Tag: Spinifex Wines

Apr 04 2011

Hobbs Shiraz Gregor: An Australian Take on a Famous Italian Wine Style

Posted on April 04, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Over the past few months, I’ve talked quite a bit about how Australian winemakers are increasingly working with alternative or less well-known grape varieties, such as tempranillo, viognier and chenin blanc. But perhaps less evident to consumers is the number of wineries that have adopted non-conventional wine styles. Interestingly, Hobbs, the artisan Barossa Ranges winery, has embraced with great success the challenges of employing alternative winemaking styles on typical ‘Australian’ varieties like shiraz!

Hobbs of Barossa Ranges is owned by Greg and Allison Hobbs. They have 15 acres of  vineyards, which are home to some of the Barossa’s oldest shiraz.  Nestled in the cool, beautiful Barossa Ranges, where the elevation, climate and ancient decomposed clay soils, allow for the slow ripening of the fruit, the vineyards are dry-grown, biodynamically farmed, hand-pruned and hand-picked.

The Hobbs vineyards are contiguous with Chris Ringland’s famed Chris Ringland Shiraz vineyards (formerly Chris Ringland’s Three Rivers). Ringland acts as a consultant winemaker, working with Pete Schell from Spinifex Wines, who makes the wines for Hobbs. Previously Schell was the head winemaker at Turkey Flat before starting Spinifex in 2001.

Little wonder then that this enviable combination of wine growing and winemaking skills has helped Hobbs attain critical acclaim and a strong following for its small range (only seven different wines) of very limited production wines – typically 250 or less dozens of each.

Hobbs makes a very highly rated old vine shiraz and shiraz viognier, but it is the Amarone-style Hobbs Shiraz Gregor that represents a new direction in the style of Australian shiraz.

Amarone della Valpolicella is the rich, heady red from the Valpocella region near Veneto in northern Italy. Typically it is made with the corvina grapes, a variety unique to the region, and sometimes rondinella and molinara grapes are … Read the rest

Dec 12 2010

Artisans of the Barossa: Breaking down the Stereotypes!

Posted on December 12, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In my article, Australian and New Zealand Wine: Telling a Complex Story!, 28 September 2010, I mentioned that 12 of the country’s most prestigious wineries have joined forces to create Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) – an export oriented venture designed to explain and promote the character, heritage and quality of Australia’s family-run wine companies.

In the Barossa region another group of like-minded winemakers formed their own alliance in 2006 with a similar purpose. Today, Artisans of the Barossa consists of 12 wineries that are working together to market their small production, hand-made, high quality wines to the domestic and international markets. Familiar and not-so-familiar names make up the group’s membership: Dutschke Wines, Hobbs of Barossa Ranges, John Duval Wines, Kalleske Wines, Massena, Radford Wines, Schwarz Wine Company, Sons of Eden, Spinifex Wines, The Standish Wine Company, Teusner and Tin Shed. Collectively they represent 11 Barossa subregions: Barossa Ranges, Lyndoch, Ebenezer Moppa, Kalimna, Bethany, Vine Vale, Light Pass, Koonunga and Marananga, as well as the Eden Valley.

What is also interesting about Artisans of the Barossa is that while the winemakers collectively have decades of winemaking experience behind them and share a rich viticultural heritage, most of the wineries in the group are less than 20 years old. Indeed, they represent a new generation of wineries that are dispelling the notion that Barossa is about massively extracted, high alcohol wines. As the American wine critic Alder Yarrow commented in his article, Tasting the Artisans of Barossa Wines, Vinography, 30 March 2010, “I was very happy to find many of them making 13.5% to 14% alcohol, elegant and delicious Shiraz (some from very old, microscopic family vineyards, and lean, low-alcohol Rieslings from the Eden valley).” Yarrow tasted … Read the rest