Clonakilla Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc NV

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Color: White
Variety: Bordeaux Blend
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Clonakilla Pty Ltd:
Clonakilla was established in 1971 by John Kirk, a Canberra based research scientist. Of Irish descent, John came to Australia with his young family in 1968 to work with the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. To his surprise despite the suitability of the environment there was no wine industry in the cool southern table lands of NSW around Canberra. To remedy this situation, in 1971 he bought a ... Read more
Clonakilla was established in 1971 by John Kirk, a Canberra based research scientist. Of Irish descent, John came to Australia with his young family in 1968 to work with the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. To his surprise despite the suitability of the environment there was no wine industry in the cool southern table lands of NSW around Canberra. To remedy this situation, in 1971 he bought a 44 acre farm near the village of Murrumbateman in New South Wales, 40 kilometres north of Canberra. The soil consisted of sandy clay loams over a friable clay subsoil and, with a climate not dissimilar to the Bordeaux region and Northern Rhone valley in France, he held high hopes for its wine producing potential. He proceeded to plant 1.2 acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. He named the property Clonakilla (‘meadow of the church’) after his grandfather’s farm in County Clare. A further 1.2 acres of Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were planted in 1972 and the vines grew well, although some were lost in a drought in 1972-73. John persevered and produced the Canberra District’s first commercial vintage in 1976: a Riesling and a Cabernet Shiraz. It wasn’t until 1978 when a bore was sunk that larger plantings became feasible. From 1978 to the present the vineyard was gradually expanded with Shiraz, Viognier, Riesling and the Cabernet family, now making up the bulk of the vineyard. At the end of 1996 John’s fourth son Tim left a career in school teaching to work full time in the family business as winemaker and general manager. In 1998 Tim and his wife Lara bought the 50 acre property next door and planted Shiraz and Viognier as well as a small olive grove on the warm north-east facing slope. Between the two properties there are now twenty two acres under vine with further plantings planned for the future. Read less


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