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January 15, 2019

Hard work and a lot of heart in the wine lineup for CBD & Vines

Koerner, Chaffey and Karrawatta each produce quite different wine from one another but all are united in their work ethic and attitude towards getting it done.

  • Words: Josh Fanning
  • Above Image: Josie Withers

Daniel Chaffey Hartwig is in his car on his way home from a four-hour session with the graphic designer where he’s been working on a new label for a Chaffey Bros wine. He’s talking to us, hands-free (thank you officer), and letting his guard down, talking freely in the way only honest people do around journalists.

“We say no to way more events than we say yes to,” he says, referring to his upcoming appearance at Electra House Hotel’s multi-regional two-day wine event, CBD & Vines.


CBD & Vines

February 2-3, 2019
Electra House Hotel
131 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000

View more details and purchase tickets here.

Daniel is keen to impress upon us the importance of restaurants and bars like Electra House Hotel to wine producers like him.

“About 90 per cent – at least 80 per cent – of our business is through restaurants and bars and we really value their support. Chad [Hansen – Electra House Hotel’s general manager] has supported us for many years, in venues before Electra, at Sean’s Kitchen and Eden before that.

“We are shaped by all the places we’ve been to around the world but those top 20 restaurants in each Australian city, places like Electra House, they really do make a difference to our business.”

An event like CBD & Vines is unique in the city because it brings winemakers like Daniel – who shun mainstream events – under one roof for your tasting pleasure.

“Heaps of the smaller producers out there don’t have cellar doors and I’m looking forward to this event because I know the building’s going to be full up with likeminded people,” says Jono Koerner of Koerner Wine.

Jono meets us during a busy morning that began with a meeting with his brother, Damon, at the winery in Lenswood, before packing his car full of wine for some morning deliveries and meeting with us for an interview at Exchange on Vardon Avenue – all before 11:00am.

“Yes, it’s going to showcase SA in a different light. Lots of regions and different sorts of producers from those regions in the same place and all that, but I reckon there’s going to be a real energy in the building – beyond the obvious points about regions and wineries – there’s going to be a real energy that people will like.”

Darren Furst, general manager of Karrawatta Wines, tells us that Karrawatta is careful to partner with businesses that represent & reflect their brand ethos.

“Mark [Gilbert, Karrawatta’s owner and winemaker] has always had a strong grip on our brand and we love working with venues that share our passion for hospitality,” he says.

CBD & Vines takes place over two days, February 2nd and 3rd, and over three levels at Electra House Hotel on King William Street. It’ll bring a sizeable lineup of our region’s most interesting and unique winemakers, as well as craft beer and spirits from the state’s booming brewing and distilling industries, together under one roof (and outside).

“Adelaide is like a very natural extension of its regions,” says Daniel.

“Our wine regions are so close, really, and this event makes perfect sense and should be seen for what it is – a celebration of our beautiful city and its unique place in the middle of some world-class wine regions.”


More about the wines

L-R: Daniel Chaffey and Theo Engela – photo: Josh Geelen

Chaffey Bros
For more about Daniel and his brother-in-law Theo, you should read this excellent article by Anthony Nocera. But if you’ve bought your ticket to CBD & Vines already and are looking for pointers on what to try, Daniel suggests one of their greatest hits – the Not Your Grandma’s Rosé, which is co-fermented, old vine grenache and mourvèdre from the Lyndoch region plus a small amount of spritzy gewürtz and other whites.


Koerner wine lineup – photo: Josie Withers

The unique story of this Clare Valley wine label (with its winery in Lenswood) is summed up by the 500-metre radius from where brother Jono and Damon source their fruit in Watervale. Damon is the chief wine maker and Jono is the sales and marketing guru, but with just two staff there’s a lot of helping each other out in this family business. As for wine, you can see from the image above they’ve got plenty. But all anyone was talking about pre-Christmas was the Koerner Pigato Vermentino. “Like peach ice tea,” was the most enticing description we heard. Alas the Pigato had sold out at East End Cellars when we went to buy some. Koerner make great booze, all with wild yeast, the “house yeast” of the winery says Jono. They use a variety of vessels from a 2000 litre foudre to ceramic eggs and stainless but we can assure you it’s all good.


Karrawatta’s cellar door in the Adelaide Hills

Mark Gilbert’s great, great, great grandfather planted the first grapevines in Eden Valley. In 1847 he made his first wine but not before he lost a coin toss in a local pub (and subsequently a bet) and had to change the name of his property from ‘Karrawatta’ to ‘Pewsey Vale’. The Gilbert family are coming up on 200 years of grape growing in South Australia and Karrawatta is Mark’s expression of that history, realised through some of the most elegant wine coming out of the Adelaide Hills at the moment. Be sure to grab yourself a sploosh of Meddler Malbec. A striking package, the wine is done up like an old tawny but flashes with blueberries and leather – while still feeling very pretty on the palate.


Buy tickets to CBD & Vines here.


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