Lengs & Cooter Pty Ltd:
The following article (with a couple of minor corrections) was written at about the time Colin Cooter & Karel Lengs launched into their partnership, and outlines the early history of Lengs & Cooter. "Sometimes a hobby can get away from you. What starts as a part time dabbling in this or that, just grows and grows until one day it's a profession. For two South Australians, Karel Lengs, a Projec... Read more
The following article (with a couple of minor corrections) was written at about the time Colin Cooter & Karel Lengs launched into their partnership, and outlines the early history of Lengs & Cooter. "Sometimes a hobby can get away from you. What starts as a part time dabbling in this or that, just grows and grows until one day it's a profession. For two South Australians, Karel Lengs, a Project Manager with Telstra, and Colin Cooter from the building trade, that's how it went. "In the early '80s they were among a dozen or so friends who decided, after several glasses, that it mightn't be a bad idea to make their own wine. They formed an informal club called 'Bach D'Or' and got down to work. Through a network of friendships, family attachments and the like, they bought some Grenache grapes from a small grower at McLaren Vale. The Olive Hill winery lent them facilities and, amid much hilarity, a wine was made. Someone suggested they put it in an amateur wine makers' show and, much to everybody's surprise, it won a bronze medal. "The early success stimulated the group to bigger and better things. Together they bought parcels of grapes; here and there, sometimes from small plots inaccessible to the mechanical harvesters used by the big makers. Whatever equipment they could beg borrow was pressed into service - a garage became a winery, a milk vat an open fermenter. "Apart from drinking their fruits of their labour, the Bach D'Or mob successfully entered several of their wines in shows run by the Amateur Winemakers Association. Trophies and medals followed. Lengs and Cooter were hooked. While keen to maintain their amateur links, they wanted to become a bit more professional. A few short courses in wine making put them on the right track, and eventually they decided to get a licence to produce wine commercially. "Their methods were an appealing mix of professionalism and 'seat-of-the-pants' stuff. Limited resources still meant borrowed equipment and winery space, but generous advice from people like Doug Bowen, Wayne Dutschke and John Monten helped a lot. "The first Lengs and Cooter wine, a 1993 Shiraz grown near Sevenhill in South Australia's Clare Valley, recently arrived in Victoria. The Clare is long famous for hearty Shiraz and this wine, from vines with an average age of 80 years, epitomizes the district style. The nose is intense with hints of black cherry, cranberry, tar and subdued oakiness. A full-bodied wine, it has typical savoury Clare Shiraz flavour, reminiscent of blackberry and licorice, with a good balance of wood. Hearty winter fare, casseroles and pies, would match it well. The 'amateurs' are making wine to be proud of." Read less
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