Willunga Creek Wines

About

Willunga Creek Wines is a family-owned producer of superior quality, hand-crafted wines. The grapes for its wines are grown in the famous McLaren Vale region of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula – known as one of Australia’s most highly regarded wine producing districts. This picturesque region with its Mediterranean-like maritime climate is renowned for the pre-eminent quality of its red wines and in particular its shiraz wines, which are typically full-bodied, rich and mouth-filling. Willunga Creek Wines proudly uphold the winemaking traditions of the region, and in just a few short years has garnered an enviable reputation for itself amongst professional wine scribes and amateur wine lovers alike.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Willunga, South Australia.

Contact

Fax: 08 8556 4660

Features

  • Superior quality, hand-crafted wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Winemaker

Winemaking duties at Willunga Creek Wines are shared by two of the hottest ‘guns’ around at the moment in Phil Christiansen and Goe di Fabio. Both have a wealth of experience in dealing with fruit from the McLaren Vale district, and both are passionate in their belief that the region can produce wines that can stand up to any in the world.

Phil Christiansen has over twenty years experience in the local wine industry, honing his skills at companies as diverse as the corporate giant Hardy’s and the Adelaide Hills cool-climate specialist, Longwood. Known by the moniker ‘Silver Fox’ around the district, Phil specialises in small batch, basket-pressed, open fermentation techniques. A vastly more labour intensive process than the more common modern day high-tech/stainless steel procedures, Phil believes the traditional methods actually draw out the best from the fruit and contribute to the overall complexity of the finished wine.

Goe di Fabio suspects he has red wine coursing through his veins. His family planted their first vineyards in the region back in the 1960’s, and Goe has known no other life but growing grapes and turning them into wine. Complementing his local training with numerous vintages in Italy, Goe brings to the Willunga Creek camp a worldly approach to winemaking gained from exposure to techniques used across the globe. He too, believes in a ‘minimalist intervention’ approach, favouring methods that allow the essence of the grapes to fully express themselves.

Together, Phil and Goe craft for Willunga Creek a range of superlative wines that are raising the eyebrows of the most serious wine lover. The wines are rich, fruit driven and powerful. They are released when they are still youthful, and should ordinarily continue to improve in bottle for at least another five to eight or ten years.

Both our winemakers agree on one thing – wines are made for drinking, ideally in good company with good, honest food. So, enjoy!

History

This has been our labour of love since 1994, for it was that year that we turned the first sod in the paddock up on the hill behind our house – and began to establish a vineyard here in our little patch of McLaren Vale, one of Australia’s premier grape growing regions. It also happens to be an absolutely beautiful place to live and work and we couldn’t dream of being anywhere else.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Our vineyards are located on the slopes at the base of the Willunga Hill escarpment and are elevated above the rest of the McLaren Vale floor. We do most of the physical work ourselves, but need to enlist the support of local contractors for the really big jobs like harvesting. For professional guidance on vineyard management practices we retain Adam Jacobs of Vitiwise Pty Ltd. ‘Doc Adams’ as he is known locally, has this to say about our beloved vineyards.

“The alluvial red clay soils at Willunga Creek vineyards pay tribute to the resultant character in the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon wines. Descriptors such as dark chocolate, earthy and in some years, black pepper and spicy flavours most commonly describe the aromas, followed by a long lasting and lingering palate that precisely echoes what the aroma spells. The concentration of the shiraz and cabernet sauvignon wines is extremely complex and best describes the intricate micro-climate of the vineyard.

Much limestone, Urrbrae clay and blue and grey Willunga slate is evident throughout the vineyards. Top soil forms a thin patina over this base and much of it has been washed away over the centuries to leave hard rock with slow-releasing elements – just perfect for growing icon red varieties such as shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, as it turns out. We carefully hand-pick parcels of grapes at around 14.0° Baume, which deliver powerful concentrated wines. This is the wine-style objective we aspire to at Willunga Creek.

One of the last contributors to flavour development in grapes is the amount and quality of water applied to the vines during the growth cycle. At Willunga Creek, little or no irrigation is applied in the vineyards, with natural rainfall normally providing all our requirements. If supplementary watering is required, however, it is sourced from a spring-fed dam carved into the hill above the vines. This provides clean, fresh water of excellent quality with negligible salinity. This is yet another contributor to the consistently good fruit quality achieved.”

Awards

Willunga Creek Black Duck 2008 Merlot

Bronze Medal
London International Wine Challenge 2011
OuT foR a dUcK! Cabernet/Shiraz 2007

Gold Medal
I.W.C in Hong Kong 2011
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2006 Merlot

Bronze Medal
London International Wine Challenge 2010
Silver Medal
Cathay Pacific I.W.C in Hong Kong 2010
Bronze Medal
Cathay Pacific I.W.C in Hong Kong 2010
Silver Medal
London International Wine Challenge 2009
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2006 Shiraz

Commendation
London International Wine Challenge 2011
Commendation
London International Wine Challenge 2010
Silver Medal
London International Wine Challenge 2009
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Commendation
London International Wine Challenge 2011
Commendation
London International Wine Challenge 2010
Commendation
London International Wine Challenge 2009
OuT foR a dUcK! Shiraz 2006

Silver Medal
Cathay Pacific I.W.C in Hong Kong 2010
HOFEX Hong Kong Wine Challenge 2009
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2005 Merlot

Silver Medal HOFEX Hong Kong Wine Challenge 2009
GOLD MEDAL

London International Wine Challenge 2007 Attractive, spicy, concentrated briary fruit, excellent concentration and balance. Enormous length with a long silky finish. Excellent.

4 STARS

89 points. Light to medium-bodied; with fresh juicy cassis fruit, good acidity and downplayed tannins and oak.

James Halliday - James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2007 - 2008 Edition
3 STARS
Developed and savoury nose followed by sweet/savoury flavours from beginning to end.

Winestate Magazine July/Aug 2007
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2005 Shiraz

Bronze Medal London International Wine Challenge 2009
Silver Medal HOFEX Hong Kong Wine Challenge 2009
4.5 STARS

91 points . Absolutely classic McLaren Vale shiraz, the dark chocolate hitting before all the other fruit components, of which there are many, mainly in the blackcurrant and liquorice spectrum.
James Halliday - James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2007 - 2008 Edition

4 STARS

Quite Rhonish with its subtle, plumy aromas that are just starting to develop. Smoky, earthy and chocolatey on the palate – obvious development. Top of Class in this category award.

Winestate Magazine July/Aug 2007
Bronze Medal London International Wine Challenge 2007
Bronze Medal
Melbourne Wine Show 2007
Bronze Medal
Top 50-Great Australian Shiraz Challenge 2007
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Medal HOFEX Hong Kong Wine Challenge 2009
4.5 STARS

93 points .Medium-bodied smooth and supple, attractive cassis and blackcurrant, with just the barest touch of bitter chocolate; very good indeed for the region.
James Halliday - James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2007 - 2008 Edition

Silver Medal
Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2007
Bronze Medal Royal Sydney Wine Show 2007
Bronze Medal
Melbourne Wine Show 2007
Bronze Medal
Cowra Wine Show 2007
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2005 Cabernet Merlot

4 STARS

87 points. Medium-bodied; slightly grainy/gritty texture; olive and earth flavours dominate.
James Halliday - James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2007 - 2008 Edition

Bronze Medal
Rutherglen Wine Show 2007
OuT foR a dUcK! Shiraz 2005

Bronze Medal
Great Australian Shiraz Challenge 2007
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2004 Shiraz

Silver Rating

Attractive fragrant nose, quite elegant, supple, smooth satiny texture, good weight, depth and richness, very easy drinking, balanced, plummy, chewy, depth, good tannins, good length.
Peter Forrestal - Quaff Magazine/Sunday Times Perth - April 2006

Bronze Medal
Melbourne Wine Show 2006
Bronze Medal
Boutique Wine Awards, Canberra 2006
89 Points

Medium bodied; savoury, spicy chocolaty nuances to the core of black fruits; controlled oak.
James Halliday - James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2006 - 2007 Edition

Willunga Creek Black Duck 2004 Cabernet Merlot

Bronze Medal
Melbourne Wine Show 2006
90 Points

Good colour; supple cassis, blackcurrant, raspberry fruit on the medium-bodied palate; fine tannins; elegant and unforced.
James Halliday - James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2006 - 2007 Edition

Willunga Creek Black Duck 2003 Cabernet Merlot

3.5 STARS

Nice concentration of dark cherry fruit on the nose and fruit/charry oak palate. Will develop well over the next five years.

Winestate Magazine Sept/Oct 2005
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2003 Shiraz

3 STARS

An interesting wine with ripe, porty aromas and extremely ripe blackberry fruit flavours.

Winestate Magazine July/Aug 2005
Willunga Creek Black Duck 2002 Shiraz

4 STARS

A blockbuster with wild gamey aromas and excellent silky, seamless fruit/oak integration. Dense, persistent fruit flavours. Soft palate.

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Address

Delabole Road
Willunga , South Australia 5172
Australia

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