It all started out with a bunch of Aussie winemakers heading over to France to ‘show the old dogs some new tricks’. Australian wine had taken the world by storm in the 1970s and 1980s. Tony Laithwaite decided to get some Aussies over to France. From there the RedHeads seed was sown for a new wave in winemaking. Back in a small shed in McLaren Vale, a former Indian restaurant, a few winemakers took on the mission. “Back then it was about breaking free from corporate shackles to come and make “real” wines. Tiny batches, hands-on, the way it used to be done,” says Laithwaite.
There have been a couple of Studio wineries over the years but the principles remain the same. Laithwaite says, “We still hold onto that benchmark quality, making limited batches, but now we’re also about grape liberation. Our team constantly have their ears to the ground, searching out for the latest parcel to liberate from the big guys; we’re talking about the major, premium, Aussie brands. These grapes were originally destined for them, to be made into extortionately priced wines. You see, the growers themselves can’t afford to drink the fruits of their labour when it’s blended into these big names. No mistake, it’s a great honour to be selected for them, but now they can enjoy them.”
Yard Dog. The old faithful friend and beloved household pet the whole family adores. It is the quintessential companion, whatever the weather, the mood or the occasion. It is said that a dog will reflect the character of its owner and a wine will reflect the character of its maker. 2019 marked a label change with a new dog being featured proudly. Meet Sunny Sanders, youngest daughter of Vine Street Imports’ founder Ronnie Sanders. “Sunny, like her father, is determined, carefree, and very fun loving.” These qualities are certainly seen in this delicious white blend.
Small lots of Sauvignon Blanc (82%) from two sites in Adeialde Hills were blended with a touch of Pinot Gris (13%) from a single site in McLaren Vale and a splash of textural Sémillon (5%), also from a single site, this time in Barossa. Each parcel was fermented separately and aged for 6 months in stainless steel and blended about a month before bottling in South Australia. The 2019 Yard Dog white has a total production of 700 cases
The wine is pale yellow with aromas of apple, grapefruit, and honey, with a slightly herbaceous element. It boasts great texture, with distinct flavors of white peach, apricot, and various tropical notes. There is a fruit but it is by no means a ‘fruity wine. It finishes with mouthwatering lemony mineral acidity.