On Thursday, July 27th the #epicwine team awoke to a bloody cold morning in the Barossa Valley, it was Brass Monkey theatre as we had a caffeine heart starter at Fleur Social and a quick ‘One Hander’ at Linke’s Bakery.
Then off to Torbreck, the iconic winery once founded by an enematic Scotsman and now owned by an entrepreneurial American. For the next four hours, we kicked dirt and talked soil, elevation, aspect, biodynamics, organics, minimal intervention, vine health and much more with newly appointed head winemaker Ian Hongell and his good friend and god blessed viticulturist Nigel Blieschke. Ian is born and bred Barossa and in fact lives about a Falcon ute ‘Torpy’ from the winery on his vineyard, while Nigel lives a solid one wood and seven iron approach in the other direction.
It was at this time, as we toured the incredibly impressive winery, bottling line, packaging area and met the team from cellar hands to administration that it really came home to me. These people own Torbreck, in their minds and behaviours they do and in this go about their roles with a strong team spirit every day. I’ve met plenty of people with silver spoons over the years, and most choke themselves on gluttony at some stage.
Until a few months ago, I can honestly say that I had the utmost respect for this brand, but really knew nothing of them before receiving a fortuitous phone call from GM Peter Perrin for a chat (another Good Bloke and a highly accomplished man at the top.) This being my second visit and now an opportunity to see the team in action and hear their passion for the brand.
This is a wine business that has been blessed with opportunity and taken it to the next level, a talented and gifted group who are making every wine a winner.
In the words of Ian Hongell “we haven’t made our best wine yet”
I think I believe him…