Why make wine from Kangaroo Island?
Nick’s love affair with Kangaroo Island began on a surf trip around Australia in a banana-yellow Ford Falcon in 2008. KI was the first stop, and the rest of the itinerary is still awaiting completion. The surf was consistent, cold and uncrowded. The locals were suspicious of the long-hairs until they joined the local footy team. Grudgingly at first, and then lovingly, they were accepted into the community. Work on farms and in vineyards followed. After two years working in sales and marketing for a Kangaroo Island wine producer, Nick realised that KI had the ability to provide high-quality fruit but that it’s potential as a wine region was not being recognised elsewhere.
Kangaroo Island is a cool-climate region with a Mediterranean influence. The fruit ripens more closely to the Adelaide Hills region than nearby McLaren Vale. Proximity to the ocean means less diurnal variation than the hills and lower maximum temperatures. This leads to a long and slow ripening period, perfect for flavour and tannin development in the skin of the berries. Many vineyards on Kangaroo Island are dry-grown, due to higher annual rainfall than other SA regions, and growing organically is made easier due to low humidity and drying ocean breezes during the growing season.
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island and many visitors are surprised by the size when they first arrive. Soil types vary greatly from one end to the other, and vineyards are planted far apart, rather than in a condensed region. As a wine region, KI is still in its infancy and as with all young regions, growers and winemakers are still figuring out what grows best where. With this in mind Nick has chosen to work with alternative varieties he has previous experience with and make a style of wine he enjoys drinking- lighter styles, enjoyed with food and friends. Making wine from Kangaroo Island is all about a connection to the place that Nick and Bec love to be, and this is reflected in their winemaking.