The Barossa Valley is one of Australia's most iconic wine-producing regions, but much of it is dominated by huge wineries making bulk wines en masse. So today we're shining a light on the good side of the Barossa - the small, independent, artisanal producer side.
These rockstar producers make the most authentic, region-defining wines of their generation, and a lot of them are considered modern-day icons of the region.
So let's get started, shall we?
One of the Barossa's rarest of rare birds are the wines of sommelier-turned-winemaker Fraser McKinley. They come and go in the blink of an eye, and each year the hunt for these wines amongst collectors becomes more and more feverish.
And for good reason - these are transcendent expressions of Barossa Shiraz, focussing around the Hoffmann's 'Dallwitz' vineyard that were planted as far back as 1888.
You can find one of his epic Syrah's in our Ultimate New Wave Barossa Pack 2.0, but you better be quick - extremely limited amounts available!
Dan Standish's Shiraz have become some of the country's most hunted artisan wines. They show excellent muscularity and definition, with powerful and intense wines that maintain impeccable balance and sit very comfortably at the top of the tree of Australian Shiraz.
Stylish, seductive and powerful are the trademarks of Standish wines, with an unmistakable X-factor.
Of course, they're only made in limited amounts - as is the way with artisan wine! Secure some of the final stocks of his powerhouse 2020 release while you still can.
Alex Head has become one of the stars of modern Barossa, despite having no formal training as a winemaker. That's certainly no small feat.
The purity and balance inherent in his old vine wines are constant year after year. Alex has a passion for the old vineyards in the Barossa, with a keen eye for a good side. He's put together a formidable portfolio of vineyards which produce simply outstanding renditions of Shiraz and Grenache, making for some of the most exciting wines in the Barossa.
We have some fresh drops fro Alex in store now, so check them out while the going is good!
Peter Schell has had an incredible run this year, having several wines named in the Halliday Top 100 and also picking up Rose of the Year at the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion Awards last month with his iconic Luxe Rose.
With extensive experience in southern France as the inspiration for his unique wines, he focusses predominantly on Rhone varietals. His wines breathed new life into this region - lower in alcohol, still concentrated yet elegant and balanced to perfection. There are few who can channel refinement and poise from the Barossa Valley like Spinifex.
See why they're one of the most important Barossa producers of the last 20 years and familiarise yourself with their fantastic range of wines.
Brett Grocke of Eperosa is a star on the rise, being named James Halliday's Winemaker of the Year in 2021.
He's a sixth generation, born and raised Barossa winemaker/viticulturist, so it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about making wine in this part of the world. Eperosa is the vessel through which he tells the stories of the small patches of land that he's cared for his whole life - with long-established vineyards planted on ancient soils, he channels the regional charm and power with a deft touch.
His wines are honest, robust and made with minimal intervention. A true representation of the modern Barossa with old vines and a rich family heritage as a backdrop. We have a few limited releases in store that are well worth getting your hands on if you love Barossan wine.
Meaning "rugged beauty", Ruggabellus is one of the breakaway producers of the much-written-about 'New Barossa' movement.
Abel Gibson's deep connection to the land of the Barossa Valley underpins this project, focussing on blends of old vine Syrah, Mataro, Grenache and Cinsault from great old vineyards. Freshness and vitality is always the key here: the oak is never new, and the additions are minimal.
Abel also creates some of the finest examples of skin-contact wines - his variations on Riesling, Muscat and Semillon are entirely world class.
Sadly, we have no Ruggabellus available currently, but hopefully more is to come next year.