The beautiful Clare Valley is full of absolute gems, and we’ve just discovered ourselves a new love affair — let us introduce you to Knappstein Wines. Headed up by Senior Winemaker Michael Kane, this premium winery has knocked our socks off with their lust for carving a new path while still respecting their remarkable history.
Just in case you need it, here’s five reasons to fall in love with Knappstein…
One of the most celebrated parts of Knappstein is the National Trust listed historical building, which oozes character from every nook and cranny. Built originally as a brewery in 1878 (that’s 142 years ago for those trying to do some quick maths) just outside the north boundary of Clare, this building has worn a lot of hats — first operating as a brewery, producing 1,000 gallons of beer each day, then transforming into a mineral water company, before finally being set up as Knappstein Wines in 1976.
The Knappstein family, along with the team that works there every day, have done everything in their power to preserve this ancient building and keep it looking it’s fabulous self. The wines that they create honour not only this special space, but also the landscape that they call home… but more on that later.
While we can’t let you in on all of their secrets, we can tantalize you with a quick little teaser — there are BIG things coming for Knappstein Wines. Without letting the cat fully out of the bag, we can allow a little paw to escape and say that the cellar door as you know it will take on a wine lounge vibe. The new tasting section will make the most out of the timber beams, and accentuate all that incredible history while adding a prestige modern feel. And the basement with thousands of stories to tell may just become a small-scale event space, with a bluesy jazz feel.
Damn. We’ve said too much already. Just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for some wild new updates!
Their passion for wine
You won’t find a recipe or a secret winemaking formula on this site — trust us, we’ve tried! It turns out that each delicious drop of Knappstein Wine is created with a spoon of historical records, a winemakers with a combined 60 years experience between them, a dash of careful winemaking and a final sprinkle of understanding of the Knappstein style and how to best let it shine.
Speaking of experience… Senior Winemaker Michael is one of the most knowledgable people in the biz. Starting in the industry at a wine auctioneers in Perth, he went on to secure his formal qualifications in Winemaking before travelling the world, working in some of the most prestigious wine regions, such as Burgundy, Champagne, Oregon, Napa and Central Otago. Since then, he’s brought his wisdom home to Oz and crafted award-winning wines for celebrated brands such as Devil’s Lair, Stella Bella and Wolf Blass. Michael works closely with Knappstein’s Consultant Winemaker, Mike Farmilo — who was previously responsible for making all Penfold’s red wines, including Grange and St. Henri, Lindemans, Seppelts and Wynns. With over 40 years of industry experience, Mike believes that some of the best wines in the country are being made from the Clare Valley — and we have to agree!
The part that we love the most though, is that Senior Winemaker Michael carries an undoubtable passion for the wine industry, saying “there are three things I love about the industry in particular: the people – I’ve met some interesting characters over the years; the diversity when working with wine – no day is the same; and Vintage – which is the most exciting, busy and strenuous time of the year, but also the reason I keep coming back”.
Their award winning wines (of course)
You can’t fall in love with a winery without loving their wines first — and Knappstein have some absolute winners. Having received some of the highest praise in the form of 5 stars in James Halliday’s annual guide and over 30 other prestigious wine awards (trust me, I counted) Knappstein pride themselves on being a small SA producer, making world class wines.
Over the years, they’ve continued to evolve their methods and the way they handle wines, moving towards a more organic viticulture, utilising a more medium bodied fruit driven style. We asked Michael to tell us a little more about each vineyard, and the varieties they are known and loved for — because honestly, he knows best!
Ackland Vineyard, Clare Valley — RIESLING
The slate and shaley rock abundant in the Ackland vineyard soils play a crucial role in the aromatic development of the Riesling, whilst the delicate floral nuances are unique to the handful of vineyards within this Watervale area.
Enterprise Vineyard, Clare Valley – CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The low-yielding Cabernet vines of this vineyard bear fruit with incredibly bold concentration of flavour, distinctive olive-leaf character flavours with fine natural tannins and striking acidity derived from the iron rich soils and the limestone geology.
The Mayor’s Vineyard, Clare Valley — SHIRAZ
Planted by a former Mayor of Adelaide in 1969, this vineyard has long produced savoury Shiraz wines of impeccable elegance. The low cropping vines and cool elevation combine to create wines of great varietal characters and complexity.
The region they call home
The regional pride shines through the fact that all of Knappstein’s vineyards are in the vicinity of the Clare Valley. Their wines are a pure expression of Clare, with major respect being paid towards their growing sites and the historical venue that they call ‘home’.
This weekend was meant to be the Clare Gourmet Weekend, when we all get a chance to head up to this stunning region and soak in everything that they have to offer. Now that regional travel has opened up again, make sure to add the amazing Knappstein Wines on your travel list, and explore them ASAP — whether it be now, or in a few months when their secret projects are all unveiled.
And if you’re just itching to enjoy some of these premium wines sooner rather than later, let us tempt you with a couple of amazing offers — use code ADELADY6 and choose any 6 bottles for 10% discount & free freight, or code ADELADY12 and choose any 12 bottles for 20% discount & free freight. All we can say is, yes please!