This Weeks Tastings

Thursday, 19th July: ~ 5pm-8pm
Saturday,21st July: ~ 11am - 5pm

Unsurprisingly for Kym Teusner and Mick Page, beer played a major role in their decision to start Teusner Wines in 2001. After a few cold ones they overheard a couple of grape growers contemplating removal of their 85 year old Grenache vines, Kym and Mick stepped up to the plate and offered them 4 times what they’d been paid by ‘the big guys’ for the crop if they’d keep the vineyard in the ground. The offer was accepted, the vines stayed in the ground, Teusner Wines came to life with a singular mission – to make the kind of wines they liked to drink!

The numbers of growers and the range of wines may have expanded over the years, but for Kym and Mick some things will never change. They’ve always insisted on treating their grape growers like the real people they are, and not just suppliers. They’re welcomed at the winery for a beer and invited to taste wines made from the old vine fruit their family has grown for generations. They’re paid well because not only do they work hard but they’re extremely good at what they do…as you’d expect from people that have been growing grapes for so many years. Kym and Mick reckon it’s by taking this approach that they’ve been able get fruit from some of the best of the old Barossa vineyards to make their wines.

In the winery, a lot faith is placed in having a set of human eyes and hands (and sometimes feet) on the job…believing that having a person with a feel for what is and isn’t working will win out over a machine any day. Everything is crushed one small picking bin at a time, which makes for plenty of long days at the peak of vintage. At all times the focus is on keeping close watch to ensure everything – colour, flavour, aroma and structure – is as it should be, whilst taking it easy with the oak to let the righteous flavours found in old Barossa vineyards take center stage in the wines. Winemaking at Teusner Wines is powered by people…so you know that it’s been done right and it’s been done well.

Stepping into the winery, you’re met with an immediate sense that everyone at Teusner Wines gets enormous pleasure from doing what they do, and that they want for nothing more than people to get pleasure when they put their hand in their pocket to buy a bottle of Teusner wine. By sticking to making the kind of wines they like to drink, Kym and Mick have amassed an army of fans and the applause of the commentators. Keeping it simple has paid off!

Upcoming Tastings

Wine

Pikes & Hentley Farm

Clare Valley & Barossa Valley, SA

Thursday, 26th July: 5pm-8pm
Saturday, 28th July: 11am - 5pm

Set on the red-brown soils of the western Barossa Valley, Hentley Farm founders Keith and Alison Hentschke acquired the 150 acre vineyard and mixed farming property in the 1990s. Following extensive research to find out where the best red wine grapes in the Barossa Valley were being produced, their studies led them towards the rich red soils of the Seppeltsfield area. Keith used an old soil map from the 1950s to strategically locate the best parcels of land and after a number of years acquired Hentley Farm.

With a focus on perfecting the vineyards, the first wines weren’t released from the property until 2002. The estate was extended with the purchase of the neighbouring high quality Clos Otto block in 2004.

The Pike family (through Dorsetshire immigrant Henry Pike) established a brewery at Oakbank in 1886 producing quality beer, aerated waters and cordials, however this business was ultimately closed down in 1968.

In 1984, Henry’s great, great, grandsons, brothers, Neil (winemaker) and Andrew (viticulturist) established Pikes Wines at Polish Hill River. The first Pikes wines were released in the Spring of 1985, and the winery has since been growing, producing and marketing a range of premium table wines which reflect the region, and the varieties grown on their 80-hectare Estate.

Pikes Riesling is internationally renowned as one of Australia’s pre-eminent dry Rieslings, with the 2013 vintage winning ‘Australia’s Best Riesling’ at the 2013 Canberra International Riesling Challenge.

Gin

Never Never Distilling Co.

Royal Park, SA

Friday, 27th July: 3-6pm

The three of us, each from very different backgrounds, were inspired to follow our passions and open a small distillery in the suburbs of Adelaide. It is here where we can create, innovate and excite with our truly unique take on the Australian spirit category. We must fearlessly follow our passion, to step away from what’s easy and do what it is that excites us. We must inspire through action, excite through flavour and be honest in what we do. Above all else, we must be fearless.

The Never Never Distilling Co. embraces the Australian spirit of adventure and the journey into the unknown. We celebrate the star chasers and the wonder seekers, those who are never content to accept the status quo. Like those who have explored the vastness of this great land, we too search for places beyond the horizon, and let flavour guide us there.

Wine

Serafino

McLaren Vale, SA

Thursday, 2nd August: 5pm-8pm
Saturday, 4th August: 11am - 5pm

The Serafino story began in 1964 when Steve (Serafino) Maglieri arrived in Australia from Italy as a passionate teenager full of dreams.

Two years later, with the assistance of his father Giovanni, he planted his first vines in McLaren Vale that now extends to 350 acres, laying the foundation of a winemaking dynasty that today is known as Serafino Wines and overseen by his daughter, Maria.

From the beginning, Steve and his father worked from dawn to dusk seven days a week to produce wines of such outstanding quality that it wasn’t long before the accolades began to flow.

And it’s this love that saw him become Australia’s “Lambrusco King” in the 1990s, bottling the wine inspired in part by his homeland under his family name. Demand for Lambrusco was so high that at its peak, Steve was producing more than four million bottles a year before selling his company to Mildara Blass in 1998.

As early as 1979, Steve was crowned ‘Bushing King’ for best red wine in the McLaren Vale Wine Show – an honour he achieved again in 1992 and 2007 – while further national recognition followed in 1997 when he won the trophy for Best Shiraz in the Great Australian Wine Challenge.

Numerous awards have followed including the Trophy for Best Shiraz and Red Wine of the Year at the London International Wine Challenge in 1997 and earning the Trophy for the most consistent Shiraz at the London International Wine Challenge after winning Gold in its class for five consecutive years.

Today Steve’s daughter Maria Maglieri is the driving force of Serafino Wines, forging ahead with traditional McLaren Vale varieties as well as exciting Italian-style wines such as Fiano, Lagrein, Vermentino, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, Nebbiolo and Primitivo plus the Spanish variety Tempranillo.

Serafino’s rich Italian heritage shines through the names of many wines including Terremoto, the Italian word for ‘earthquake’ that is also a term of endearment to describe a spirited individual full of life and energy. Friends and family often refer to Steve as ‘Terremoto’.

Situated in the heart of McLaren Vale in the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula, it’s no surprise Serafino has built its reputation as a tourism destination for award winning wines with the largest Italian varietal portfolio in the region, restaurant, premium conference and function facility and 4 star accommodation.

Nowadays, Steve continues to be the face of Serafino and enjoys hosting local, national and international guests at Serafino Restaurant, and still loves checking the vines, tasting wines and lending a hand inside the winery. He is an active member in South Australia’s Italian community, and loves playing golf.

Gin

Kangaroo Island Spirits

Kangaroo Island, SA

Friday, 3rd August: 3-6pm

The origins of KIS

in 2002 Jon & Sarah lark got married and this is the beginning of the KIS story – It led to them setting out to establish Australia’s first dedicated gin distillery, to do things properly, the traditional way’.

Not long after they started, Jon & Sarah visited Sipsmith in London. Sipsmith started in a small shed in the suburb of Hammersmith making a premium gin out of a small still in the suburbs. This gave the Larks the confidence to acquire a small Stil – and so began the KIS distilling journey. Very similar to what kis were already doing in a small shed on KI. With an even smaller still, they knew they were on the right track.

The business core values and the personality of KIS products.

One of the appealing factors about gin is that when you’re making gin, there’s a lot you can do with botanicals. Jon & Sarah could almost be called old-fashioned, because they think gin should still be predominantly juniper flavoured – it’s a choice (some of the new ones aren’t). From there it is very flexible & almost do or add anything you like. It is this taste challenge & exquisite uniqueness of KIS gins that underpins its core values and product personality.

Éric Ripert a French chef based in New York, once described Jon & Sarah as being like French sauciers, people who balanced flavours going into a pot so that when the ‘sauce’ (metaphor for gin) was complete & presented in the right way it was well balanced. This means consistency and balance are critical to core values.

Another important value is that KIS intentionally does not want to become something other than the master of the craft industry – it is not about size of business, it is about achieving the best reputation and to let the market to some extent dictate what it wants from KIS spirits.

A huge number of small distilleries have started since KIS was established, and some have grown quickly – almost by force & wilful marketing. This is not the KIS model; the KIS team is in it for the character of the KIS lifestyle, the passion of inclusion – for instance sharing ideas and being creative in terms of botanicals – this hands on, family approach is what the word Craft Distillery means to the KIS team – this is the KIS model.

How interesting it is that many of the larger non-craft distillers are now trying to ‘market’ and develop ‘Craft’ products – this is because the consumer realises that craft – the true artisan product – is genuinely of higher quality and reputation (a consumer that is being rapidly educated about how to think of, and how to drink, gin and spirits). So that’s where the market is.

The reality is that you have to be hands on in every step of distilling to produce a ‘crafted’ spirit – words like passion & patience, knowledge & experience, family effort, small & unique and capturing the dream, all describe how it must be to deliver to the discerning consumer a truly craft gin – the words like ‘business model’ are less necessary as craft is what the true believer & dedicated artisan has the luxury of indulging in.

Revisit the beginning of the KIS – the story – why KIS why a distillery etc

Jon & Sarah lark selected Kangaroo Island for a couple of reasons. Sarah describes it as follows, “It’s a beautiful location, it costs a little bit more to get there, but when you get there it feels as if you have turned everything off and you can slow down – that is of course until you need to get up at six and turn the still on every morning. Remember that we literally lived in the desert for a lot of years, so a sea change was definitely high on our priority list”.

The Larks recognised that on KI there was an emerging food and wine industry – with a tourism base. Nobody else was making spirits – in fact no one was doing it in South Australia, let alone Kangaroo Island.

Additionally, the larks really liked the passion of the producers that were already on the Island. They weren’t big people trying to market something that isn’t real. KI is the genuine place for artisan , craft and hand made products, it is a place of passionate hard workers when it comes to innovation and effort – add the beauty of the place and it a really lovely place to engage with – if you have not seen the KIS company video, have a look on the new KIS web site and you will experience the Island and its spirit from the KIS perspective.

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93 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide, 5006

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