Seppeltsfield welcomes new winemaker and celebrates with luxury still wine release

The Seppeltsfield Winemaking Team. Image courtesy Seppeltsfield.

Seppeltsfield has welcomed a new winemaker, Julian Bermingham, to the team, coinciding with the release of their luxury still wine collection.

“We are thrilled to welcome Julian to the winemaking team here at Seppeltsfield – it is a truly exciting time for our award-winning luxury still wine collection,” said chief winemaker Fiona Donald.

The winemaking team at Seppeltsfield now consists of Warren Randall (executive chairman), Fiona Donald (chief winemaker), Charlie Seppelt (senior winemaker), Matthew Pick (senior winemaker), Kingsley Fuller (group viticulturist) and Julian Bermingham (winemaker), with collectively, over 160 vintages of global experience.

Established in the Barossa in 1851, Seppeltsfield is known for its fortified wines, including the Centennial Collection – the world’s only unbroken lineage of single vintage Tawny dating back to 1878. After gaining full ownership of its trademark in 2017, Seppeltsfield have now released a new luxury collection of still wines, fermented through the historic 1888 Gravity Cellar.

The collection is headlined by the fourth release of the ‘Grounds’ range – Single Vineyard Barossa Shiraz from the 2021 vintage. There are three expressions including: Western Grounds, ‘The Westing’ sourced from ‘V Block’, Southern Grounds, ‘The Southing’ sourced from ‘Chooks Block’, and Northern Grounds, ‘The Northing’ sourced from ‘Katingi’ vineyard.

The range takes inspiration from Barossa Australia’s ‘Grounds project’, a comprehensive study of the district’s sub-regionality, bringing together winemakers, grape growers and soil and climatic science experts, to evaluate and identify the variations in Shiraz wine expressions across the various parishes of the region.

‘The Westing’, ‘The Southing’ and ‘The Northing’ showcase the distinctive differences that vineyard location and regional terroir can make to Shiraz from the 2021 vintage. The wines were all harvested within a two-week period, fermented through the historic 1888 Gravity Cellar and matured in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads for 14 months.

In addition the ‘Bench Blends’ new releases are centred on the winemaking art of ‘assemblage’, with the ambition to achieve a final blend that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is the second release of a traditional, Australian blend, ‘Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz’. The 2021 ‘No. EC4’ Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend consists of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon with Shiraz making up 47% of the final blend.

Alongside this, a more contemporary expression of traditional Portuguese varieties from the 2022 vintage, ‘No. EC3’ Barossa Touriga, Tinta Cao, Tinta Amarela. The blend is 50% Touriga, with equal remaining parts Tinta Amarela and Tinta Cao. Red varietal blends carry an ‘EC’ (East Cellar) number were first released by Seppeltsfield’s founding family in the 1960s and formed the inspiration for this range.

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