Eight of our favourite small Australian winemakers

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The Australian wine industry is a vibrant scene, characterised by many small winemakers and boutique wineries. South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria produce the greatest quantity of wine. With so many varieties, blends and labels – we have sought out small Australian winemakers you’ve probably never heard of but should definitely get to know.

#1. Mount Avoca, VIC

Mount Avoca is a small, family-owned business in western Victoria, and has been going for more than 40 years. Currently owned and operating under it’s 3rd generation owners, Lisa and Matthew Barry, the couple and their family have introduced an environmental ethos and practice to winemaking.

From the grapes in the vineyard, all the way through to the bottling, the whole winery is 100% certified organic. Since 2013, Mount Avoca Estate Range wines have been produced using certified organic grapes.

Mount Avoca is perfectly located at the crossroads of Central Victoria. Ballarat, Daylesford, Castlemaine, Ararat and St Arnaud, all lie less than an hour’s drive away.

Find out more: http://mountavoca.com/

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#2. Sirromet Wines, QLD

Since opening its doors 15 years ago, Sirromet is attracting more than 300,000 visitors each year, putting Queensland’s wine on the world stage, and has collected an enviable 800 prestigious national and international wine awards.

The winery is now focused on showcasing it’s award winning Queensland wines to the international markets of China, Japan and the US.

Sirromet’s Chief Winemaker, Adam Chapman, credits the continued evolution of Sirromet wines to the craftsmanship of its winemaking and viticulture team.

Situated at picturesque Mount Cotton, just a short drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Sirromet’s state of the art facilities offer wine and food lovers the ultimate winery experience – combining production, cellar door and 5-star restaurant – with unique architecture and breathtaking scenery.

Find out more: http://www.sirromet.com/

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#3. SubRosa Wine, VIC

SubRosa was founded by winemaker Adam Louder and Nancy Panter in 2015.

Adam has worked 30 harvests around the world (Australia, USA and France) by the age of 35! Nancy’s background is global brand and marketing public relations working mostly in Canada, the USA and Australia – but never before in wine!

SubRosa wines are made from premium fruit from the Grampians and Pyrenees regions in Victoria. Varieties include Chardonnay, Viognier, Nebbiolo and Shiraz. They don’t own a winery (rather they lease space) nor do they own a vineyard (they work closely with passionate local grape growers) so all their focus is on crafting premium wines and getting them into the hands of wine-lovers who will appreciate them!

Their total production began with 300 cases (2013) and has expanded to 450 cases (2016).

Their wines are small batch made with low-intervention practices and have won critical acclaim from the release of the first vintage from Winefront critic Mike Bennie.

Currently SubRosa is available via www.subrosawine.com and at boutique wine bars, restaurants and wine retailers in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

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#4. Alex Russell Wines, SA

Alex Russell, 37, from South Australia, launched a successful Pozible crowdfunding campaign in 2015 to help fund his own label – Alejandro

After working in the wine industry for the past 13 for big winemakers such as Angove Family Winemakers in Renmark and Zilzie in Mildura, Alex decided it was time to go out on his own and create his own label, specialising in alternative wine varietals, which are especially suited to the Australian climate.

Alex’s love for winemaking began when his parents bought him a home brew kit for his 14th birthday. From those humble beginnings, Alex now has 3 degrees all focussed on wine science.

He has recently won medals for his crowd-funded Alejandro range at the 2016 Melbourne International Wine Competition and al so the 2015 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

Find out more: http://www.alexrussellwines.com.au/

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#6. Nick Haselgrove Wines, SA

These quality South Australian wines are crafted by third generation family winemaker Nick Haselgrove.

Nick draws from the vast well of generational experience that has seen the Haselgrove family achieve great accomplishments in the wine industry. His grandfather Ron started making wine in 1920 and his dad James continued the tradition and still does so today.

A former McLaren Vale Bushing King and Winestate’s Winemaker of the Year Nick is charged with revitalising the family name in one of Australia’s truly premium wine regions . The Haselgrove tradition is in good hands. Nick is a specialist Shiraz winemaker but also look out for his Grenache and the emerging Sangiovese. Nick’s had time working in the corporate environment but ultimately his passion leads him back to the Haselgrove label.

Find out more: http://www.nhwines.com.au/

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#7. Thomas Wines, NSW

Thomas Wines is not only one of the Hunter Valley’s most renowned winemakers, but nationally and internationally acclaimed for it’s exceptional, single vineyard Hunter Valley wines. Thomas wines have gained somewhat of a ‘cult status’ for its small range of personality imbued wines, many of which offer both pure current drinking pleasure, as well as remarkable cellaring potential.

Andrew Thomas spent 13 years of tutelage under the great Murray Tyrrell so he knows a thing or two about Hunter Semillon and Shiraz. In fact that’s all “Thommo” makes, but a superb selection of each. A champion of Australia’s oldest wine region he is a dual recipient of the Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year Award and enjoys status of a Halliday 5 Red Star rated winery.

Andrew is currently releasing his 2014 reds, a vintage some say rivals the great 1965. Thomas Wines, whilst established in 1997 celebrated the opening of their Cellar Door in December 2015. Andrew has done vintages in Sonoma, Tuscany, Piedmont and Province.

Find out more: http://www.thomaswines.com.au/

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#8. Paracombe Wines, SA

Paracombe Wines is a family owned, vineyard and winery located at Paracombe in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. It was established in 1983 when Paul and Kathy Drogemuller bought a burnt out dairy farm after the Ash Wednesday bushfires and planted a vineyard. With no background or experience in grape growing or winemaking they started making wine in a tin shed with a homemade basket press, secondhand milk tanks and crusher.

Today Paracombe Wines is an award winning, strong, successful family wine business with wines sold throughout Australia and exported to United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, China, Hong Kong, Denmark, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia and Japan. This year two Paracombe wines have been selected by Qantas for business class travellers – the Paracombe 2011 Shiraz for International and 2015 Pinot Gris for Domestic.

Fruit for Paracombe wines is sourced from family vineyards and specialist growers. Wines are made, bottled, stored and distributed direct from the winery. This soft environmental footprint and authentic management gives Paracombe Wines an identity and reputation for producing ecologically crafted, award-winning wines. Paracombe’s specialized range of 14 wines includes sparkling, whites and red.

Find out more: http://www.paracombewines.com/

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