Barossa-based winery, Yalumba, has released a Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz blend in the long-running Signature series.
The wine makes up the 49th vintage of Signature series (which first began in 1962), with each wine in the collection paying homage to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the winery’s history.
The 2019 vintage is dedicated to Yalumba Winemaker Kevin Glastonbury and retired Viticulturist Robin Nettelbeck.
Yalumba is owned by the Hill-Smith family, and the winery’s fifth-generation proprietor, Robert Hill-Smith, first announced the Signatories at the winemaker’s Christmas party.
“This legendary pair share the knowledge of Barossa soils and our wines, the commitment to quality and style that ensures the tradition of The Signature is never compromised,” Robert said.
Robert also acknowledged the two people to whom the wine is dedicated.
“This is vini and viti together. In our business, this is a unique and strong combination,” Robert said.
“We are lucky to have people who are so resilient and loyal and enjoy being part of what Yalumba has become and we never take it for granted.”
“Over the last decade we have had one constant… Stability of talent. People with knowledge of the soils and growers”.
Much like the Hill-Smiths, wine and grape-growing is in the family history of Nettelbeck, who is a fourth generation Barossa viticulturist. Described by Yalumba as ‘Hard working and diligent, adept with pruning shears’, Nettelbeck rose to become the Chief Viticulturist for the Hill-Smith Family Estate vineyards after a multi-decade career.
“Robin was with Yalumba 45 years,” Robert said.
“He commenced at the laboratory here in Angaston in ‘77, and we acknowledged his retirement last year. He’s been a huge contributor, to not only Yalumba, but to the wider industry.”
Nettelbeck stated he was flattered to be included in the list of Yalumba signatories.
“What an honour and privilege it is to receive this award,” said Nettelbeck.
He also hailed the advances that the Yalumba viticultural team had made in the science of grape-growing.
“With the exception of this Signatory accolade, I believe my greatest achievement is the initiation, growth, and success of the Yalumba Nursery. Through our clonal research and development there has been a seismic shift in grape quality reflected in all our wines.”
The wines also honour the next generation of the Yalumba estate, with Kevin Glastonbury beginning his career at the winery in 1999.
“KG started 22 years after Nettelbeck. He is absolutely committed to his growers, and to the vineyards. He pushes the boundaries and is mentor to many, including the young winemakers in our team,” Robert commented.
Glastonbury has played a key role in making the premium red wines in the Yalumba stable, including the Caley, the Octavius, the Tri-Centenary, and The Signature itself.
Accepting the accolade, Glastonbury said: “I hope my custodianship will be remembered as an era of refinement and great style.”
“Over the years I have watched Signatories accept their honour, teary and humbled – it puts what I do into perspective.
“It’s so much more than just a wine. To receive this honour makes it worth the effort you put in.”
The wine retails for $65, and are available at wine retailers around Australia.