Image of a bottle of 2019 Izway Mates Aglianico

New mates is dedicated to old mates

Over the years we have been on the hunt for another red varietal that could match the quality of Mataro, Grenache and Shiraz in the Barossa Valley. We decided Aglianico from Basilicata, Italy would be our muse and in 2009 planted out one hectare of this ancient variety. Ten years on and with the 2018 Mates (and 2018 Angelo) receiving gold medals at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show we think our hunch was well founded.

About the same time we’d settled on planting Aglianico we were having dinner with friends and the boys were discussing their lamb shank recipes. The seeds were sown for what would become “Shank Off”, a gathering of friends that enjoyed Lamb Shanks and each other’s company. It has been 10 years since the first lamb shank was served and we have watched each of our families grow, with eight new offspring (“mini-shankers”) attending the gatherings. As the dinner parties have evolved to serve more than just lamb shanks so too has the Mates. We love the evolution of Mates as a style and philosophy. Originally a GSM blend the 2019 Mates is 100% Aglianico. We think it is fitting that the latest release of Mates is dedicated to this collection of friends, as not only a great match for Lamb Shanks but a fitting tribute to the last decade of banter and the progression of our friendships.

With the 2019 Mates released just in time for the first Shank off gathering for the year, there is no question what we will be drinking. The sentiment still remains; eating good food and drinking great wine while being entertained by our mates. Sipping wine by yourself can be one of life’s greatest pleasures but sharing with Mates is far more entertaining. We may be breaking the mould of our parents’ generation with the boys taking the reins in the kitchen (and by planting Aglianico), but we hope the dinner party tradition continues for many years to come.

About the Wine
2019 Izway Mates Aglianico
From ancient Greece to southern Italy to the Barossa, Aglianico is a little-known variety with a very long history. Each vintage of this wine is dedicated to the people who have inspired, influenced and entertained us – our mates. Made in a Beaujolais style from 100% Aglianico, Mates is layered and intriguing.
Read more, buy some


Kathryn Isbel