In October 2016, we traveled back to Adelaide where we’d previously lived to go and find those special wineries we wanted to bring on board for our VINOZ project. Mind you, back then we didn’t have a business name or registration – all we had was a vision.
The only winery we were familiar with was Turkey Flat as we’d visited their cellar door a few times in the past. As it turned out though, it wasn’t until the very last minute of our trip that we managed to meet up with the owner, Christie Schulz, who had just flown back from Asia. In spite of her jetlag (or maybe thanks to, we’ll probably never know), she seemed convinced after a short meeting that she could trust us to represent her well-established and reputable brand in far-away Luxembourg.
Meeting with Hentley Farm was, on the other hand, a complete leap of faith which turned out to be one of the best decisions we made. The winery and restaurant had won numerous awards recently and we were intrigued by this new kid on the block, even if unfamiliar with their wines. Deborah Kingsbury offered us the full Hentley experience, starting with a tasting in their wonderful cellar door to a lunch at their critically acclaimed restaurant. If we could have, we would have exported their Chef right on the spot! But luckily their wines are just as elegant, well-balanced and exciting as the food.
Finally, we would not have had the privilege to be representing CRFT’s wonderful wines if we hadn’t been reading specialised Australian wine magazines while in Adelaide. It just proves that reading while on holiday (sort of, at least) is not an entirely bad idea. Showing us around their vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, our meeting with Candice and Frew was about as authentic as it gets. Not only were they lovely and very knowledgeable people, they were also just as excited about our project as we were. From the moment we tasted their wines, in a work-in-progress room which is now their cellar door, we were convinced we needed to share this unique style of winemaking with enthusiasts alike.
It didn’t take us long to figure out that Turkey Flat, Hentley Farm and CRFT would be the foundation of VINOZ. In fact, we knew right away and without any doubt.