A First for Freeman
Freeman Vineyards proudly announces the release of its first wine – FREEMAN Rondinella Corvina 2002.
Freeman Vineyards was established in 1999 in the Hilltops region of New South Wales, a location largely overlooked by expansionist wine companies – other than the McWilliam family whose Barwang brand is well recognised. Best known for cherries, stone fruits and top quality merinos, the terroir of the Hilltops is also ideally suited to viticulture, especially the classic red varieties, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.
But do Australian wine lovers need another cool climate peppery shiraz label? Certainly, there seems to be merit in adopting a counter cyclical approach which is partly That’s partly why Dr Brian Freeman, previously the professor of wine science at Charles Sturt University, opted to plant two Italian-origin varieties – Rondinella and Corvina – the backbone grapes of Italy’s Amarone and Valpolicella wines.
The home block of the 40-hectare estate was propagated from just six cuttings of each variety sourced from the CSIRO’s grape breeding collection. Time and effort, trial and error, have combined to create the resulting unusual red wine that is inspired both by Italian tradition and local Hilltops horticulture.
A portion of the grapes was dried in a solar-powered prune dehydrator. The grapes are layered on racks and gently heated in air tunnels at 40 degrees for three days, a process that concentrates flavours and modifies the tannin structure of the seeds. The dried grapes are then added to the fermentation tanks. Subsequently, the wine is aged for 12 months in a combination of old French and American oak barriques.
The traditionalists of the Veneto probably wouldn’t approve, but the result is a savoury textured wine that is definitely different to the mainstream.
Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2002 (RRP $35) is available from the winery by mail order (couriered free of charge) or from selected stockists - but Sydney and Melbourne only at this stage.