The Winos’ Winemakers Series — a “sense of place” at Samuel’s Gorge

By Jesse on May 26, 2008

We young drinkers love our Australian wine… the proletarian labels, the sourcing of quality grapes from different regions, the unconventional blending practices, the great values. It’s easy, though, for our demographic to fall into the habit of regarding Australia as little more than a sort of “good-wine factory”: a consistently warm continent producing anonymous batches of ever-ripe fruit, which are then blended by sandal-wearing negociants into delicious and dependable bottles. A recent visit by Justin McNamee, winemaker at Samuel’s Gorge in McLaren Vale, did much to dispel the majority of that oversimplification (with the exception of the sandal part).

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Samuel’s Gorge is a small label operating out of a 150-year-old barn on the southern end of the Onkaparinga River National Park, twenty miles south of Adelaide. Justin joined the Winos at Emily’s pad one recent evening and shared with us his unique approach to McLaren Vale winemaking, comprising an integration of New World inventiveness with Old World “sense of place.” Thankfully, he also shared with us several delicious bottles of wine.

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