Congratulations to Capercaillie Wines who have won Gold at the 2016 Hunter Valley Wine Show with their 2014 The Ghillie Shiraz!
The show, which was judged at Singleton Army Camp under the chairmanship of PJ Charteris, attracted 644 entries from 70 Hunter producers.
The judging panel included international wine blogger and author of Drink Me Matt Walls. Mr Walls said he was impressed after his first visit to Australia.
“We do see some Hunter Valley wines in the UK, but not as much as I’d like,” he said.
The respected Australian wine author, James Halliday, awarded Capercaillie Wines a 5 Star rating in the 2016 Australian Wine Companion. He has written of Capercaillie:
“A highly successful winery in terms of the quality of its wines, as well as their reach outwards from the Hunter Valley. The Capercaillie wines have always been well made, with generous flavour. Following the example of Brokenwood, its fruit sources are spread across South Eastern Australia, although the portfolio includes high quality wines that are 100% Hunter Valley.”
Of the 2014 award winning Ghillie shiraz, Halliday writes:
Ideal growing conditions, traditional wine making techniques and 14 months maturation in 30% new French oak hogsheads has created a medium to full bodied wine with a deep red hue and vibrancy. Lifted darker berry fruits and subtle oak are evident on the nose. These characters persist on the palate where they are supported by natural fruit sweetness, balanced acidity and fine tannins.
Long term cellaring potential – 2044.
Capercaillie is a small boutique winery located on Allandale Road, Lovedale. The founder of this company, Alasdair Sutherland, was from Scotland and his heritage is reflected in the name ‘Capercaillie’.
Capercaillie comes from the Gaelic ‘capull coille’ meaning ‘horse of the woods’. This is in fact the largest grouse in the world with well under 1,000 surviving in a tiny proportion of semi-natural Scottish pine forests. Their rapid decline in numbers partly due to deer steel mesh fences, predators finding Capercaillie eggs and chicks easy pickings and heavy felling of Scots pine forest has reduced their habitat.
The aim of Capercaillie is to produce premium quality wines, and maintain a high standard of customer service. They can accommodate almost any taste, and the range of wines available is always growing. Current varieties include the Hunter Classics, Multi-regional blends and a range of sparkling and sweet dessert styles.
They also offer a premium iconic range – these wines are given gaelic names, such as “The Ghillie” Shiraz, “The Ceilidh” Shiraz, and “the Creel”.
Wine maker Peter Lane, has over 20 years experience in the wine industry in the Hunter Valley. He has worked with some of the leading winemakers in the Hunter including Lindeman’s, Tyrrell’s and McWilliams. After deciding at a young age he wanted to become a winemaker, he went on to a Bachelor Applied Science (Agriculture), Bachelor Applied Science (Wine Science) and later on a Grad Certificate in Business Administration. The opportunity to work with great old vineyards and other regions adds an excitement and a challenge to his position as winemaker at Capercaillie.
Capercaillie Wines are also blessed with a wonderful cellar door managed by the award winning country songwriter and musician Tina Martyn. Tina makes every visitor to Capercaillie a pleasure!
The 7ha vineyard in Lovedale was originally planted in the mid 1970s mainly of Chardonnay supplemented with a couple of acres of Gewürztraminer. In the mid to late nineties Alasdair Sutherland made the decision to replant a small portion of the ageing Chardonnay with approximately 1ha each of the two red varieties Chambourcin and Petit Verdot.
The relatively low yielding Lovedale vineyard provides approximately up to 40% of the required fruit volume. This is supplemented with Semillon, Verdelho, Merlot and Shiraz from other Hunter vineyards. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc from Rylstone & Mudgee districts in NSW, and Cabernet and Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Capercaillie’s wide quality source base allows for the accommodation of vintage variables, market trends and volume requirement fluctuations.