Country, Region: South Australia, Clare Valley
'From the third consecutive La Nina vintage we enjoyed another cool growing season, with flavour developing slowly over time, but with the chance of disease higher than previously, time walking vineyards was essential! The 2023 vintage comprises about 93% grapes from the terrarossa/ red loam laid over limestone of the renowned Watervale subregion often referred to as "The Golden Mile", with picking times staggered to retain natural acidity. The balance is sourced from the lean, hungry and rocky soils characteristic of the cooler and later ripening hills of Penwortham.
From a range of individual picks separated by more than 3 weeks, settled naturally post press, with pressings retained and transferred to oak for wild fermentation, the heart of the blend was cool fermented in stainless and aged upon fine lees from 4 months. With high natural acids present, coupled with relatively low Baumés, each parcel exhibited beautifully delicate and fine aromas, lavender and lime leaf, lemon pith, bath salts and mineral as the bedrock. Classic Clare citrus notes are complimented by the mouth-watering chalky and mineral texture on the palate, finishing with a fine and taut acid line .' Bernice + Julian
After almost three decades shared experience in the wine industry, Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood decided to have a crack at their own (ad)venture. For them, Ministry of Clouds represents the relinquishing of past security and structure for the beguiling freedom and independence inherent in this, their own voice.
They seek fruit from distinguished vineyard sites mostly in McLaren Vale, but also in the Clare Valley for a crystalline expression of Riesling and across the Bass Strait for a flinty and somewhat wild expression of a Tasmanian Chardonnay. Their reds revel in Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro and Tempranillo fruit from a variety of mature vineyard sites through McLaren Vale, some up to 90 years of age.
Ministry of Clouds produce classic wines that show careful attention to detail, wines that speak of the land, that reveal the essence of the season; wines with perfect ripeness yet showing some tension, restraint and poise complete with crunchy texture, delicate balance and a somewhat modest built. They are wines that beg to be shared on a convivial table consumed with various foods, flavours and textures.