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Established in 1971 by John Kirk, the reigns were handed to his son and current wine guru at Clonakilla, Tim Kirk in the late 1990s. The wines are some of the most important in Australia, benchmarking not only cool climate winemaking, but leading the way for prized Shiraz Viognier blends.
Kirk, through his Clonakilla mouthpiece, shows epic restraint and elegance in his wine styles, and an adherence to a personal belief in the making of wine most suitable to one’s terroir and region. Located in the Murrumbateman ‘sub-region’ of the Canberra District GI, this is an important winery for highlighting where Australia’s benchmark wines from cool climates can go.
Fruit is the primary concern for Clonakilla, with minimal intervention in the winery. Site selection is key, but natural yeast fermentation, some whole bunch fermentation and warm open ferments are also key. Stalk influence and the use of co-fermented Viognier are also important aspects of the winemaking process. One of Australia’s great estates with a leading approach to winemaking and vineyard management, Clonakilla has a focus on the grape varieties which find their spiritual home in the Northern Rhone region of France.
Clonakilla is located near the town of Murrumbateman in New South Wales, 40 kilometres north of Canberra.
Clonakilla Wine Types
The major focus at Clonakilla is Shiraz (Syrah) and Viognier, of which Tim Kirk produces a variety of expressions. The Shiraz Viognier is one of Australia’s true cult wines, sought after by wine aficionados locally and globally. Kirk has expanded his repertoire in recent years, releasing a straight Syrah and refining his varietal Viognier into two tiers, a cellar worthy version and an early consumption style. Riesling and a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc wine are also produced.
The wines are organised into tiers according to cuvee of wine. There are no defined tiers to the pricing structure as the wine producer doesn’t delineate in this way.
|Wine Region||Canberra District|
|Address||Crisps Lane, Murrumbateman, NSW, 2582, Australia|
|Phone||(02) 6227 5877|