The Stonegarden vineyard in Eden Valley has a long history dating back to the 1860s, the very beginning of viticulture in Australia. Some of the original vines are still there today, planted alongside some (slightly younger) vines from 1946. The vineyard is a somewhat haphazard mix of many different varietals that have been planted over its long history, this is reflected in the field blend 'Sang de Pigeon' made by Michael Hall. This wine is a blend of all the vines in a small parcel of the vineyard, some of which haven't even been identified yet. At the very least, you can expect Riesling, Crouchen, Verdelho & Muscat a Petit Grains in the mix.
The Sang de Pigeon is the definition of a field blend, 68% of the must is macerated on skins and all varieties are cofermented and matured for 9 months in barrels. The 2019 vintage has seen the addition of 20% Roussanne from the Greenock in the Barossa adding even more weight and texture to the wine. It is the fascinating mix of Australian history and modern, delicious and fun wine-making that makes this wine so great. The 2019 vintage is highly aromatic notes thanks to the large portion of Muscat a Petit grains. However, on the palate it is bone dry and textural and moreish.
Only approximately 1500 bottles of this wine were made in 2019 and they are absolutely cracking. Make sure you get your hands on some, it won't disappoint.
The Stonegarden vineyard in Springton was established in the 1860’s by Oscar Benno Seppelt. 70 years previous, during the Hamilton family’s tenure, a block was co-planted under French winemaker Maurice Ou to an eclectic mix of aromatic whites including Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains red and white, Crouchen, Riesling and Verdelho, peppered with some old vine Grenache and Mataro from the 1860’s and a number of unidentified white varieties, a genuine field blend!
Hand-picked on 4th March, fermented on skins, pressed to barrel and maturation for nine months. Blended with 20% Roussanne from Greenock in the Barossa Valley.
Our project Blanc harnesses the exuberant varietal composition of the Stonegarten vineyard while bringing the dry quinine notes and golden hue of skin-contact fermentation. Clean, dry and moreish. Built for summer.
Michael Hall grew up in England, where he originally built a career in jewellery evaluation, even working for Sotheby’s in Switzerland at one point. Whilst he worked with priceless gems every day, wine was his real passion and so, at the ripe old age of 40, he decided to bring his wine dream to reality, applying for an Australian student visa and enrolling in Wine Science at Charles Sturt University, where he graduated dux in 2005. Taking advantage of the inverse hemisphere seasons, Michael worked stints in Australia with Cullen, Giaconda, Henschke, Shaw + Smith, Coldstream Hills and Veritas; in France with Domaine Leflaive, Meo-Camuzet, Vieux Telegraphe andTrevallon. He then spent four formative years as winemaker for Barossa contract winemaker, Moppa Vintners, before establishing Michael Hall Wines.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
This is Stonegarden Vineyard’s mix of unusual grapes met with some roussanne from the Barossa Valley – some of this sum is skin fermented, all of it matures in barrel. It’s an epic wine. Epic. So much interest, texture, bright flavours, savouriness, chew to the juice, juiciness to the chew. Scents of frangipani, rose water, green apple, flavours around that mark, a little sweet then a lot dry, a touch of marzipan in there, lots of chalkiness. It’s like a great rose mated with an orange wine in bed with a traminer. Sweetness perhaps an irk. Anyways, it’s compelling and delicious drinking.