Artisans of Barossa
To be an ‘artisan’ is very much about setting your own path driven by a human desire to explore, experiment and to express ourselves. To create and share things shaped in our mind and made by our own hands for the enjoyment of others. Often proffered with a simple “I made this, please enjoy”. A tinge of pride yes, but hubris never.
The Artisans of Barossa are John Duval Wines, Spinifex Wines, Sons of Eden, Lienert Vineyards, Schwarz Wine Co., Purple Hands Wines, Hobbs of Barossa Ranges and Chaffey Bros. Wine Co.
Eight small winemakers brought together by a shared commitment to protect and promote the art of small-batch Barossa winemaking.
Presenting over 100 Barossa wines on tasting in one place, along with Essen, our benchmark Barossa dining space, Artisans of Barossa is a not-to-be missed destination for any seeker of warm hospitality and Barossa wine and food.
Chaffey Bros. Wine Co.
Brothers-in-law Daniel Hartwig and Theo Engela feel no need to subscribe to the usual ways of doing things, which is reflected in the names and distinctive packaging of their wines. Joined by Barossa lad and young-gun winemaker Huon Fechner, the Chaffey Bros. Wine Co. team approaches the task of making Barossa wine with balanced consideration for both the history and the new possibilities the Barossa wine landscape yields, as well as a deep-seated desire to produce balanced wines of exceptional ‘drinkability’. Relying on the goodness and vitality of some fairly 'schmick' Barossa vineyards as the building blocks of their wines, experimentation and a low-intervention approach to winemaking are actively encouraged. The only caveat is to ensure each wine is balanced and supremely tasty. To make sense of their approach to wine, one needs nothing more than confidence in the inherent qualities of the Barossa region and a team of very talented people who turn very good grapes into very delicious wine!
Learn more www.chaffeybroswine.com.au
Hobbs of Barossa Ranges
Greg and Allison Hobbs and their family moved to the Barossa in 1995, leaving the city behind for a new life amongst the vines. The vineyard that encircles their home high up in the Barossa ranges is one of the district’s oldest, and each year produces a tiny harvest of intensely flavoured grapes. The connection the Hobbs’ have to their vineyard and their wine is like few others. They look over the vineyard every morning when they wake up, they pass through it every morning taking the dog for a walk. They work their land every day, and each evening enjoy a glass of wine from the fruit they’ve grown from the vines that surround them. Beautiful place, beautiful people, magnificent, richly flavoured wines that reflect the hard work and love that goes into making them. The Hobbs’ don’t make a lot of wine, but (as they are justifiably proud to say) what they do make is very, very good.
Learn more www.hobbsofbarossa.com.au
John Duval Wines
From a family boasting four generations of South Australian vignerons, John Duval is one of the world's best-known winemakers. After 28 years with Penfolds, including 16 years as Chief Winemaker, John launched his personal wine project in 2003. A new challenge that would allow him to be involved first-hand from vineyard to glass, and provide an opportunity to build something for his family. Rather than seeking to simply emulate Penfolds, the aim of John Duval Wines is to perpetuate the story of a South Australian wine family through a collection of structured and elegant wines made from fruit grown in exceptional old Barossa vineyards. Now established as a respected name in Australian wine in its own right, John Duval Wines welcomed a second generation, eldest son Tim, to the family business in 2016.
Learn more www.johnduvalwines.com
The Lienert family landed on the Barossa’s western edge in the 1850s, adopting the lion head as their family crest – a nod to their Prussian heritage, and pioneering spirit. Over the last 20 years, fifth generation Barossan brothers John and James Lienert have transformed the family farm on the western edge of the Barossa Valley into a viticultural wonderland. Every grape used to craft a Lienert wine is grown in these vineyards, where the broad blue skies, long sunny days and famed ‘terra rossa’ soils allow generous flavour and solid structure to develop naturally. The role of maker has fallen easily to James, as has grower to John. A symbiotic coupling of siblings sharing a simple approach to growing grapes and making wine that yields a bloody good drink!
Learn more lienert.wine
Purple Hands Wines
The Purple Hands team - winemaker Craig Stansborough and mate, business partner and anointed ‘sales guy’ Mark Slade - share a love of Barossa, a hands on approach to making wine, and an unwavering commitment to authenticity and are always seeking to explore new varietals, blends and something a little different from what could be called the traditional Barossa style. James Halliday noted this when he discovered Purple Hands back in 2011 and said “Both the Shiraz and Grenache have a common theme of elegance, and a voice distinctly different to that of mainstream Barossa.” The wines are soft and supple, and perhaps a little more restrained than some of the richer styles made from the warmer sub regions. Classic Italian varieties such as Aglianico and Montepulciano feature prominently, inspired by Craig and Mark’s love of Italian wine and interest in the future possibilities of grape varieties so obviously suited to a warm and dry climate like Barossa.
Learn more www.purplehandswines.com.au
Schwarz Wine Co.
The Schwarz family most definitely qualifies as ‘local’ in a Barossa sense. Five generations as residents, then two as grape growers, and now Jason Schwarz as a first-generation winemaker. Convincing his father to part with a small parcel of Shiraz from their Nitschke Block Vineyard in the 2001 vintage, followed by Grenache from the Thiele Road Vineyard in 2002 Schwarz Wine Co. was up and running. These venerable vineyards remain the backbone of the winery, but this small family wine business has grown as Jason has established relationships with some of the Barossa’s finest grape-growers. Jason’s view is that their hard work and dedication to their craft makes his job in the winery, with his approach very much one of a delicate hand, guiding the grapes on their journey from vineyard to glass, whilst retaining as much flavour purity and sense of place as possible.
Learn more www.schwarzwineco.com.au
Sons of Eden
Corey Ryan is one of this country's most accomplished winemakers. Simon Cowham is hugely respected in the Barossa wine community as one of its foremost viticulturists, overseeing an impressive portfolio of benchmark vineyard assets across the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Together they are the Sons of Eden, a dynamic duo and case in point when it comes to proving that one plus one can equal three. With vine whisperer leading and winemaker close behind, the 'Sons' have built a portfolio of exceptional Barossa wines defined by vineyards of special provenance and skilled winemaking. As a whole, the range encapsulates the breadth and the depth of Barossa winemaking possibilities. From crisp and refreshing Rieslings, to bright and juicy Grenache, to deeply coloured and richly flavoured Shiraz. One without the other would result in lesser wine. Working in tandem, they produce world class wine.
Learn more www.sonsofeden.com
Spinifex Wines proprietors Peter Schell and Magali Gely have made their home in the Barossa Valley for over twenty years. They also have a strong French connection, both physically and philosophically with Magali's family resident in the south of France, and Peter having worked vintages in Provence, the Languedoc, Bordeaux and Burgundy. He has long been admired as a winemaker's winemaker, hugely admired amongst his peers for a collection of wines that capture the essence of Barossa's heritage grape varieties and the diversity of a remarkable wine landscape. Someone who has lived the Artisans creed of following your own path like few others. His wines were a revelation when they first came to light 20 years ago, and have served as pathfinders as the idea of Barossa wine evolved from one dominated by the establishment and big companies, to one defined by the produce of a brigade of small producers.
Learn more www.spinifexwines.com.au
Artisans of Barossa Projects
Whilst free to journey along our own pathways in the pursuit of individual expression in the art of small batch Barossa wine, we also relish the opportunity to work together. Since 2017, our winemaking projects have served as insights into the world of an artisan winemaker, and to provide a better understanding of the Barossa wine story through a collaborative approach. The Grenache and Six Origins of Barossa Projects have received acclaim from some of Australia’s most respected wine commentators, and each new release is eagerly anticipated.
Presenting our 'Artisan in the House' programme for December 2023
2 December: Chaffey Bros. Wine Co.
9 December: Schwarz Wine Co.
16 December: Hobbs of Barossa Ranges
A reservation in our lounge for a Rarities tasting is required.
The Barossa Valley is synonymous with fine wines that capture the essence of a region privileged with rich soil and a unique climate. You could stop into your local bottle shop or wine bar tonight to find a lovely Barossa wine peppered in amongst the selections. That’s the thing, with the reputation of the region, it’s easy to feel like you already know Barossa wines.
The Society Club is the subscription wine club that brings the Barossa to your door. Barossa has a vast, eclectic and delicious mixture of small-batch and larger-produced wines. And it takes a deeper dive to develop a true understanding of what this region has to offer.