Charles Melton Wines
Krondorf Road, Tanunda – Cellar Door Open, 11 – 5.00pm Verandah Dining, Midday – 3.30pm
Since the first vintage of Charles Melton Wines in 1984, this small Barossa Valley winery has gained both national and international recognition for its premium red table wines.
The wines move from a light red, ‘The Rose of Virginia’, described by Anthony Rose in London’s Observer newspaper as, ‘The Best Rosé in Australia’, through to Australia’s premier Rhone-style red, ‘Nine Popes’. Charlie Melton also makes small quantities of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sparkling Shiraz, and is the only Australian producer of a vin-santo styled dessert wine, Sotto di Ferro.
Charlie was one of the first to recognize the value and tradition of the Barossa’s old vineyard Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. At a time when others were pulling out vineyards of Shiraz to plant more fashionable varieties, Charlie was convincing farmers to keep their historic vineyards. He was one of a small group of winemakers who helped retain the viticultural heritage of the Barossa.
Great emphasis is placed on the quality of fruit, with all grapes dry grown and harvested from the winery’s own 50 acres of prime Barossa vineyard land as well as from a select group of grape-growers. Yields are extremely low with often only one tonne to the acre and the vineyards are truly old with many exceeding 80 years. The oldest vineyard source for Nine Popes is a Grenache vineyard well over a century in age.
A range of techniques are employed during the winemaking process. These include: whole bunch fermentation, open fermentation, pigeage and indigenous yeast fermentation. All of which allows a range of blending options to give the most complete wine in terms of balance between pure fruit flavours and more earthy/gamey characters.
The dry reds are matured in both French and American Oak. This gives rise to a cellar style which has a kiss of superb oak character rather than a thump, and allows the rich fragrance and flavours of old dry grown Barossa vines to move to the fore.
Showing complexity from this range of vineyard sites and vinification techniques, the wines have demonstrated over the last decade an ability to cellar gracefully into mature examples of the finest Barossa styles.