For the love of wine
According to Rumi you should ‘Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do’- a philosophy that Steven Pannell (SC Pannell), Rose Kentish (Ulithorne), Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood (Ministry of Clouds) live by. These three winemakers of the McLaren Vale region share a dedication to wine purity that is steadily establishing their integrity in Australia and abroad. Their wines are delicate and seamless; the result of years of experience, inspiration and commitment.
Steven Pannell is the more well-known of the three producers, having established his label in 2004. Steven was born into wine (not literally I hope), having grown up at Moss Wood, one of Margaret Rivers idyllic boutique wineries. His dedication to the land, the grapes and the Australian way of life have culminated in delicious all-rounders such as his Grenache Shiraz Touriga. In Stevens own words “I try to create wines that suit our climate and our way of life – wines to drink with the food we grow, make and eat in Australia.” Steven also produces a superb Syrah and a Grenache that would be just the drop with a plate of crispy pork belly and a side of Asian salad.
Rose Kentish has also worked tirelessly to produce wine of a standard that matches her high ideals. Such is her determination, that Rose travelled with her husband and four children to France for one year to make wine and sell it under her Australian label, Ulithorne – not an easy feat! Three of my favourite Ulithorne wines are the Chi Grenache Shiraz, Specialis Tempranillo Grenache and the Dona Shiraz. The Chi Grenache Shiraz, produced using century-old dry-grown bush vines is rich and spicy; the grapes credentials obvious from the first taste. The Specialis, aptly named, is produced using handpicked grapes from McLaren Vale. The resultant taste is earthy and fresh, with sweet and savoury notes and a touch of spice. The Dona Shiraz, like Pannells Grenache Shiraz Touriga, can be matched with just about anything. It is velvety and pretty with a lovely fruity aftertaste.
The third producer I would like to highlight is Ministry of Clouds. Like Pannell and Kentish, Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood have taken risks to develop their own label reflective of their style and vision. Succinctly said by Bernice and Julian themselves, “Ministry of Clouds marks the relinquishing of our past security and structure for the beguiling freedom, independence and adventure inherent in this, our own voice. We govern what we can, the rest is chance.” Ministry of Clouds was only established in 2012, but has already developed a strong customer following due to its unique, high quality wines. Their Tempranillo Grenache is light, well balanced, smooth and surprisingly versatile. They also produce a wonderful straight Shiraz and Grenache.
The dedication and integrity that SC Pannell, Ulithorne and Ministry of Clouds bring to the wine industry is truly inspirational. Their wines are understandably achieving fame through outstanding reviews and prestigious awards here in Australia and abroad. Treat yourself to a taste of inspiration…