Being winemakers, Unico Zelo are people who are incredibly passionate about the soil and produce in Australia. It's their contention to showcase products to the rest of the world that embrace Australian native ingredients and pay homage to the custodianship of the indigenous people who maintained the land for thousands of years. Great wines made in styles that are typified by the life and culture of this sunburnt country, from grape varieties that require minimal intervention. It's this passion that has driven Unico Zelo to start two wine labels, one that protects farmers and another that protects the future. They've since taken these concepts, alongside their Applewood Distillery, and catapulted them into the horticultural realm, studying indigenous produce, it's beneficial effects on the land and the stories it can tell through incredible colours, flavours and textures.
Unico Zelo seek Australian identity in the products they craft and services they offer, they seek ways to communicate this with an entirely new demographic. The ultimate hope is that these Australian stories can one day be heard on a global scale. Unico Zelo are in the Northern Adelaide Hills, where it's approximated that 70% of all Adelaide Hills branded wines are grown. Within the alpine subregion, there are 2 wineries. Only 2! Unico Zelo are one of them. If you were to consider the amount of fruit grown here and the average size of the typical South Australian winery, there should be close to 300 operating brands in this geographical location.
What is Unico Zelo's Harvest Growers Cooperation all about? To put simply, a grower co-operative from Northern Adelaide Hills. They work alongside local agricultural experts to provide an opportunity to create wine in a profit share model that benefits the grassroots across the entire industry. They then co-operate with local growers to make good wine and share the profits.
The growers in the Northern Adelaide Hills area are large, they typically have some very large wineries as customers from satellite regions. These customers have a particular method of dealing with growers. They contract out the vineyards, own the fruit and can determine what happens with the crop each year. This acts as a deterrent to farming which has a further impact on all South Australian fruit production.
Farmers are left with an uncertainty as to whether they will be able to cover their costs every vintage. All of this hasn't served Adelaide Hills growers all too well, especially through a spate of tough grower vintages. Unico Zelo take aim at changing the hardships for Adelaide Hills growers by creating Australia’s only wine production co-op. Instead of selling their grapes for bottom dollar, they bring them to the Harvest label and Unico Zelo donate in kind, winemaking and branding, bottling and distribution, marketing and sales. Unico Zelo also operate Applewood Distillery, offering growers a third pathway to market, purchasing fruit that isn't suitable for harvest at a profit to the grower, turning it into non perishable alcohol Spirit, whether top shelf liquor or for industrial applications, it's all part of a larger ecosystem.
Unico Zelo have issued significant investment initiatives, paying forward for growers to re-plant sustainable Italian varieties for the future of wine production in Australia. Why Italian varieties? They are better for the Australian landscape and climate as they essentially can be rain fed. Because of this initiative, Unico Zelo have now established multiple hectares of Fiano and Nero d'Avola in the Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley. Unico Zelo are proud to be offering an opportunity to support the community of Adelaide Hills growers and produce amazing wine for all to enjoy!