By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
Kirrihill Wines looked to Europe for the inspiration behind its latest release wines, releasing a Vermentino, Fiano, Montelpulciano, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and a Grenache, Sangiovese and Tempranillo blend.
Conceived by Donna Stephens, Kirrihill's former senior winemaker, the wines in the new Alternative range were sourced from both Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley fruit. They feature a striking label featuring architectural style images of the Kirrihill winery.
The wines were finished by Stephens' successor Hamish Seabrook, who said they are among a number of experimental wines he has been working on.
“We’re trying to bend things, we’re not being conventional, and we don’t want to be like everyone else. We want to do things differently,” he explained.
Seabrook said that the Clare Valley was an ideal spot to grow fruit for the Alternative range, and that the region has the potential to establish itself as a leader in Australia when it comes to Italian styles of wine.
“Alternative grape varietals work really well in the Clare Valley climate. It’s something a lot of Clare growers are getting into and the more I speak to them, the more they come to us and ask what to plant. We tend to suggest Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Vermentino and Fiano. The more people start playing around with them, the more diverse the Clare Valley will become and we’ll see more interest generated in the region.”
According to Seabrook, the Alternative range will be focused on the on-premise channel, with limited quantities to be released to independent liquor retailers.
“We only have about 500 cases of the whites and 200 to 300 of the reds, which is really good as we can concentrate this range on the on-premise and independent retail channels.”
The Kirrihill Alternative range has an RRP of $28.