With warmer summers and marginal conditions increasing it is essential that winemakers, who rely entirely on the weather, focus on the future of our regions across Australia and what that means from a sustainability perspective.
“The wine for a hotter future might come from an ancient grape grown in Italy’s south”, says respected wine writer Max Allen. In the ‘Italian Issue’ of Gourmet Traveller Max speaks with us and other wine producers that are dabbling with the grape variety Aglianico.
In 2009 we were invited by one of our key growers to establish a new vineyard in Koonunga Hill. The one caveat was that the fruit should ripen at a different time to Shiraz, as there was a lot of pressure on them at harvest. After drinking some wonderful sulphur free examples from Italy, we settled on planting Aglianico. The grape has probably exceeded our expectations, and the late ripening at lower alcohol and high natural acid has given us a strong point of difference from the other wines we make.
The 2018 Mates is made from 100% Aglianico and a wine we will likely make sulphur free sometime in the future. This release has a small addition of preservative just before bottling which is the only addition that has been made to it. It is wild fermented, unfined and unfiltered and the minimal winemaking required displays how well this variety works in our region.
The 2017 Angelo is a richer and more tannic expression of this variety. A smooth texture on the palate with balanced acidity.
Like most Southern Italian red wines and without a hint of cliché intended, Aglianico is a lovely food wine with great scope for the future.
To read more check out Max Allen’s article in the latest edition of Gourmet Traveller – The Italian Issue.