A Barossa Tawny made from grapes grown in the 1970s has been named the best in the world at the China Wine & Spirits Awards.
1847 Wines takes its name from the planting date of one of the Barossa Valley’s early vineyards by Bavarian immigrant Johann Gramp. The Chateau Yaldara premises, which features a manor house, restaurant, vast cellars and a 10,000 tonne winery, was built a century later in 1947 by another German immigrant to South Australia, Hermann Thumm.
The sale in 2014 also included the chateau’s vast holdings of fortified wines, put into vats each vintage from the late 1940s.
1847 Wines/Chateau Yaldara sales and marketing manager Barry Wyld said the tawny was carefully blended and bottled each year from vats containing fortified wines predominantly 40 years old or older.
He said the secret to its success was in how the juice had been preserved and then blended.
The 40 year Old Tawny sells for A$600 (RMB¥3000) a bottle with the vast majority sold in China.
“You can have all the raw ingredients sitting there but its how it’s blended together that’s the skill,” Wyld said.
“It’s blended more to the Chinese tastes – China is a massive market for cognac so the sorts of taste cues you get from expensive cognac are the sort of things they’re looking for in their fortifieds.”
The company has 130 branded stores in China and supplies its products to a further 200 outlets. The company is also strengthening its brand by offering wine experiences for high-value Chinese tourists to the Barossa Valley, Australia’s most famous wine region.
The winery’s success at the prestigious show was not limited to fortifieds. It also won six Gold Medals for red wines under its 1847 Wines label and a further gold Medal for a yet to be released Chateau Yaldara Super Premium Barossa Shiraz.
No fewer than 100 judges at the China Wine & Spirits awards rated 6000 samples from 58 countries, including many high-profile international wineries.
“We are thrilled that our wines performed so exceptionally well at CWSA 2018,” Wyld said.
“We are very excited by the growth we are seeing in China and these awards will certainly continue to drive 1847 Wines growth in the premium market segment where we already operate successfully.”
South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual production and 75 per cent of its premium wine.
The Chinese headquarters of 1847 Wines is in Qingdao, in the northeastern province of Shandong, providing easy access to the huge markets of Shanghai and Beijing. South Australia is a sister state with Shandong Province, where Mr Wang is highly respected.