Our obsession with alternative varieties began in 2011 when Anita managed to get her hands on some tasty Tempranillo from Mundulla. Since then, we haven’t looked back… developing a repute for our passion for alternative wine varieties.
Broadly speaking, The Limestone Coast is generally known for its Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Semillon, as the old history books and tourism brochures will tell you. But we like to be alternative here at Wangolina, while these traditional varieties have established identities in other Australian wine regions, our home in Mt Benson provides us with growing conditions to let our creative juices really run free (pardon the pun) by allowing us to, source, grow and experiment with all sorts of different varieties.
Aussies love to think of themselves as Mediterranean-types, lazing around and grazing in the sun. So, let’s face it, your average Cabernet or Shiraz might not always suit our laid-back lifestyle. That’s where alternative varieties come in to play– they’re tailor-made for our sun-soaked way of life, offering a whole new world of flavours that’ll make your next long lunch an experience to remember.
Some of our most loved reds are alternative varieties from our A Series; Tempranillo, Lagrein, Montepulciano and Mencia, we’ve got all bases covered, with Carmenere and Dolcetto on the horizon. These varieties are sourced from our friends in Mundulla, 118km north of our winery. Mundulla’s climate has warmer days that we don’t quite reach down in Mt Benson to help these grapes fully ripen, allowing the grapes to develop wonderful flavours and natural tannin.
More locally in our own Mt Benson vineyard, our current alternate varieties come in the form of white varietals. The sandy loam over limestone mixed with sunny maritime summers and sea fog mornings is the perfect recipe for our white varieties to thrive, producing high natural levels of acidity and delicious flavour. Gruner Veltliner is a proven success (it’s staff favourite), while Malvasia Istriana shows promising signs in its infancy, as we eagerly await to see what Verdicchio, Garganega, Ribolla Gialla, Aligote and Melon de Bourgogne will bring in the coming years. Keep your eye’s peeled for when these new guys go to bottle.
Here is our quick palate guide to alternative varieties:
- Tempranillo – youthful and herbaceous
- Lagrein – bold and brooding
- Montepulciano – juicy and rustic
- Mencia – light and savoury
- Gruner Veltliner – zesty and layered
- Malvasia Istriana – fragrant and mealy
So next time you’re in the mood for a wine adventure, give Wangolina’s alternative varieties a go!