Gemtree Vineyards

Fortune Global Forum Chengdu 2013 Official Wine Supplier

31 May 2013

Andrew Buttery (Managing Director): Gemtree are participating in the Fortune Global Forum as we believe this is a unique opportunity to raise the profile of our brand to 500 of the most powerful business people in the world. The city of Chengdu is an ideal location to participation in this event as it is the Head Office of our China Sales operation and we have an excellent team in place to enable us to capture this opportunity.

Gemtree Chinese Website:

FORTUNE and FORTUNE GLOBAL FORUM are trademarks of Time Inc., registered in the U.S., China and other countries, and are used with permission.



Organic viticulture research at The University of Adelaide

This article provides an overview of some of the various comparative organic, biodynamic and conventional viticulture projects currently under way by researchers at The University of Adelaide and reveals some preliminary results. Gemtree Vineyards was part of this trial.

Article source: Wine & Viticulture Journal January/February 2012

Raising the profile of Tempranillo

24 January 2012

Louisa Rose is convinced that if Tem­pranillo had been brought to Australia in the 1820s instead of Shiraz, the coun­try would now be a sea of Tempranillo.

The chief winemaker for Yalumba and Hill Smith Family Vineyards likes to paint a picture of a “parallel universe” in which the father of the Australian wine industry, James Busby, brought out cuttings of Tem­pranillo from Spain instead of Shiraz from France. And she ponders what the industry might have been like today if winemaking pioneers John Macarthur and George Wyn­dham had planted Tempranillo instead of Shiraz. “Tempranillo is that versatile,” says Rose. “Shiraz makes up 25 per cent of grapes that are picked here, and in Spain that’s Tempranillo.”

Rose describes this relative newcomer on the Australian wine scene as a robust vari­ety that grows vigorously. Like Shiraz, Tem­pranillo thrives across a broad area, each re­gion bringing out varietal expressions that can be poles apart.

Last year, a group of self-confessed Tem­pranillo fans, Louisa Rose among them, de­cided they wanted to explore some of those regional differences. Thus, a winemakers’ collective, TempraNeo, was born.

One of the driving forces behind the group, Ade­laide Hills winemaker, Peter Leske, of La Linea, got in touch with a few winemakers he thought might be interested, including Frank van de Loo, of Can­berra’s Mount Majura Vineyard. Other founding members include Tar and Roses (Alpine Valleys and Heathcote, Victoria), Gemtree Vineyards (McLaren Vale, South Australia) and Mayford (Porepunkah, Victoria). The group held trade tastings in Mel­bourne and Sydney last year, and this year expand­ed the program to include workshops for con­sumers and the trade in Melbourne, Brisbane, northern NSW and Canberra.

Although the group wants to keep its member­ship small, they are keen to show wines by other producers to further people’s understanding of the variety. As part of that goal, they brought togeth­er 18 Tempranillo wines from around Australia, kicking off with Yalumba’s Running with Bulls which Rose says are so named “because the boss ran with the bulls [in Spain] once”. Both are bright and juicy with subtle oak, the Wrattonbully one a little more savoury and fuller bodied of the two.

The bright fresh flavours were in complete con­trast to the pungent earthiness of Gemtree Vine­yards Luna Roja. Winemaker Mike Brown plant­ed Tempranillo 11 years ago after working vintages in Spain and observing its versatility. He says his site, in the foothills of McLaren Vale and managed biodynamically, is perfectly suited to Tempranillo. “Mount Majura is 660m above sea level and a cool climate. And yet Tempranillo can also do well in a warm climate like McLaren Vale, that’s the fasci­nating thing,” said Brown.

Other McLaren Vale wines shown included Samuel’s Gorge one of only a few in the tasting un­der cork, and Oliver’s Taranga Small Batch, a biginky wine with abundant oak and cherry notes.

One of the highlights of the tasting was Topper’s Mountain from a 900m vineyard in the New Eng­land region of NSW. With a hint of eucalypt and soft tannins, it compared more than favourably with the Mount Majura Tempranillo, an intense, exotic wine which also has a touch of eucalypt.

Although it sells more Pinot Gris, Tempranillo has become the flagship for Mount Majura, which began producing it in 2003.

Clonakilla had stolen the limelight for the Can­berra District with its Shiraz Viognier and some­thing different was needed for a small producer to be recognised. “The typical Canberra district vine­yard is a fruit salad of French varieties. I think to find the perfect variety for our vineyard you haveto look beyond that list,” said van de Loo.

“We need varieties that belong here. I think you can make very nice Pinot from here but not great Pinot. When we first started making Tempranillo in 2003 I was excited because it was a whole step up in terms of character and personality. We feel the depth and personality in the wine is re­vealing the character of our place.”

Whereas cooler climate wines tend to have more perfume, spice, red berry flavours and fine firm tannins, Tempranillo from warmer climates tends to be more powerful and con­centrated with ‘darker’ characters such asblack cherry and chocolate.

Yet for van de Loo, one of the keys to Tempranillo’s regional differences is not so much whether it comes from a warmer or cooler region as whether it comes from a maritime or a continental climate. “I’m not saying one is better than the other; it’s just that it accounts for some of the differences.”

He could be onto something for other in­land/continental wines in the line-up showed a consistency of bright sweet fruit, medium body and elegance. These included Pfeiffer Winemakers Selection from Rutherglen, Sam Miranda from King Valley; the classy May­ford from the Alpine Valleys region of Vic­toria; and Capital Wines’ The Ambassador.

Continuing with the line-up, Sanguine Es­tate from Heathcote was big and alluring; Glandore Estate from the Hunter Valley had a spicy earthiness, Stella Bella from Margaret River was tannic and savoury; and Bunkers The Box, also Margaret River, somewhat shy of fruit.

Opinions were divided on La Linea because of its overtly pretty, fruity aroma and flavour. La Lin­ea released its first Tempranillo in 2007, although Peter Leske and his partner in the vineyard, DavidLeMire, have years of experience with the variety.

They have two very different Tempranillo vine­yards at each end of the Adelaide Hills; this one was from the coolest of the two, Llangibby. “Be­cause of its fragrance, Tempranillo rewards peo­ple drinking them in their youth,” says Leske.

The lowest priced wine in the line-up, Tahbilk Nagambie Lakes ($15.45), was well-received, as was Tar & Roses from the Alpine Valleys/ Heath­cote regions.

Tar & Roses winemaker Narelle King said while varietals such as Nebbiolo and Sangiovese can be challenging for consumers, Tempranillo is “one step away from a nice Shiraz and one step closer to a Sangiovese or Nebbiolo”.

Therein lies Tempranillo’s potential to be assim­ilated into the national drinks list. Like Shiraz, it has a broadly appealing palate. “It’s similar to what we are used to drinking but different enough to be appealing,” said Rose.
It also complements the increasingly popular tapas style of dining. “It’s a variety that goes very well with food,” says Gemtree’s Mike Brown. “In the next decade, Tempranillo will really come into its own.”

Article courtesy of :

Monty Waldin on Australian winery biodynamic practices

14 December 2011

Monty Waldin, author of  Monty Waldin’s Biodynamic Wine Guide has been recently interviewed for Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Weekly Magazine. Some of his comments include:

  • “However and despite this, the good news is a younger generation such as Gemtree and Paxton and Cullen and consultant Toby Bekkers and many others have cut through the self-serving bullshit and got on with farming rather than talking: making decent compost (the bio side), understanding the biodynamic tools (herb teas, liquid manures etc) and readjusting poorly performing/planted vines via better pruning (ie back to good ol’ basic viticulture like mom used to make…).”
  • “When I was in Australia I saw both big (Gemtree, Paxton, Kalleske and others) and small (Ngeringa and others) wineries making great wines from vineyards which were moving toward genuine biodiverse sustainability (all had livestock) and having fun whilst doing it (eg Sutton Grange).”

Grapevine: These Gems Rock

11 October 2011

Mike and Melissa Brown from Gemtree Vineyards over in McLaren Vale were enjoying a rare day out for a lucky few of us in the industry keen to sample their wines and learn their story.

Melissa (nee Buttery) is a third-generation wine grower and is a trained viticulturist, whose family owns huge vineyards in the area and supplied the big companies back in the day when harvests of 15 tonne to the acre were the norm and very profitable.

But it wasn’t until 1998 that they got serious and started producing their own wines, with Mike at the helm, with his visions for what the wines from ‘The Vale’ should be like, aligned with sustainability practices, biodynamics, and new grape varieties better suited to the local climatic conditions.

Inspiration for newer varieties was taken from Spain, where varieties such as ‘Albarino’ (white) and ‘Tempranillo’ (red) thrive.

Over lunch it was explained just how hard it is to make a buck. Disappointments of the ‘Savagnin’ (Albarino) experiment (read tasting notes below) and a saturated market don’t make it any easier – however they’re committed to making the best of what they’ve got and the wines speak volumes of their determination and the sheer hard work and quality that goes into their production.

2011 Gemtree ‘Moonstone’ McLaren Vale Savagnin $20
One hundred per cent biodynamic, this was originally planted under the assumption that the variety – ‘Savagnin’ – was the famous Spanish dry white ‘Albarino’. You can understand the heartache and disappointment when it was discovered that apparently the powers that be that control these things got it wrong big time, and the variety was actually a little known variety from France known as ‘Savagnin’. But, as some say, “out of adversity comes opportunity” and Gemtree has produced a light, taut, racy and fresh dry white with plenty of appeal via melon, white peach and pear fruit flavours. Definitely a perfect summer aperitif. A big tick here! Serve chilled with seafood.

2010 Gemtree ‘Luna Roja’ McLaren Vale Tempranillo $20
My first impression? Utterly delicious. The vintage is a pearler and the overall feel of the wine is all about the fleshy, savoury nuances with velvety tannins. There’s lots to like here: good dark colour, intense red fruits, violets, plums, chocolate, liquorice, and spice all wrapped up in a medium-bodied, smooth finish. So easy to drink, match it with some spicy chorizo.

2009 Gemtree ‘Bloodstone’ McLaren Vale Shiraz $20
A lovely wine that captures the very essence of those vibrant, lifted red currant/blue violet aromatics, and plush ripe dark McLaren Vale fruits. Yields were low which concentrated the fruit flavours increasing their finesse, vibrancy, power and intensity, yet keeping a harmonious balance and softness on the finish. Again, delicious and incredible value for money.

Article courtesy of Surf Coast Times:

Bring on the Spanish invasion

8 October 2011

RIGHT now, in the early years of the 21st century, the shiraz grape dominates our vinous landscape. And shiraz, as you know, is French in origin: its birth can be traced to the hill of Hermitage in the northern Rhone Valley.

“But imagine,” Yalumba winemaker Louisa Rose says, “that we’re living in a parallel universe. Imagine if, when John Macarthur and George Wyndham and James Busby came roaring into Sydney Harbour in the early 1800s, instead of shiraz vines they had brought with them tempranillo vines from Spain. It’s my belief that tempranillo is just as versatile and exciting as shiraz. It’s just that it hasn’t had the same chance to prove itself here.”

It’s a tantalising view, because for most of Australia’s wine history, Iberian varieties were more commercially important than French: chardonnay, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc et al may be popular now, but palomino, doradillo and pedro ximenez were once the stalwart grapes for Australian “sherry”, and garnacha (known here as grenache), and monastrell (mataro) – both Spanish in origin – were the backbone of both “dry red” and “tawny port” production.

The glaring omission from this list of Iberian grapes, of course, is tempranillo, unquestionably Spain’s greatest red variety (think Rioja; think Ribera del Duero). As Rose points out, tempranillo has risen to prominence locally only in the past decade, but winemakers are frantically trying to make up for lost time.

One obvious way is to gang together and organise a tasting roadshow: so, enter, stage left, TempraNeo, a collective of six top tempranillo makers eager to spread the message to assembled trade, media and punters.

This year’s TempraNeo tasting of 18 wines from across the country was particularly impressive. For a start, it consolidated in my mind how stylistically different – and confidently so – the six members’ tempranillos are: the 2010 Running With Bulls Wrattonbully ($19) is all tangy, snappy cherry-cola; the 2010 Luna Roja from Gemtree in McLaren Vale ($25) is wild, dark, brooding and luscious; the 2010 La Linea from the Adelaide Hills ($27) is super-perfumed, bright and floral; the 2010 Mount Majura from Canberra ($40) is long and fragrant, like ginger, spice and dried mint; the 2010 Tar & Roses from central/northeast Victoria ($24) is meaty, chocolatey and tannic; and the 2010 Mayford from the Alpine Valleys ($35) has gorgeously pure black cherry juice and fine, powdery grip.

But what I also loved about the tasting (and what I love about the magnanimity of Australian winemakers at their collective best) was that this group of six also poured wines from other producers, some of which – the super-juicy, purple-fruity 2010 Pfeiffer Winemakers Selection from Rutherglen ($30) and the lovely, gamey, succulent 2010 Capital Wines’ The Ambassador ($27) from Canberra – were every bit as good as theirs.

At this rate, we may find ourselves breaking on through to the other side at any moment. More:

Article courtesy of The Australian:

New wetlands trail opens

5 October 2011

GEMTREE Vineyards will open its $112,000 wetlands walking trail this week to share its flora and fauna with the world.

The 1km trail, built with a federal government grant of $56,000, traverses some of the McLaren Flat vineyards’ 10ha of wetlands and includes panels with information about local plants and wildlife, picnic shelters and a public barbecue.

Viticulturalist Melissa Brown said the project started in 1998 when the family felled a couple of river red gums to plant its vines and decided to regenerate another section of the property.

“Now, we’ve got a whole series of wetlands and we’ve planted more than 50,000 trees in the space,” Ms Brown said.

“We hope by making a walking trail through the area it can be more utilised by the public because it’s a really beautiful space for locals and tourists to visit.”

5th October 2011

Article courtesy of Southern Times Messenger: