25/01/2005 - 21:00

Wine News with Anne Dawson

25/01/2005 - 21:00


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Malcolm McCusker will launch a new label in February, McCusker’s Wines, based in the Chittering Valley.

Wine News with Anne Dawson

Malcolm McCusker will launch a new label in February, McCusker’s Wines, based in the Chittering Valley.

The Western Range chairman, and QC,  says he decided to launch his own label commercially with three varieties – a verdelho, a shiraz and a carnelian (a grape ‘blend’ of carignan, cabernet sauvignon and grenache).

Due to be released under the name Red Drop, carnelian is a little-known variety that originated in the US and is grown in California and Texas.

“The carnelian is something different we’re doing, it was a variety created by the University of Southern California about 20 or 30 years ago I think,” Mr McCusker says.

“We also grow tempranillo, malbec, chardonnay and viognier.”

The new varieties will be released under stelvin and have been produced under the guidance of vigneron Mychelle Edwards with assistance from winemaker Ryan Sudarno and consultant John Griffiths.

• •  •

Wills Domain will reveal its new cellar door in an official grand opening on March 5.

Wills Domain owner and managing director Darren Haunold (above) says that while opening night plans are strictly under wraps for the moment, he did say it would be a special event.

“At this stage I can’t say too much but it will certainly be something big.”

In the meantime Mr Haunold has the tough task of recruiting staff to help in cellar door service.

“It’s just crazy the amount of people down here at the moment, but the peak period is only really for a short time, and it’s hard to find people to cover just for this time of year,” he says.

“We advertised for some help recently but we’ve only received four applications so far.”

But while he’s searching for assistance Mr Haunold says he will still head cellar door operations, preferring the feel of a small boutique winery.

“There’s more of a wholesomeness when you can meet people who call in to the winery.”

“There’s a lot of family owned local producers down here doing marvelous things, and that’s great.”


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