Nestled in the Willunga foothills of McLaren Vale, Hedonist Wines is home to lovingly tended vines and a dedication to top quality wines.
Founder, Walter Clappis, started Hedonist Wines with playfulness at the core of this vineyard’s ethos. Walter has been making wines for 33 years, and has earned himself an enviable reputation. From the late 80s to the late 90s, he owned the winery formerly known as Ingoldby Wines (now the Treasury Wine Estate). Walter is the only winemaker to have ever won the Dan Murphy Trophy three times, and during his two decades at Ingoldby Wines, he racked up a mind boggling total of 37 trophies and 124 gold medals, including the prestigious Bushing King Award for the most outstanding red wine.
Walter decided he wanted to plant an organic vineyard from scratch – and in 1996, he made this dream come true. Walter believes that the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life and so what better to call his vineyard? Together with his daughter, Kimberly Clappis, Hedonist Wines came to life in 2005 as the baby vines grew to bear fruit. Soon after, they were joined by Kimberly’s husband, James Cooter, and together they mix the incredible hard-won experience that Walter brings to the table, with new wine styles and fresh ideas.
Hedonist Wines exists in a microclimate that’s a little cooler than other parts of the McLaren Vale. Situated just 12km from the sea, a cool breeze and a higher rainfall in the winter all contribute towards creating a unique flavour. The soil is alluvial fan clay with patches of underlying limestone sand and gravel – and together with the climate, this creates wines with a rich, full palate.
While the winery produces shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and tempranillo, the flagship wine at Hedonist is the 2010 Hedonist Reserve Shiraz. With a deep red and purple colour mingled with crimson hues, the bouquet is unmistakably McLaren Vale Shiraz – a violet fragrance, a spicy, peppery, tasty oak with complex barrel ferment characters define this indulgent wine. The palate is full and flavoursome, with dark berry fruits and spices with tinges of oak, but above all, the texture is soft and velvety. It is best enjoyed with a pepper-crusted filet mignon (rare as you like), on a parsnip purée with baby spinach and baby carrots, drizzled in a red wine jus.
Certified organic and biodynamic, the emphasis is about promoting soil health and maintaining a balanced and diverse population of soil biology. In keeping with their holistic philosophies, the vineyard is managed with the absence of pesticides and herbicides.
At Hedonist Wines it is all about enjoying life and enjoying great wine, they try not to take themselves too seriously, and with the launch of its Cellar Door in 2016, the joyful team will be ready to welcome you for a tasting.