yeasty autolysis, crÃ¨me caramel and baked fruits. Wicks»|
|Blackjack has claimed the eminent M.Chapoutier Trophy for Best Shiraz at the prestigious Le Concours des Vinson on no fewer than three occasions. Block 6 is a superior parcel of distinguished vines, renowned within the Bendigo district for producing a very high quality, intensely fruit driven Shiraz. Blackjack»|
|Scotsdale was acquired by Howard Park as a pastoral property, specifically chosen and planted to make a single vineyard wine. Shiraz is harvested according to flavour with little regard for analytical data. Howard Park»|
|A collation of superior vineyard parcels, crafted by a boutique estate which has been recognized as one of Australia's leading wineries. Clonakilla are 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»|
|After several decades of crafting Australia's most memorable vintages, Mike Press is more sanguine than ever that great wine can only come from the finest vineyards. His dedicated hands on approach means that he is personally involved in every stage of the winemaking, from pruning the vines and inspecting grapes, right to plunging the ferments and bottling his finished wine. Mike Press»|
|Brookland Valley Estate made a conspiuous impression through their stirling efforts at Cabernet Merlot when they claimed several significant trophies, including the hotly contested Qantas Best Wine of Show. Expressing fully the generous palate structure and aromatic richness of the stylish Margaret River Cab Merlot accord, beautifully perfumed, bramble flavoured wine, brimming with the quality and elegance which has earned Brookland Valley Estate a five star reputation. Brookland Valley»|
|From parcels of Pinot Noir, planted to the foot of tailings, left behind by waves of prospectors who pursued their fortune amongst the open pits and mines on Adelaide Hills during the gold rush of the 1850s. Crushed and destemmed straight into the press with minimal time on skins to extract the perfect pink, its blushing lipstick hues presage a cornucopia of lifted strawberry and cherry blossom characters, ruby grapefruit and luscious jube over a length of tasty, toothsome tannins, the perfect RosÃ© for lazy afternoons or late night soirÃ©es. Bird In Hand»|
Wantirna Estate Vineyard is not far from the centre of Melbourne
Planted in 1963 it was the first of the new generation vineyards, the Yarra Valley having been an important grape growing area in the 1800s. The impetus for the vineyard began back in 1956 when Reg Egan married Bertina Curcio whose mother was English but whose father was Italian. Wine and food were important in the Curcio household and so started a fascination with the history of wine in Victoria. Before long they had their minds on a vineyard somewhere in the Yarra Valley. The early vine plantings included all sorts of varieties, many largely unknown, for those early Australian wine growing days. Varieties such as crouchon, pedro ximenez, barbera and dolcetto. But it was the classical varieties that eventually won the day and in the 1970’s the vineyard was consolidated to focus on chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot. Much of the existing cabernet sauvignon and merlot vines were part of the original 1963 plantings.
Wantirna Estate Vineyard is a never-ending world of change and enchantment. At times vigor and energy are required, at times patience needed. The winemaking is a joint effort between Reg and Bertina Egan and their daughter, Maryann Egan. These days Reg describes himself as the interfering winemaker but back in the early days everything was done by Reg, dashing from his legal practice to the winery to check on the ferments. Today much of the responsibility has been transferred to Maryann, who has a degree in wine science from Charles Sturt University.
Both Reg and Maryann have honed their practical skills in amongst the small domaines and chateaux of Burgundy and Bordeaux where the single vineyard, terroir driven wines have inspired them. Maryann was also a winemaker for many years in the early days of Domaine Chandon. Bertina keeps accounts sorted out as well as that all important role of looking after the pickers at vintage time. Like all small wineries it is a family affair with everyone involved in some way during the year.
Continuing the tradition, all the extended family still gets involved in the vineyard life - whether it is picking the grapes, helping to prune or looking busy riding the motor bike. Reg Egan started life as a farmer’s son in the small country town of Tolmie in northeast Victoria. Many years as a Melbourne lawyer then followed during which time Reg and Bertina planted Wantirna Estate.
In 1984 Reg gave up the law to concentrate on the vineyard. For many years Reg and Bertina travelled to Europe looking at vineyards, visiting winemakers and thoroughly immersing themselves in the European wine culture. Reg’s love for the land is evident at the property. Native plants complement old-fashioned roses, fruit trees and olive plantings.
Maryann Egan had no choice to becoming a winemaker…really. After completing her degree in physical education, she took off to backpack around Europe. Then running short of money around vintage time, it seemed the perfect moment to re-acquaint herself with the winemakers she’d met as a child, and to get some paid work to fund the rest of her trip. After a vintage in Burgundy, Maryann returned to Australia to begin her Oenology studies at Charles Sturt University. For the next six years Maryann worked at Domaine Chandon making both sparkling and table wines. After the birth of her first child Amelia in 1996, she returned to Wantirna Estate.
Along with her commitment to the winery, Maryann has been a wine writer for Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine, wine editor for Donna Hay magazine and a presenter on the SBS series The Wine Lovers Guide to Australia. Today, Maryann tries to manage the occasional visit to the vineyards of France with her family – Justin Robison and daughters Amelia and Hannah – as well as the odd trip in search of fresh powder snow. Reg is also a novelist with two books published to date – "Lottie" and "A Breakfast in Bourg". A third book is underway.