Alkina, a new Barossa winery, launched its range of wines and celebrates the opening of its Tasting Room.
“We hope Alkina will become synonymous with the notion that terroir is pivotal to winemaking,” Alkina managing director, Amelia Nolan said.
The winery has taken the approach of scientifically mapping out the geology of its estate vineyard in Greenock to take the study of terroir – the concept of ‘place’ in wine – to a whole new level.
These studies have revealed ancient soils and incredibly varied geology sometimes from one vine row to the next.
“Alkina was established in 2015 when Argentinian vintner, Alejandro Bulgheroni purchased the property which is located near the town of Greenock,” Nolan said:
“With plantings dating from the 1950s and a set of run-down buildings dating from the 1850s, we had a vision of transformation and we set ourselves the challenge to create a haven where we can make great wine and a beautiful place in which to share it.”
The Alkina team set to work with renowned winemaker, Alberto Antonini and Chilean terroir specialist, Pedro Parra, to undertake electromagnetic conductivity mapping in the ‘Old Quarter’ of the vineyard before digging over 100 soil pits to identify these micro-terroirs.
“We can pinpoint exactly which vines sit on fractured schist or sedimentary limestone or deep red clays.” said Nolan.
The old Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro vines have been divided into irregular shapes, called polygons, that can be as small as 0.3ha or 200 vines.
They are then picked and vinified separately, before being blended or left as Single Polygon wines that clearly communicate the subtle differences that bedrock and soil generate in the taste of the wines.
Central to the whole endeavour is soil health and plant and microbial diversity. Greenock Creek runs through the farm as an important nature corridor, it is full of life with native plant species and a vital native bee population.
The vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic by NASAA and by cutting out all synthetic chemicals it allows complex ecosystems above and below ground to develop naturally and flourish.
“When I first came to Australia I fell in love with the Barossa Valley, its landscape and its food and wine culture. To be able to build such a beautiful and viticulturally important estate over the last 5 years has been a great challenge and a source of immense pride. I would also like to express my gratitude to Amelia, our Managing Director, and her team for the hard work and imagination over the past five years,” vintner and Alkina owner, Alejandro Bulgheroni said.
“Over the last few years we have achieved so much: brought this beautiful vineyard back to life, planted native vegetation and new vines, developed our Micro-Terroir project,” Nolan said.
“We have built a small winery and tasting room, renovated old buildings into luxury accommodation, and produced wines with vitality that are both delicious and make you wonder about where and how they were grown.
“We have worked with many talented local tradespeople in the Barossa to get this project completed and we feel privileged to be a part of the broader Barossa community. We hope that we can make a contribution to what is already a truly exceptional place.”
The Tasting Room will serve curated wine flights with accompanying cheese and charcuterie plates as well as pantry items and glasses or bottles of wines to enjoy in the courtyard or lawn.