A love for the Barossa and its rich history of great, full-flavoured reds led Kaeding and Kurtz in 1996 to buy a small plot of Grenache bush vines once farmed by pioneer Elmore Schulz. They say the site proved itself to be outstanding for growing vines for red wine, so they added some Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo, and in 2004 made the first wine for commercial release under their Rojomoma Red Art label.
They share their story here as part of a series profiling wineries participating in the 2016 Cellar Door Festival next month.
“We are a family-run micro winery in the northern Barossa, specialising in red wines. We grow all our own grapes on our tiny 5ha single vineyard. All the vines are hand-pruned, shoot-thinned and hand-picked; treating each vine individually to get the best from it. We have owned the vineyard since 1996.
“Around four years ago we began selling our wine under the Red Art label. We handcraft the wine ourselves on site using the best of traditional methods such as open fermenters and gentle basket pressing, and combine with modern artisan approaches including wild yeast and whole bunch ferment. We create wine that is true to its single-vineyard origins.”
What we do best…
“We are probably best known for our Shiraz, given we have received a number of trophies, gold medals and a lot of excellent reviews. We take pride in our other four varieties, too: old-vine Grenache, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.”
What our place means to us…
“Terroir is everything to us, as all our wines are off our tiny single vineyard. When people come to our vineyard for a tasting, they can see the actual vines and the soil the wine has come from.
“The north of the Barossa is already quite unique, being higher and drier than the rest of the valley, and is especially famed for its rich red wines. We have a tiny part of it, a great site, shallow soils ideally suited for concentrated red grapes, which is why we don’t grow any white grapes. We also planted only red grape varieties which thrive both in our soils and the Barossa’s extreme climate.
“Our vineyard naturally gives concentration and strong robust tannins, so we use gentle processes in the winery to achieve softness and balance. We are also deliberately restrained in our use of new oak barrels as we want our wine to taste of the vineyard and not the cooper. We make wine that is a pure expression of the vineyard.”
What we will bring to the Cellar Door Fest…
“We will be bringing a selection of all of our red wine varieties, both current vintage and delicious mature vintages which express the softness and flavour development achieved in aged wines. We will also have our Raj’s Pick Shiraz, which is the ultimate expression of our best Shiraz. This one sells for $75 a bottle so a small taste is certainly quite a treat.”
Why we take part…
“This is our fourth year of participating in the Cellar Door Fest. The weekend is great fun, well organised and an excellent opportunity to find new customers and catch up with our existing customers. We sell almost all of our wine direct to consumers, so it is through these kinds of festivals that we are able to share our wines with lots of people.
“People are increasingly interested in seeking out smaller producers whose focus is on quality, integrity and passion, so they enjoy getting to know our wine and business.”
Bernadette Kaeding and Sam Kurtz will join 180 other South Australian food and wine producers at the 2016 Cellar Door Fest from February 26 to 28 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, where they will have their Rojomoma Red Art wines available for tasting and purchase.
Rojomoma Red Art
Cellar door and winery: 16 Sturt Road, Nuriootpa, 0421 272 336.
Tastings by appointment.
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