Nikki at RedHeads – four visitors and Saperavi

Big day – four visitors to RedHeads, plus a small load of Saperavi 

The cellar was looking spick and span first thing this morning, ready for visitors. We managed to score four in total – Nick, merchandising director, and Tom Laithwaite, both from Laithwaite’s UK, Dan Parrott, our global buyer for Australia, and Mark Hoddy – normally winemaker at Le Chai, but seconded to Tindalls in the McLaren Vale for the 2015 harvest. None bar Tom had ever been to RedHeads at its new Barossa home, so it was good to get them out to see exactly what it was about firsthand and what was being made.


We had a major posse of visitors to RedHeads this morning. From left to right, Nick, Dan G, Dan P, Tom (hiding), Mark. Dan G gave them a walk round the cellar and a tasting of the range – from 2015 Viognier and Marsanne and Rosé, through to the awesome 2015 Malbec, the whopping Barossa Shiraz, various, and 2013 Hoffy Cabernet

Dan G gave them a brief walk round the winery – it’s not big, just very effective, then gave them a tasting of what was in progress from the new 2015 vintage, some still fermenting, others, namely the terrific dark, spicy Malbec, just into barrel. And also a sample of the 2013 Hoffman Cabernet which was inky black and pungent with really intense cassis overlaid by the vanilla toast of the oak. The visitors were impressed; Dan G was very pleased. It was a good morning.

Late morning, Dan and I had some grapes to pick up from grower Robin Day, out in Mount Crawford, close to Williamstown. Robin grows an amazing range of grapes – Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Garganega (aka Soave grape), Riesling, plus a bit of Merlot we were collecting and also Saperavi. Heard of it? It’s an ancient Georgian grape.

saperavi close up

Saperavi grapes – an ancient variety that originates from Georgia

It’s difficult to tell from this close up shot, but the berries are very small and the colour of the juice very intense – part of the reason for taking it.

Dan RObin day

Robin Day has been growing offbeat grape varieties at his family estate for decades

robin day estate

Robin’s estate lies in a beautiful, undulating part of the Barossa, in Mount Crawford, where he grows many more unusual varieties

That done, it was back to the winery to press out some more wines. Dan tried us on a new method – pouring the grape skin pulp down the chute, into the basket press. It worked was less manual, but we decided bucketing it out by hand into the basket press was much quicker and more effective.

new method press load

Pouring the pulp down the chute into the basket press (hiding under the plastic sheet). It worked, it just wasn’t terribly quick!


About Laithwaites Wine

Laithwaite's began in 1969, when Tony Laithwaite took a job washing bottles in Bordeaux... and fell in love with real wine and the people who make it. When he borrowed a van to share these delicious wines with friends and neighbours at home, things went so well that boutique wineries were soon queuing to take part. Today we're the UK's No.1 home-delivery wine merchant, with over 1,500 wines to choose from... including red, white and rosé, plus Champagne and sparkling, beer and cider.

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