This South Aus­tralian re­gion is a hive of ac­tiv­ity

For­get what you think you know about Clare Val­ley in South Aus­tralia. Tra­di­tion is alive and well, but so is a spirit of in­no­va­tion and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.

Halliday - - Contents - Words David Sly

WINE­MAKER MARNIE Roberts sur­prised many – in­clud­ing her­self – when she de­cided to leave the es­tab­lished Clare win­ery Clay­more to launch her own fam­ily wine brand, Ma­tri­arch & Rogue. “Sure, it seems like not much changes in Clare,” Marnie says. “But new ideas and new op­por­tu­ni­ties are plac­ing us on the nervy edge, where it feels like sig­nif­i­cant things are about to hap­pen.”

Marnie is stretch­ing far be­yond the re­gion’s his­tor­i­cal out­put from a tight clus­ter of fam­ily-owned vine­yards to present a more com­plex ta­pes­try of styles and ideas about wine. Ma­tri­arch & Rogue has emerged be­cause it gives Marnie the chance to ex­plore a new crop of emerg­ing grape va­ri­eties in her own way – saper­avi, nero d’Avola, mon­tepul­ciano and ver­mentino.

“I grew up in Mil­dura and the Al­ter­na­tive Va­ri­eties Wine Show re­ally de­fined my in­ter­est in wine­mak­ing,” she says. “Now I have ideas about where I want to take these styles. Per­haps there’s a hint of mad­ness about me do­ing this, but I don’t want to re­strict my­self. I want to give it 100 per cent.”

Hav­ing made her wine in sheds since 2014, Marnie took the de­ci­sive step this year of con­struct­ing her own win­ery and quit­ting her day job to make the new la­bel her sole con­cern. The move has drawn sup­port from wine­mak­ing peers, with many of them also dab­bling

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