Category Archives: Single Vineyard Wines

Apr 04 2015

Singlefile, Great Southern, WA: A Masterclass with CEO Patrick Corbett

Posted on April 04, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you haven’t yet heard of Singlefile wines, chances are you will soon! This Great Southern winery, based in Denmark, is now distributing its premium range of single vineyard wines nationally through Domaine Wine Shippers. Last week I had the good fortune to attend a master class with CEO Patrick Corbett at Double Bay’s Vintage Cellars.

Singlefile only released its first vintage in 2008, but it has already won a string of top awards. In 2013 James Halliday singled out Singlefile for the inaugural Top Dark Horse Winery of the Year award, remarking that “The choice of Phil and Viv Snowden’s winery was obvious. Singlefile has five wines ratings between 94 and 96 points, and another four earning the red value star. The wines are immaculately made.”

Singlefile tastingSinglefile certainly has all the attributes you would expect to find in a top Australian winery, including a desire to source the finest fruit from the best possible terroir.

Patrick Corbett, Singlefile’s CEO and the Snowden’s son-in-law, explained that the winery hired acclaimed Western Australian winemaker Larry Cherubino as a wine consultant not long after purchasing established Denmark vineyards in 2007.

Working with Singlefile’s Burgundy trained winemaker Coby Ladwig and the winery’s geologist trained owners, Cherubino went about benchmarking Singlefile’s wines against the best in the country.

From this exercise they determined that the Denmark vineyards’ existing plantings were only producing high quality chardonnay. Consequently, more suitable varieties were grafted onto existing rootstock or additional vineyards were secured in other regions. Today Singlefile owns or leases seven vineyards across the Great Southern, employing a full-time viticulturist to oversee their management.

Singlefile The Vivienne Chardonnay 2012 was recently the top pick in a Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s blind tasting that included chardonnay icons like the Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2013 and the … Read the rest

Mar 03 2012

Single Vineyard Perfection: A Brief History

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you’re want to understand the importance of single vineyard wines, a look at the history of winemaking in Burgundy is the best place to start. No other region in the world has studied more closely how grapes perform in different terroirs. Indeed the very concept of terroir – the idea that the micro-climate, soil characteristics, exposure and orientation of each particular site determine the character of the wine – originated in Burgundy.

As the Burghound.com’s Allen Meadows explained at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Masterclass Single Vineyard Perfection, the Catholic religious orders, who managed the Burgundian vineyards from about 600 AD up to the end of the 18th century, noticed that different plots created wines with unique personalities. They believed that these individual expressions were in fact celebrating messages from God. (Meadows also noted that the idea of a single grape variety for a single vineyard came about because the monks didn’t want to muddle God’s message!)

In medieval times the Cistercian Order classified the best vineyard sites of Burgundy’s famous golden slope, the Côte d’Or, laying the foundation for the current classification of five levels, ranging from Grand Crus (only 2% of the Côte d’Or vineyards) at the top of the pyramid to the regional and sub-regional appellations at the bottom.

Today the classification system in Burgundy is firmly entrenched and unlike Bordeaux, where the wines are classified according to the reputation of the producer, the hierarchy in Burgundy is still geographically based. The Grand Crus Côte de Beaune vineyard of Montrachet, for example, is still widely considered the best vineyard in the world for chardonnay. The almost 8 hectare (19 acres) vineyard is home to 18 owners and 26 producers!

In recent years Australian and other New World producers have embraced the idea of single … Read the rest