The family-founded and owned Taylors continues to flourish and expand – its vineyards are now by far the largest holding in the Clare Valley. Over the years there have been changes in terms of the winemaking team and the wine style and quality, particularly through the outstanding St Andrews range and more recently, The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon and The Pioneer Shiraz. With each passing vintage, Taylors is managing to do for the Clare Valley what Peter Lehmann did for the Barossa Valley. Recent entries in international wine shows have resulted in a rich haul of trophies and gold medals for wines at all price points. A founding member of Australia’s First Families of Wine, the family celebrated 50 years in 2019. Exports (under the Wakefield brand due to trademark reasons) to all major markets.
Three generations of family winemaking
Our story began three generations ago, with the dream of my grandfather, Bill Taylor Snr, and his sons, Bill and John. Wine merchants in Sydney, all three Taylors were singularly passionate about wine – and most particularly the famous French clarets such as Chateau Mouton Rothschild from Bordeaux. This love affair with exceptionally crafted wine eventually inspired them to try and create a stunning wine of their own…
Red, brown, and gold
Bill Snr, Bill and John set out to find the perfect piece of land to establish a vineyard in the Taylors name. In 1969, after a considerable search, they found a promising 178-hectare site by the Wakefield River in the Clare Valley. They were certain the soil – red brown loam over limestone (now called terra rossa) – would prove conducive to crafting wines of the highest quality. The contrast of warm days and cool nights in the Clare would be equally beneficial – helping the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripen in the day, and rest at night.
It didn’t take long for this bold vision to be realised – and critical recognition soon followed. In fact, when they entered their first ever vintage release in the Royal Adelaide Wine Show, it took home the coveted Montgomery Trophy for best red wine in show. The accolades didn’t stop there however – that 1973 vintage won a gold medal at every national wine show it was entered in.
Bringing great wines to life
We understand the importance of protecting, preserving and enhancing the quality of the fruit from our vineyards. Our aim is to achieve balance, elegance and finesse in every wine and somewhat uniquely when it comes to the style of our wines, we often seek to make wines that are at once both powerful and elegant. The Taylors philosophy rests on the principle that the finest wines are those made with the greatest dedication and care. Above all our imperative is to ‘respect the fruit’.
A first for everything
Our philosophy has seen us embrace innovation throughout our history. Recently, we opened a custom-designed wine facility for the 2009 vintage, that sought to preserve the quality of each and every grape. A key feature of this facility is a large Pera press, which uses fewer pressing cycles to extract the same amount of juice from the grapes. As the process is gentler it releases less unwanted phenolic characters and preserves purity of flavour.
Everything we do at Taylors – from being the first Australian winery to only use screw-cap closures to the installation of our extremely gentle gas mixing system – is done to allow the remarkable fruits produced in our vineyards to be experienced to their full. And for the wine itself to always represent unmatched style and quality.