SA Life

The Growers Behind Penfolds Grange

The iconic positioning of Penfolds Grange in the global wine industry is undisputed, but how many people realise that the grapes that go into a bottle of Grange are sourced from all around South Australia? “If it’s the crème de la crème, we will take it,” says chief winemaker Peter Gago, describing the subsequent blending process as “that synergistic sum of the parts”.

Peter-Gago

Image supplied by Penfolds

I spoke with some of the growers behind Grange for SA Life magazine. Don Oliver, from Oliver’s Taranga at McLaren Vale, describes gaining selection as like winning the grand final – “And if you get a decent quantity, it’s like winning the lottery,” he said. Barossa Valley grower, Paul Georgiadis, is another regular contributor, and likens the achievement to climbing Mount Everest. “The first time I got in, I thought they were having a lend of me – I actually felt weak at the knees when I found out it was true,” he said.

Their story appears in the June 2015 edition.

SA Gardens – ‘Ellora’, Wrattonbully

Wrattonbully, in South Australia’s Limestone Coast, is serious wine country – local grapes were selected for the latest vintage of Penfolds Grange! Gardens also flourish in these fertile soils, however they’re fairly sparse in number, making the stately property ‘Ellora’ something of a head-turner.ElloraTucked beyond an exquisite stone wall on a long, empty road, Ellora commands a strong presence among its paddock surrounds. Ellora-2My story on ‘Ellora’ is in the May 2015 edition of SA Life magazine. BTW the owners also make fabulous wine!

Country Race Fashions – SA Life

Country style reigns supreme, with the Limestone Coast boasting a number of finalists in SA’s premier ‘Fashions on the Field’ competition. I recently interviewed three of the gorgeous ladies for the April 2014 edition of SA Life magazine,  discovering how a fire prevention officer, a swimming instructor and an electrician charmed the judges with their homegrown creativity. It’s not easy living in the country away from major department stores and boutiques, but these savvy girls know all about improvisation, with quick outfit changes in public toilets en route to the race track, and innovative hats sporting everything from wire trivets to chopsticks! What a transformation – love a ‘Before & After’ shot…

jen abby roseampt

balaklava_finalist_-_jen_marsh abby_for_web rose2

SA Life Profile – Kim Longbottom

When I met Kim Longbottom from Padthaway’s Henry’s Drive Vignerons last year at a wine function, I knew her story would make a fabulous profile piece.

Kim_Longbottom_Henrys_Drive_LRKim owns and operates Henry’s Drive Vignerons, and she is a savvy business woman who thinks outside the square. For instance, she enlisted the help of the local country aero club to fly down a UK wine buyer with a busy schedule. They liked what they saw; the initial order was 16,000 cases.

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The cellar door is located just off the Riddoch Highway in SA’s Limestone Coast, and the business was named after Henry John Hill, the proprietor of the 19th century mail coach service that once traversed the landscape.

All of the wine brands have a strong postal theme, with labels like The Postmistress, The Scarlet Letter and Pillar Box Red.

Visitors are encouraged to rest and refresh at the cellar door, just as the mail coach once did at its various stops.

Kim’s story is in the 10th Birthday Issue of SA Life Magazine.