Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
Mount Horrocks is owned by winemaker Stephanie Toole, who restricts production to approximately 2,500 cases per year in order to achieve her aims of quality and single-vineyard expression. The Clare Valley winery was established in 1980 and purchased by Stephanie in 1993, since then she has made significant improvements to the wines, vineyards and winery. In 2014, the winery and vineyards were organically certified by the ACO (Australian Certified Organic).
Stephanie describes her wines as ‘hand-made food wines’ with an emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours. All grapes are estate grown and hand picked from two organically managed vineyards: the ‘Cordon Cut’ vineyard at Auburn close to the cellar door, planted only to Riesling; and the ‘Alexander’ vineyard at Watervale for Riesling, Semillon, Nero d’Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. She has a total of nearly 10 hectares of vines. Stephanie’s persistence with classic, no-compromise winemaking and a fully integrated organic approach to growing sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream.
Each release from Stephanie seems to eclipse the quality standard set by the previous vintage. The ‘Watervale’ Riesling is a regional classic, the Semillon is barrel fermented and exquisite, while the ‘Cordon Cut’ Riesling ranks among Australia’s best sweet wines. Stephanie’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are ethereal, elegant expressions from Clare and get better every year. Stephanie decided to make a Nero d‘Avola after falling for the variety on a trip to Sicily. Hand-picked at full ripeness, it is a wine that is bright and lively, with medium weight and bursting with muscular fruit.