The definitive guide to Australian Wines
RedHeads was established by Tony Laithwaite in McLaren Vale, and has since moved to the Barossa Valley. The aim was to allow winemakers working under corporate banners to produce small batch wines. The team 'liberates' premium parcels of grapes from large companies, a few rows at a time, to give them the special treatment they deserve and to form wines of true individuality and character. It's all about creating wines with personality, that are made to be enjoyed.
Author: James Halliday
It all started out with a bunch of Aussie winemakers heading over to France to show the old dogs some new tricks. Australian wine had taken the world by storm in the 1970s and 1980s so el patrón, Tony Laithwaite, decided to get some Aussies over to France. From there the RedHeads seed was sown for a new wave in winemaking. In a small shed in McLaren Vale, a former Indian restaurant, a few of us winemakers took on the mission. Back then it was about breaking free from corporate shackles to come and make “real” wines. Tiny batches, hands-on, the way it used to be done.There have been a couple of Studio wineries over the years. McLaren Vale (Foggo Rd, Chalk Hill Rd) and in the Barossa (Lyndoch, Light Pass, Tanunda) - but the principles remain the same. We still hold onto that benchmark quality, making limited batches, but now we’re also about grape liberation.Our team constantly have their ears to the ground, searching out for the latest parcel to liberate from the big guys; we’re talking about the major, premium, Aussie brands. These grapes were originally destined for them, to be made into extortionately priced wines.You see, the growers themselves can’t afford to drink the fruits of their labour when it’s blended into these big names. No mistake, it’s a great honour to be selected for them, but now they can enjoy them.We bring the fruit back to our Studio winery, a few rows at a time, to give them the special treatment they deserve. Handmade, carefully, skilfully, watched over night and day. They go on to form wines of true individuality and character through this process. That’s what we’re after at RedHeads. It’s all about creating wines with a personality that are made to be enjoyed.We can’t save them all, but we try. The “movement” goes on.
Australia: Laithwaite's Wine People, The Australian WineUnited Kingdom: Laithwaite's Wine, Sunday Times Wine ClubUnited States of America: Laithwaite's Wine, Wall Street Journal Wine Club
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Very good producer of wines with class and character. Will have two (or more) wines rated at 90 points and above (or possibly one at 95 and above).
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