Gemtree Tasting Room
167 Elliott Road
McLaren Flat, SA
(08) 8383 0802
Open 7 days
11am – 5pm

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Introducing Gemtree Small Batch Albariño

News — Posted 11.11.22

Will the real Albariño please stand up?

Back in the mid 2000s a few of us here in the Australian wine industry were excited by the arrival of Albariño cuttings from Spain ready to be planted in our vineyard soils. Spanish Albariño is an entirely appropriate vine for our climate here in McLaren Vale and a delicious wine that pairs perfectly with our coastal lifestyle and cuisine.

Albariño wines are fresh, citrussy and racy. However, when the grapes were finally mature enough to be made into wine in 2009, the Australian wine industry discovered through a canny viticulturalist and then backed up by a visiting French ampelographer (someone who is an expert grape identifier) that these vines were not in fact Albariño but Traminer, (aka Savagnin, the name agreed to by growers). This fact was confirmed by the CSRIO in the following April.

How did this error happen?? Apparently, it was just a case of mistaken identity. A fairly monumental occasion of being sent the wrong order!

As it turned out these Savagnin grapes made some very tasty wines, but they were not Albariño, a variety we thought we grafted in 2005. It was not until 2017 that we started growing actual Albariño.

We’ve been waiting a long, long time to release our first genuine, definite, real, and bona fide Albariño. That day is today. Introducing the Gemtree Small Batch Albariño. 

Our winemaker Josh is very excited, “It is the first release of the true Albariño that we have waited so long to make, it is a distinctive expression of the site, a tiny spot at the top of the Gemtree vineyard, with a cool microclimate perfectly suited to growing white varietals. It has lovely texture, acidity and nashi pear like characters”, he says. “The Small Batch Albariño was made from free run juice only, with a fraction of solids retained in juice to build texture. This free run juice was then fermented 100% in a concrete egg to create a line of minerality and texture in the mid palate.”

Stocks of this Small Batch wine are limited. Sublime in warmer weather, the Small Batch Albariño would make a delicious and perfect accompaniment to Christmas day chargrilled prawns or a New Year’s Eve seafood platter.

Shop our new Small Batch Albariño below our book in to visit our Tasting Room to give it a try!

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