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January 31, 2019

Laura Carter of Unico Zelo wants to expand what you understand about ‘sustainability’ in wine

Sustainability isn't all dirt and vines for this winemaker.

This is Laura Carter’s fifth vintage under the Unico Zelo banner and things are going just great.

We first spoke to Laura back in 2015 when she and husband Brendan had just moved into new digs (an old cold store in Gumeracha) and were building a presence through a wine label, a sprits label and a perfume brand – all at the same time.


Unico Zelo is one of 20 winemakers who’ll be pouring and talking wine this weekend at City & Vines

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

View more details and purchase tickets here.

This Saturday and Sunday Laura will be dishing out tastes of their now famous fiano at City & Vines at Electra House.

Beyond representing her brands, Unico Zelo and Applewood distillery, Laura will be representing for a cause at the two-day wine, spirits, beer and food festival.

“Wineries are very good at talking about environmental sustainability,” says Laura. “It’s easy to see the environmental changes and impacts because it’s always in our faces, how fragile the planet is, but another part of our business is community focused and transplanting those concepts of sustainability into a people and community setting.”

Terroir is often understood solely as the quality of dirt that grows the fruit, that goes to the winery to make the cordial that we like best.

But the French understand terroir is also about the people, the community that surrounds the grapes, growers and winemakers alike.

Laura is concerned about the disadvantage growers face when they make investments on the farm – in sustainable practices, in pursuing organic methods and increasing fruit quality that then goes unrewarded at the other end.

“I think the City & Vines event is special because there aren’t too many opportunities for big producers and small producers to rub shoulders and for us to exchange ideas with one another,” says Laura.

“Often there’s a massive divide between big and small and this event at Electra House shrinks that gap.”

Unico Zelo’s breakthrough wine was the fiano, which they built around the entry-level market, what Laura refers to as ‘new wine drinkers’. But what they did with the fiano was really special.

“It’s what Burgundy does with the chardonnay – we started making single-vineyard expressions of the same variety.”

Laura will be presenting two Riverland fianos at City & Vines this weekend, as well as giving a daily “barrel talk” on sustainability in the wine and beverage industry each day at 12pm.

Unico Zelo


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