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Wine Tasting – St Hallett Wines

St Hallett – Rowland Flat

It is hard to pass up St Hallett when setting out to enjoy some wine tasting. Established in 1944, St Hallett is a long time member of the Barossa’s “family” of vineyards.  St Hallett Winery has become well known for its Old Block Shiraz. St Hallett is another of those great iconic wineries to visit wine tasting while on a Shiraz & Co Tours day trip to the Barossa Valley.

 

Wine Tasting Barossa Valley Shiraz

Barossa Valley Shiraz

 

The winery provides tastings of some of the region’s typically bold and flavourful Shiraz. St Hallett is nestled at the foot of the Barossa Valley Ranges in the Rowland Flat sub-region. The winery sits at an elevation of approximately 290m, between Lyndoch and Tanunda.

Winemakers Stuart Blackwell and Toby Barlow have built the brands reputation around integrity by staying true to the Barossa’s heritage. The winemaking focus is on individual treatment to maintain the rich, intense yet diverse character of the fruit. St Hallet wines were showcased to an audience of wine enthusiasts at a recent wine tasting event at the Henley Wine Club.

Henley Wine Club

This week I attended the November 2016 meeting of the Henley Wine Club.  As a matter of course, the Henley Wine Club is a good show. This month’s meeting was special with a relaxed, informative and rewarding wine tasting of St Hallett wines.

The Henley Wine Club is hosted by Cliff and Linda Rothenburg ([email protected]). Club meetings are held on a monthly basis in the clubrooms of the Henley Beach Bowling Club.  The format is a tasting of wines from a different winery or wineries each month, a chat with the hosts and winery representatives and some gourmet nibbles.

All Hail St Hallett Wines

St Hallett was represented by Stuart Blackwell, the personable and prestigious St Hallett senior winemaker of long-standing.  Stuart presented a great range of wines with an interesting and diverse array of varieties, from easy-to-drink whites to the inkiest of reds.

Stuart presented the wines from the valuable perspective of the winemaker. We heard not just about their technical development but also the history of the company, the St Hallett’s ‘story’.  St Hallett scrubs up well as a wine company with great history, company philosophy, innovative wine-making and probably related to these characteristics, great wines.  Every one of the presented wines were winners.

History of Endurance

Two years ago St Hallett turned 70 years old. Read more about St Hallett’s history here.  there are many wineries and growers struggling from the effects When the Australian wine industry is in an extended downturn . St Hallett winery also has had its own struggles; described as at times ‘being on its knees’.  But the company is doing well at this time.  I suspect the latter has something to do with finding, attracting and retaining significant talent in its workforce.

Varietal Diversity

Reflecting on the wine selection at the wine tasting, it is amazing what St Hallett have done with varieties outside the classics.  Together with the Barossa/Eden Valleys’ standard bearers of Shiraz and Riesling, Touriga Nacionale, Mataro and Grenache (in Pinot-style) was on offer.

 

 

Wine Tasting Barossa Valley Wine Region

Barossa Valley Wine Region

 

At the easy-to-drink end of the spectrum was Poacher’s Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (with a touch of Riesling). This was humorously described as 60% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 12-14% Riesling.  I don’t know about your maths, but that’s definitely over-delivering!  At the inky end of the spectrum was Stuart’s signature creation Blackwell Shiraz, perhaps better called “Black-ink-well”.

Building Relationships

St Hallett procure fruit from interesting and/or talented providers.  John Dawkins, reformed federal politician of the 70’s to 90’s supplies fruit for the Dawkins Single Block Shiraz. Anthony Scholz, a grower from the famous Ebenezer district supplies the Sholz Single Block Shiraz.  Anthony is to be admired for his dedication to growing good fruit and for his outstanding approach to the way he sells his product.  His marketing focus is on forging strong relationships with winemakers.  He is ahead of his time in the way he markets his fruit and accolades should go to St Hallet for being among the first to respond positively by respecting the provider and his approach.

Great Wine Stories

There’s some interesting stories behind some of the wines also.  The ‘poacher’ behind Poacher’s Sem/Sauv Blanc is in fact Stuart Blackwell, who out of retribution, poached some fruit one season (way back in the wilder, old days) from a non-paying client for contract-crushing.  I hasten to add that Stuart came clean with the victim and then developed a great long-standing relationship with the offending, and then offended vineyard.  The story behind the Gamekeepers labels (tasted were Shiraz/Grenache/Touriga and Cabernet Sauvignon) was also related on the night. Unfortunately I missed this because I was expecting to hear that the Gamekeeper was named after the guy who dealt with the Poacher.

There are a thousand more stories at St Hallet to be heard over a great glass of their wine at a wine tasting.  A visit to the winery at St Hallett Road, Tanunda in the Barossa Valley is well recommended, especially on one of Sharon and Armin’s great Shiraz & Co gourmet food and fine wine tours. 

To learn more from St Hallet wines visit their website here.

For more information or to experience St Hallett Wines on a fun day tour itinerary call Armin on 0411752062 or email him at [email protected]

By Lawrie Stanford,

25 November 2016

Wine Tasting – St Hallett Wines

St Hallett – Rowland Flat

It is hard to pass up St Hallett when setting out to enjoy some wine tasting. Established in 1944, St Hallett is a long time member of the Barossa’s “family” of vineyards.  St Hallett Winery has become well known for its Old Block Shiraz. St Hallett is another of those great iconic wineries to visit wine tasting while on a Shiraz & Co Tours day trip to the Barossa Valley.

 

Wine Tasting Barossa Valley Shiraz

Barossa Valley Shiraz

 

The winery provides tastings of some of the region’s typically bold and flavourful Shiraz. St Hallett is nestled at the foot of the Barossa Valley Ranges in the Rowland Flat sub-region. The winery sits at an elevation of approximately 290m, between Lyndoch and Tanunda.

Winemakers Stuart Blackwell and Toby Barlow have built the brands reputation around integrity by staying true to the Barossa’s heritage. The winemaking focus is on individual treatment to maintain the rich, intense yet diverse character of the fruit. St Hallet wines were showcased to an audience of wine enthusiasts at a recent wine tasting event at the Henley Wine Club.

Henley Wine Club

This week I attended the November 2016 meeting of the Henley Wine Club.  As a matter of course, the Henley Wine Club is a good show. This month’s meeting was special with a relaxed, informative and rewarding wine tasting of St Hallett wines.

The Henley Wine Club is hosted by Cliff and Linda Rothenburg ([email protected]). Club meetings are held on a monthly basis in the clubrooms of the Henley Beach Bowling Club.  The format is a tasting of wines from a different winery or wineries each month, a chat with the hosts and winery representatives and some gourmet nibbles.

All Hail St Hallett Wines

St Hallett was represented by Stuart Blackwell, the personable and prestigious St Hallett senior winemaker of long-standing.  Stuart presented a great range of wines with an interesting and diverse array of varieties, from easy-to-drink whites to the inkiest of reds.

Stuart presented the wines from the valuable perspective of the winemaker. We heard not just about their technical development but also the history of the company, the St Hallett’s ‘story’.  St Hallett scrubs up well as a wine company with great history, company philosophy, innovative wine-making and probably related to these characteristics, great wines.  Every one of the presented wines were winners.

History of Endurance

Two years ago St Hallett turned 70 years old. Read more about St Hallett’s history here.  there are many wineries and growers struggling from the effects When the Australian wine industry is in an extended downturn . St Hallett winery also has had its own struggles; described as at times ‘being on its knees’.  But the company is doing well at this time.  I suspect the latter has something to do with finding, attracting and retaining significant talent in its workforce.

Varietal Diversity

Reflecting on the wine selection at the wine tasting, it is amazing what St Hallett have done with varieties outside the classics.  Together with the Barossa/Eden Valleys’ standard bearers of Shiraz and Riesling, Touriga Nacionale, Mataro and Grenache (in Pinot-style) was on offer.

 

 

Wine Tasting Barossa Valley Wine Region

Barossa Valley Wine Region

 

At the easy-to-drink end of the spectrum was Poacher’s Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (with a touch of Riesling). This was humorously described as 60% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 12-14% Riesling.  I don’t know about your maths, but that’s definitely over-delivering!  At the inky end of the spectrum was Stuart’s signature creation Blackwell Shiraz, perhaps better called “Black-ink-well”.

Building Relationships

St Hallett procure fruit from interesting and/or talented providers.  John Dawkins, reformed federal politician of the 70’s to 90’s supplies fruit for the Dawkins Single Block Shiraz. Anthony Scholz, a grower from the famous Ebenezer district supplies the Sholz Single Block Shiraz.  Anthony is to be admired for his dedication to growing good fruit and for his outstanding approach to the way he sells his product.  His marketing focus is on forging strong relationships with winemakers.  He is ahead of his time in the way he markets his fruit and accolades should go to St Hallet for being among the first to respond positively by respecting the provider and his approach.

Great Wine Stories

There’s some interesting stories behind some of the wines also.  The ‘poacher’ behind Poacher’s Sem/Sauv Blanc is in fact Stuart Blackwell, who out of retribution, poached some fruit one season (way back in the wilder, old days) from a non-paying client for contract-crushing.  I hasten to add that Stuart came clean with the victim and then developed a great long-standing relationship with the offending, and then offended vineyard.  The story behind the Gamekeepers labels (tasted were Shiraz/Grenache/Touriga and Cabernet Sauvignon) was also related on the night. Unfortunately I missed this because I was expecting to hear that the Gamekeeper was named after the guy who dealt with the Poacher.

There are a thousand more stories at St Hallet to be heard over a great glass of their wine at a wine tasting.  A visit to the winery at St Hallett Road, Tanunda in the Barossa Valley is well recommended, especially on one of Sharon and Armin’s great Shiraz & Co gourmet food and fine wine tours. 

To learn more from St Hallet wines visit their website here.

For more information or to experience St Hallett Wines on a fun day tour itinerary call Armin on 0411752062 or email him at [email protected]

By Lawrie Stanford,

25 November 2016

Mc Laren Vale Wineries

Mc Laren Vale Wineries

Mc Laren Vale Wineries – 5 Top Winery Tour Options

When planning an Adelaide winery tour to one of our well renowned regions, it can be overwhelming with so many wineries to choose from. To level the field we have reviewed some of our top tour options for Mc Laren Vale Wineries.

Some winery tour operators opt for set itineraries, stopping at their favourite spots, convenient for some but not so for others.  At Shiraz & Co Tours we prefer to offer guests the freedom to have their food and wine passions and preferences considered, discussing options and negotiating the pace and type of venues visited.

Points of Interest

A diversity and uniqueness of venues which provides such a smorgasbord, each and every one focusing on individual strengths. These are influenced by factors such as size, heritage, quality, location, character, range, environment, diversity and others.

Visitors could take the easy option– short listing Halliday rated 5* facilities. Doing so may risk excluding some other gems with intimate and unique producers easily overlooked. Our recommendation would be to prepare an itinerary which has a balance of venues, so that all items on the wish list are covered.

Here is just a small sample of winery destinations in the Mc Laren Vale Wine Region that highlight the diversity on offer for a winery tour. But just enough to tempt you to come and explore them all.

1. Mc Laren Vale Wineries – Samuel’s Gorge Wines

Mc Laren Vale Wineries - Samuel's Gorge Wines

Samuel’s Gorge Cellar Door

Great Location

Mc Laren Vale is a stunning region, geographically and climatically blessed. Wedged between hills and sea on a diversity of soils, it has something to offer every palate and passion.
A unique venue with breath-taking location overlooking the picturesque Onkaparinga River National Park in the Vale’s “Sea-view” sub-region is Samuel’s Gorge Winery.

The Samuel’s Gorge cellar door is housed in a rustic farm shed built in 1853 and the facility is as authentic and hands-on as you would expect. It perfectly complements the dramatic landscape surrounding the winery.
The wines are hand crafted focusing on the old world, just like the surroundings they have a traditional, rustic and earthy quality.

Hands on Philosophy

The winery is in the courtyard, using open slate fermenters, oak barrels and basket press. You could easily mistake it for an official heritage museum of wine-making, a clear focus on traditional methods is evident.

The wine brand’s image, a mosaic reflecting its unique Gorge location, perfectly sums up the philosophy of the team behind the business and highlights its unique sense of place.

For more information on this great destination click here.

2. Mc Laren Vale Wineries – Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards

Great Service

Quality of service is one of those intangibles that contributes greatly towards the overall rating of the cellar door customer experience. Although there seems to be a generic model that serves most venues well, there are some which make a more enduring impression.

Cellar doors range from mass tourism affairs with almost supermarket like efficiency and processes to small, personal encounters where the focus is more on sharing a passion of a craft.

At Oliver’s Taranga the long family heritage shines through at the cellar door. The nature of the cellar door leaves you feeling like you have been invited to share in a glass of wine with friends and family. The small tasting rooms and nooks, the bar where you can sit and sip to you hearts content, all make for a very personal and intimate experience.

 Regional Knowledge

No excessive sales pitch given here, the wines are left to sell themselves, and this they do. Instead the banter typically revolves around flavour, aroma, personalities, preferences, perceptions and maybe the weather. Those that are interested to broaden their wine or regional knowledge are catered for, the staff are rich in local knowledge and love their wine too.

It is rewarding to hear tour guests recount their day exploring the region, reflecting on the personal encounters as much as on the special bottle or 2 of wine that they have collected during the day.
No wonder that Oliver’s Taranga was awarded 2012 Cellar Door of the Year by McLaren Vale Grape, Wine, & Tourism.

Follow this link to learn about the winery and their wines.

3. Mc Laren Vale Wineries – Bekkers Wines

Precision Approach

Wineries range from small rustic affairs in sheds and back yards to mass production facilities of concrete and stainless steel spread over acres. The experiences are as varied as the labels and brands they produce.
Cellar doors are likewise varied, yet some strive to offer an experience which is more individual and exclusive than others.

Bekkers Wine’s Tasting Room offers a such a unique and personal experience. The private cellar door sits in a dominant location overlooking the Vale, an architectural statement of modern design, small, intimate and maybe even with a sense of indulgence.

Refined Wines

The philosophy which underpins the wine-making is reflected in the cellar door; cohesiveness, finesse, texture and precision are clear. These values are echoed in the ambience, service and wines of course.

The fact that their small volume production fine textured and refined wines are only available at select restaurants, merchants or by allocation reflects the exclusive nature of this cellar door and the product.

The knowledge that viticulturist and winemaker couple Toby and Emanuelle Bekker regard both their talents and the McLaren Vale region equally capable of producing world class wines, equal to those held so much in high regard from the old world, is reassuring.

Read about the Bekkers’ story and their philosophy by visiting their website.

4. Mc Laren Vale Wineries– D’Arenberg Wines

Great Range

There are several larger producers in the region, but for sheer numbers and prominence, DÁrenberg’s range and portfolio has arguably got all the bases covered.

If you are into quantity, then their cellar door provides some of the most comprehensive selection around. 60 wines made from 25 varieties over 11 different ranges; best to book an extended stay if you plan to taste your way through these.

The stable includes Icons, Artisans, High Altitude Hillbillies from the Adelaide, the Originals from the good old days (well known staples), The Outsiders, The Socialites, Nobles, Ancients, Supers, Stump Jumps and Limited Releases.
Although most are available at local liquor stores, restaurants and wine merchants, seeing them in their natural habitat is a unique experience. The cellar door is being upgraded so the experience will soon be taken to a whole new level. Like the philosophy applied to their wines, the project reflects the same level of enthusiasm, a challenge and ode to the complexity of the wine making process.

Awards and Accolades

Over 70 awards and accolades since 1990 have recognised what was already a long traditional family history and fine track record in wine making. Since 1912 the winery has been a pioneer, and the development of the innovative and stunning $13m 5 storey “Cube” cellar door, bar, restaurant etc. will continue this tradition.

For more on this great destination follow this link. 

5. Mc Laren Vale Wineries – Kay Brothers Wines

Mc Laren Wineries - Kay Brothers Wines

Kays Brothers Winery

Great Tradition

With a humble beginning in 1890, the Amery vineyard and undertaking that became the Kay Brothers brand has stuck to its knitting. Committed to Tradition, they have passed on deeply held beliefs from one generation to the next. This is epitomised by the history recorded by the owners of Kay Brothers Wines.

Kay Brothers have resisted the impulse to cater to the whims of changing fashion and focused on producing exquisite dry red and fortified wines. They have maintained a vision to defend the values of their founders to produce wines of classic quality in a sustainable way for 3 generations.

Focus on Sustainability

The winery has also had an enduring focus on sustainability throughout its long history. Not only by way of water and energy efficiency, but also lending continued support to the local community and the wine and grape industry.

Recent support for the arts by hosting chamber music events is continuing to foster this connection.

Kay Brothers Wines present amazing value and provide extended cellar potential, as they have always done. The wines are characterful and uncomplicated, a pleasure to drink now or put aside for a decade or more. It is reassuring to see such a continued dedication to tradition in such a competitive industry.

Read more about Kay Brothers Wines here.

Maybe these great venues appeal and you wish to build them into a full day food and wine experience. Please contact Armin on 0411752062 or complete the Booking Form.

We can’t wait to share them with you on your own personalised day in “the Vales”.