SPECIALTY // Red Wines
Born in Gawler on the edge of the Barossa, winemaker Craig Stansborough shares his experience and expectations for the future of GBW.
Craig’s first job in the wine industry was in the cellar at Seppeltsfield. “This was an amazing introduction to the industry,” he says. “So much history as well as being a beautiful place to work. I was mentored by some wonderful, generous people. This is one thing this industry does so well – people are generous with their time.”
He’s now been at Grant Burge for 25 years. He credits having his own vineyard and the “amazing stable winemaking group” for keeping him at GBW but he also has a feeling of unfinished business. “I still have things I would like to achieve for the brand.”
For Craig some of the most exciting times ahead relate to innovations in the vineyard, mostly soil related. “We have so many people doing great things in our vineyards; understanding what is required for the health of our soils and hence vines will go a long way to maintain and help grow the quality of our wines.” He understands innovation in the winery is a process of trial and experimentation but feels sometimes less is more. “I do however like the direction our wines are heading with less oak, more fruit and less immediate impact … a focus on complexity and texture, this is what great wine should be about”.
With reds, whites, sparkling and fortifieds, the Grant Burge range is quite comprehensive. When a style is created and achieves success, the key is to maintain that style. Craig and his team select vineyards that suit certain styles and manage them accordingly. “However, at harvest time your clear focus is on getting everything right, from picking decisions to extraction to oak selection, really trying to get the best outcome from the fruit. When it comes to blending – that’s the time you have a chance to direct style a little.”
Craig confesses to a soft spot for the The Holy Trinity. “I was there at the start of this wine’s development and it was at a time when grenache or grenache blends were not that fashionable. We have now made 24 vintages of this wine and I still get excited around blending time.”
And if it’s not a wine in his hand at the pub, it’s a cold beer.
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