Geoff Weaver has journeyed from the big end of town to a tiny, intimate pocket of the Adelaide Hills. Back in 1988 he was appointed chief winemaker for the Hardy group of companies, where he oversaw winemaking for around 10% of Australia's grapes. In 1992 he made the break from corporate winemaking to pursue his own dream on the Lenswood vineyard that he and wife Judith had started planting a decade earlier. Those vines, some of the oldest in the Hills, are really reaping the rewards of maturity. Geoff is clearly one of Australia's elite white winemakers. His is one of Australia's best and longest-lived Chardonnays and the oft-overlooked Riesling is beautifully aromatic and mineral. Add to this a Sauvignon Blanc that can only be described as immaculate, while the wild yeast, partial barrel-fermented, oak-aged Ferus Sauvignon Blanc is a gorgeous example of this style. Against a tidal wave of Sauvignons from ‘across the ditch’, it’s comforting to know that there’s one from this particular island that can hold a torch to any of them.
Stephen Pannell marked 10 years of the S.C. Pannell label in style, buying a vineyard he’s loved for years, acquiring a winery and cellar door in the heart of McLaren Vale and scooping the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for his 2013 Adelaide Hills Syrah. He's one of the most liked and respected winemakers in the business, loved also by a wine-drinking public looking for refreshing, aromatic white wines and reds that are approachable and moreish - in essence, wines that are serious while remaining irresistible to drink. From its new permanent home in McLaren Vale, S.C. Pannell continues its quest for great “wines that are grown, not made” – wines that are delicious, that taste of where they're from and that are a natural partner for the food and lifestyle of their home.