We know many of the world’s wine regions have a strong association with a particular grape variety or style whether that be through legislation, climatic conditions, or a combination of both. An accidental marketing ploy if you will, these connections can be seen to give the end consumer a strong sense of what to expect, a ‘safety net’ in the confusing world of denominations and wine jargon.
Australia, with its vast landscapes and myriad of microclimates, goes against the grain in the most exciting of ways. From the heat of Western Australia through to cool Tasmania, each region’s climate, and micro-climates within, may set the scene of the huge range of wine styles produced, but it’s the pioneering nature paired with the skill and expertise of the winemakers which create the rich tapestry that is the Australian wine industry, a paradise for the wine curious.
We are proud to work with Ashton Hills, who have called the Piccadilly Valley of Adelaide Hills home since 1982. Founder Stephen George purchased the estate from a market gardener, recognising its potential from his view that “where apples and cherries grow, it’s a good pointer for producing classic European style wines”. At an altitude of 570 metres with a south facing aspect that points towards Mt Lofty, the site is one of the coolest in South Australia. With the scene set, Stephen turned his attention to pinot noir, riesling, and chardonnay clone development, building a reputation along the way as one of Australia’s ‘finest proponents of pinot noir and cool climate whites’.
Unsurprisingly, a piece of Stephen’s heart lies in Burgundy, and as he has moved into semi-retirement, he has chosen to transfer his stake of Ashton Hills to Wirra Wirra while still overseeing each vintage and working closely with winery manager, Liam Van Pelt.
Liam began his journey with Ashton Hills in 2019. After studying Oenology at Adelaide university, he spent time in Chianti and Sardinia, before returning home to work in a stellar line up of wineries across the Clare and Hunter Valley’s and McLaren Vale.
We have been lucky enough to source a small parcel of the 2021 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, the first time this wine will have hit UK shores. The wine has a bouquet of lifted white peach, yellow nectarine, and fresh pineapple, married with a hint of florals and spice from the French oak. The palate is fresh and tight, dominated by stone fruits, citrus and green melon. A bright acid profile and some textural phenolics are balanced with the subtle French oak which provides a softness and carries the flavours across the palate.
Please get in touch ASAP to secure your allocation (wine due later in 2023) and for further information. To complete the pair, enquire too about the line-priced 2021 Piccadilly Valley Pinot Noir. Renowned for its plush palate, taught, natural acidity and floral aromatics, this is a truly exceptional example of cool-climate Australian pinot noir.