Continuing with our showcase of wineries that made a remarkable entrance to the 2019 Companion, achieving a rating of four or more stars for their first time in the guide, we have another duo of producers who have hit the ground running ahead.
Barossa Boy: true to nature
This winery – headed up by down-to-earth winemaker Trent Burge – is all about wine that’s accessible and with a genuine story. Trent is indeed a Barossa boy, and he shares the traditions of the region and his experience of it via his range.
Q: Why should wine lovers seek out your winery?
A: I produce simple, delicious wines that are authentically Barossa in style. I don’t want to overcomplicate anything for drinkers – wine can be intimidating, and my goal is to make it less so.
Q: What inspires your winemaking?
A: My focus is on being true to the Barossa, but also on making wines that I love to drink. For example, I blended Barossa Valley shiraz with Eden Valley cabernet sauvignon because that’s one of my favourite combinations. I also sourced the cabernet from our family vineyards in the Eden Valley because I believe that’s where the best cabernet fruit comes from in the Barossa. So, it’s partly practical, and partly about following my heart.
Key varietals: shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, mataro.
Flagship wine: Lifeblood Shiraz.
Manser Wines: seeing red
The Manser vineyard produces varied expressions of shiraz fruit, which winemaker Phil Christiansen crafts with a meticulous approach. The 16 acres of vines are cared for with the utmost attention to detail and were previously the source of some of Hardys winery’s top-tier labels.
Q: You only make shiraz and shiraz blends. What keeps you interested?
A: The Manser vineyard is a bit of an enigma. It stretches from the top of a hill and down into a shallow valley, so there are various soil profiles and conditions for the vines to grow in. Add to that four different clones of shiraz, planted randomly throughout the site, and you have a unique opportunity to showcase a variety of shiraz characteristics. Trying our shiraz wines from across sites is an excellent exercise to see if you can spot the differences.
Q: Tell us about your winemaking philosophy.
A: My job is to nurture the wine from the vine to the bottle. It's crucial to have fruit that’s full of flavour in the first instance – my approach is hands-off, allowing the quality of the grapes to shine through the wine, aiming to achieve a delicious and well-balanced result.
Key varietals: shiraz, grenache.
Flagship wine: Manser Block 4 Shiraz.