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    Airline pilots make surprisingly good wine. Their appreciation of the sciences, a respect for the weather and a bird's eye view of the land, all invaluable to the winemaker's art. John Ellis would take every opportune weekend away from his regular New York Paris route, to pursue a passion for viticulture. He planted the first commercial Cabernet Merlot vines in the Hamptons and found time between trans atlantic flights to work vintages amongst the Grand Cru vineyards of La Bourgogne. Ellis ultimately made the great lifelong sea change in favour of our land downunder. He settled on a farmstead outside Leongatha, amongst the slow ripening pastures of Gippsland and established a vineyard called Bellvale... Placing pinot amongst the pastures»
    Some precious old blocks of ancient vine Grenache still remain after a government sponsored program to cull unproductive vineyards during the 1980s. Yielding excruciatingly small harvests of the most characterful fruit, these wizzened old veterans deliver small batch vintages which are evocative of the old world classics from Côtes du Rhône. The enduring Wirra Wirra were established 1894, their eclectic range belies the splendour of small parcels which are separately handled and bottled for exclusive release. The Absconder draws fruit from vines planted a century ago, it merits a breathing and decant, an articulation about the sublime excellence of old vine Australian Grenache... The compelling case for old vines grenache»
    Born and bred, 6th generation winemaker Damien Tscharke grew up amongst the vines at Seppeltsfield, while attending Marananga Primary and Nuriootpa High. Gnadenfrei is the oldest vineyard within the Tscharke family estate portfolio, established over seventy years ago by Damien Tscharke's grandfather, the terroir and clime yield an exceptional quality of Shiraz. A seamlessly structured style, driven by fruit and kept vital by rich, cherry filled acidity. Show stopper this week... Superior value in old village barossa shiraz»
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