Adelina Wines is a boutique winery nestled in the Springfarm Valley south of Clare township. It all started as a project between Jen Gardner and her father, Will, as an excuse to make wine for family and friends to enjoy.
The vineyard has been in the family since 1986 but it wasn’t until 2000 that they produced their first vintage under the label Adelina. Searching for a name that was feminine as well as resonating with Will’s heritage, Adelina bounded both.
Spending his early years in New Zealand after finishing high school, Col found himself a vintage job in a local winery. Several forays into tertiary education and more vintages in New Zealand and the United States were followed by a PhD in Oenology at the University of Adelaide. The plan to graduate and return to the land of the long white cloud changed when Col met Jen – who was also completing her PhD in Oenology. The pair worked and travelled, ultimately returning to South Australia and taking on the role of production and management at Adelina Wines in 2003.
Nestled between two of Clare’s great historical sites, Wendouree and The Aberfeldy vineyard, Adelina has small plantings of well established vines, some which were planted around 1910.
Growing shiraz, grenache, mataro and pedro ximenez grapes, Col and Jen use biodynamic principles to look after and preserve their vineyards. They also work with a very small group of growers in the Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills who supply fruit for their non-estate wines.
Adelina’s flagship wine is its Estate Shiraz. It is grown on 100-year-old vines planted in red sand with mild clay, slate and limestone on a clay base. The single-vineyard wine is fermented and macerated, generally for an extended period of time, before maturation in oak. The 2012 vintage is carried by bright red fruits and taut acidity, with a complexity that will be rewarded with patience.
The winery also produces wines from the Piedmontese varieties: arneis and nebbiolo. Both of these are grown in the Adelaide Hills and the team work closely with growers to help bring a sense of the old world to the wine, but within that framework the wines still speak quite clearly of their South Australian roots.
The processes at Adelina are purposely rustic in terms of mod cons and mechanisation, with the most elaborate piece of equipment on-site being the coffee machine.
Each bottle is adorned with exquisite wine labels that visually represent the complexity and beauty of Adelina’s products. While there isn’t a cellar door on-site as yet, there are plans to have a space for some low-key events in the near future.