I awoke early on my first morning in Australia with car, boat, train, coach, jet and taxi lag. Yet soon found myself driving my allocated ute, following young Canadian assistant winemaker Matt to the Tinlins winery.
The Tinlins cellar is located in the heart McLaren Vale and is a fairly big winery compared to most in the region. Tinlins specialise in producing high-quality premium wines that are bought by other wineries such as Hardy’s and Penfolds to make some of their well-known wines.
It’s pretty busy already and I am straight into the fermentation cellar with pump-overs in full swing on the first shiraz to come in.
Sampling the vineyards is the most important part of a winemaker’s job in order to pick the fruit at the perfect ripeness so it was out to the Adelaide Hills, this afternoon. The vineyards are picked later here due to the 500m altitude. Some really interesting varietals are planted here with vineyard blocks of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Walking the rows and tasting the fruit shows us that these must wait, giving us time to pick the warmer vineyards down in the warmer valley floor of McLaren Vale.