It started with four winemakers who weren’t native to the Barossa Valley. Each individually successful thanks to the generous soil and generosity of the local community. These winemakers wanted to show their deep appreciation to the people, place, and industry by giving something back – with a charity wine that supports young would-be winemakers in the Barossa. Concordis was born, a selection of blended shiraz (what else) from the Barossa grown grapes of Ed Peter, Michael Twelftree, Warren Randall and Pete Kight.
“The money [we raise from Concordis] goes into Foundation Barossa,” says Stephen Dew, winemaker at Kaesler Wines. “That money also helps to introduce young folk that want to enter the wine industry.” But it can be a long, hard road, with many hurdles.
“There are various things that you can do to enter the wine industry, and a lot of people start by doing a vintage and that’s fun, I did that.” It can be a difficult and expensive path to enter the wine industry through university, acknowledges Steve, with the program removing some of the barriers.
“It gives them more of an opportunity to go out and study – more of an apprenticeship. Within that realm, they will see all facets of the industry: what we do in winemaking and of the vineyard as well. Plus they’ll learn about packaging and marketing and all that sort of stuff. So it’s not just aimed at the wine industry, they get a good overview and that carries through for about four years.”
It’s something close to the heart for the people of Barossa Valley and the support from well-respected and known wineries makes a difference.
“It’s a project that’s put together with four wineries,” says Steve. “Two Hands, Torbreck Vintners, Seppeltsfield, and Kaesler. 2017 marks the fourth year of Concordis, with the wine being made at Kaesler.” It’s a significant contribution from the wineries and winemakers.
“Each of those wineries put in a tonne of fruit, and from that, we make a blend of shiraz. So you get to personalise it in your style, how you make it in your winery, each year. Each individual [wine] every year is always going to be different. We only produce it in magnums at $150 a pop – so pretty cheap at that price given the pedigree behind it, which is amazing.”
What’s more, the grapes aren’t the dregs by any means – premium quality grapes from well-aged vines result in a seriously good end result.
“You’re trying to source some of your best vineyards to give it that style that you want to produce. The wine goes into a varied amount of French Oak (for us), with a blend of new oak plus a one-year-old oak as well.”
Producing 1600 magnums annually, all proceeds from the sale of Concordis will go to a perpetual education fund through Foundation Barossa, which will then provide ongoing financial support and training opportunities in cellar operations and viticulture for financially disadvantaged, local youth. Get your hands on the Concordis here, and come up to the Barossa and learn more about the Concordis at our cellar door open from 11 am to 5 pm daily.