Tell us about Arila Gardens, where did the name come from what was the inspiration?
What makes the Moppa district so special?
Neighbouring vineyards to Arila Gardens have produced highly sought after fruit that have featured in the Barossa’s most exclusive wines, including Penfolds (Grange, Special Bins), Peter Lehmann’s (Masterton) and Torbreck (Runrig).
Traditionally dry grown, Moppa vines are naturally low-yielding and consistently provide parcels of fruit unparalleled in quality. The Moppa flavour profile can be described as dark, complex and brooding, and the structure of wines produced from this fruit ensures they cellar remarkably well.
What wine does Arila Gardens make?
Our top tier is the Garden Selection, wines which are made from the strictest selection of vines from our single vineyard that represent the absolute best quality of that variety in that vintage. With this tier we make a Shiraz and a Grenache based on the beautiful old vines we have on our property.
The second tier Our Gardens of Moppa wines are an expression of the region from which we call home. A blend of vineyards, or as we like to call them gardens, from the heart of Moppa. Here we make two wines a Shiraz and a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro.
You have worked in the industry as a winemaker for over 20 years, what experiences or highlights can you share with us?
One of the benefits of winemaking is the opportunity to travel and work. I’ve been able to do vintages in Italy (Chianti), USA (Russian River) and China (Ningxia) as well as travel extensively on work related trips through Australasia and Asia.
Attending the 2016 Len Evans Tutorial was a real pleasure. Four days of tasting the worlds best wines and discussing them with great tutors and colleagues was inspiring. A couple of real highlights was the 2002 Krug Clos du Mesnil and the 1965 Lindemans Hunter River Burgundy.
Grenache has been getting a lot more attention lately, can you tell us about how this is different to other varieties?
The garden selection wines are named after the soil features. What difference does the soil make to the wine flavour?
The wines made from the Quartz Garden have intense blue, black fruits and heightened notes of dark chocolate, they are rich and opulent with layered plush tannins with depth and generosity. The vines in the Ironstone Garden are naturally low yielding with tiny berries and super intense flavours. Wines produced are black and brooding, slowly uncoiling to show licorice, tar, espresso and mineral notes.
Wines from the Sand Garden are more fragrant and open in their youth, heading in the red fruit spectrum like satsuma plums, red skin and dark cherry with a fine long silky mouthfeel.