Stephen George and his Ashton Hills label have been store favourites from day one at East End Cellars. An iconic Australian producer and a pioneer of Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir. The popularity of Pinot from the Hills has grown exponentially over the past few years with so many great new producers and growers. But Ashton Hills has remained the benchmark. The winery is basic, an earth floor and next to no equipment whatsoever. The Pinot fruit is destemmed with a small, customised, gentle destemmer that keeps as many whole berries as possible. The fruit is then basket pressed and the wine is made without any sulphur additions until bottling. Some whole bunches are included, the percentage varying according to vintage. The Pinots are mostly raised in aged, neutral French hogshead barrels. The Reserve Pinot may see some new oak, but again, the percentage depends entirely on the vintage. These are not wines made to a recipe.
This weeks feature winery is the bidynamic Barossa estate; Kalleske. The Kalleske family consider themselves caretakers of the land and not only want to maintain the environment but improve it for future generations. Quite a noble statement. What we love about the wines from Kalleske is their truthful approach. Wines that speak of the Barossa, rich and robust reds that we know the area is renowned for with thoughtful winemaking. They also don't mind an experiment, like their "Plenarius" Viognier that spends 7 days on skins and 10 months in oak, bottled unfined & unfiltered with a cloudy, orangey-amber colour and no added sulphites. The result is textural, exotic, slightly tannic, different and delicious.