Outside Mount Horrocks winery Australia

Wine adventures pt. 1 – Clare Valley, Australia

We want to take you on a journey and, with international travel on pause for the moment, our travel bucket lists aren’t getting any shorter. In fact, quite the opposite! As the focus remains on staying home, staying local, and waiting for the world to heal, we’ll help you plan that dream trip for once this whole pandemic thing goes away!

Wine adventures pt. 1 – Clare Valley, Australia

We want to take you on a journey and, with international travel on pause for the moment, our travel bucket lists aren’t getting any shorter. In fact, quite the opposite! As the focus remains on staying home, staying local, and waiting for the world to heal, we’ll help you plan that dream trip for once this whole pandemic thing goes away!
Outside Mount Horrocks winery Australia

Destinations for your post-lockdown bucket list

Hi, Filipe here! I’m one of those lucky people (the others might call it annoying!) who’s had the chance to explore and visit some of the most incredible regions of the wine world – from a small, hidden desert with an active volcano (no joke) to well-known postcard-worthy classics. 

We want to take you on a journey and, with international travel on pause for the moment, our travel bucket lists aren’t getting any shorter. In fact, quite the opposite! As the focus remains on staying home, staying local, and waiting for the world to heal, we’ll help you plan that dream trip for once this whole pandemic thing goes away! Starting with…

A trip Down Under

When I got a phone call from a friend with the question: “Would you like to go to Australia, explore the country and visit a few wineries for a couple of weeks?” I nearly put the phone down. I thought he was joking because most of my wine sourcing trips had been around europe. 

Once I had the itinerary in hand though, I realised he was serious and this was going to be a trip to remember (regardless of how much wine was consumed!). 12 days, 9 regions, 22 producers, hundreds of wines – it’s a tough job but, hey, someone has to do it! 

Bags packed (travelling light because nobody wants a wine snob with lots of luggage), first stop – Clare Valley. Home to some of the World’s best Riesling. We were visiting two iconic wine producers – Grosset and Mount Horrocks. 

Clare Valley Reisling trail

Grosset

For over 37 years, the Grosset ‘Springvale’ and ‘Polish Hill’ Rieslings have shown a consistency of style and quality that’s made this one of Australia’s greatest wineries. The ‘hard rock’ blue state of the Polish Hill site results in wines that are steely and magnificently age-worthy, while the red loam of the Springvale vineyard gives more open and easily accessible – if no less complex – wines. 

Such is Jeffrey Grosset’s attention to detail that he noticed a small strip in his rockwood vineyard that produced more generously flavoured wines due to a different soil. As a result, he decided to produce a different wine from this site, ‘Alea’ which adds to his great cannon of Rieslings. 

As the story of ‘Alea’ illustrates, Jeffrey is fanatical about the quality of his vineyards, all of which are certified organic and are hand-tended. In the winery each process is gentle and uncomplicated. No finnings are used and sulphur is the only addition. 

By combining a disciplined approach and decades of experience, Grosset consistently achieves the purest expression of variety and place. We tasted about 20-30 wines on our first stop alone – different vintages, different blends, plots, styles and grapes, topped off with a unique spirit made from distilled Riesling. No botanicals, flavours or colours were used, resulting in a pure, clean spirit which reflects the character and aromas of the variety. And it’s not even midday, but hey the jet-lag from our direct flight London > Perth, plus a flight straight to Adelaide Hills, a drive to the winery, where was I… oh yeah, what even is time? 

The next stop is literally next door – which goes a way to making up for all the previous travel. 

Outside Mount Horrocks winery Australia

Mount Horrocks 

Mount Horrocks winery is owned by winemaker Stephanie Toole, who restricts production in order to achieve her aims of quality and single vineyard expression. This Clare Valley winery was established in 1980 and purchased by Stephanie in 1993. Since then, she’s made significant improvements to the wines, vineyards and the winery. 

In 2014, the winery and vineyards were organically certified by the ACO (Australian Certified Organic). Stephanie describes her wines as ‘hand-made food wines’ with an emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours. 

All grapes are estate grown and hand picked from three separate organically managed vineyards: Auburn vineyard for the ‘Cordon cut’, Waterwale vineyard for the Riesling, Semillon and Shiraz, and Polish Hill River vineyard for the Cabernet Sauvignon. Her persistence with classic, no-compromise winemaking and a fully integrated organic approach to growing sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream.

The Watervale Riesling is a regional classic, while the ‘Cordon Cut’ Riesling ranks among Australian’s best sweet wines, we tasted about 15 wines, no grape spirit this time. 

So, I think we can all agree it was a pretty strong start to my Australian wine adventure. 

Next stop – the Barossa Valley. 

If you get a Riesling from Grosset or Mount Horrocks in your next box, we’d love to hear what you think. Drop us an email!

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