Unless you’ve been living in the bottom of a wine bottle, it’s hard to avoid the brilliant marketing campaign for the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Using dark gothic imagery set to a foreboding Nick Cave soundtrack, the ad is visceral and compelling. You want to grab a bunch of friends and make a weekend or even a week of it. Eating, drinking, gathering eggs, drying your own apricots and worrying about that menacing stranger on the horizon as the storm clouds gather. It’s a little bit Picnic at Hanging Rock, a little ‘The One Thing’ video by INXS. This is the New Barossa.
If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, watch this award winning commercial before we explore the New Barossa.
So Hip It Hurts
After 170 years of being known as a wine region with long traditions, big bold reds and solemn Germanic roots, the Barossa is shaking things up a bit and courting a new generation. As a Gen X-er who’s been visiting the Barossa Vintage Festival for a dozen years, I’m not really the demographic they are targeting. I’m already signed up to the fan club. Leveraging off the thriving food and wine culture, The Barossa is keen to lure in Gen Y and the Millennials. Yes my friends, Hipsters.
A visit to the Yelland & Papps is an insight into how things are changing in the Valley. They proudly announce that they are first generation winemakers, making new traditions rather than following in the footsteps of others. That’s quite a cheeky statement when you consider their vineyard overlooks the grandaddy of all wineries in the Valley, Penfolds. Arriving at the cellar door, you’ve stepped onto the set of the Barossa commercial. A couple of children running across the lawn, mismatched shabby chic crockery used as vases, signs chalked onto the back of old doors, ageing Chesterfields to recline on, fruit from the orchard. The only thing missing are the beards. Oh look… there’s one, behind the counter.
Seriously though, it’s a lovely, lovely cellar door. Inviting, relaxed and fun. You’re encouraged to taste and then stay to enjoy a platter of local produce with a glass of something or other as the afternoon winds down.
Don’t Judge A Hipster By Their Fermenting Technique
Y&P try new techniques and styles to see what suits both the grapes and themselves as oenologists. The approach is quirky and bold.
Most wines are not filtered or fined using egg white, shells or fish bones so they’re vegan friendly. The Second Take Roussane is positively cloudy and on first take, appears to be a cider. On second take though, it’s a complex wine that’s savoury yet full of fruity aromas. Vines are tended using organic principles and wwoofers from France and Belgium are credited in tasting notes. Of course they are.
The Vin De Soif is a red wine for summer. A food wine to be shared with friends but that doesn’t mean it’s a lightweight. It starts with the berry aromas so typical of Barossa reds but then there are layers. Hints of mandarin and Asian notes such jasmine. The Second Take Shiraz is made from 50% whole bunches that have been placed in open fermenters so the wild yeasts can join the party. Basket pressed the old fashioned way, the Asian spices are there again but there are also darker notes such as chocolate. If you need the snout to tail experience in your wine, the dark, rich 09 Divine Mataro has it in spades. Learn the exact numbers of vines hand-picked (57), the provenance of the vines (planted in 1880), the date they were picked (April 4th) and the number of bottles produced (100).
With multiple awards including a swag of Halliday 5 red stars, they are right to be confident. This is definitely a winery to re-visit upon my inevitable return to the Vintage Festival in 2017. I’ll be interested to see how things have progressed and what new tricks and techniques they’ve been playing with over the coming two years. Now, hand me my flat cap.
Yelland & Papps
279 Nuraip Road (off Barossa Valley Way)
Nuriootpa SA 5355