Pioneering ways of growing and financing forges future for Bega Valley winery

Carlin Stanford, Tasmen McKenzie, Permona McKenzie, Paul West (Host of River Cottage Australia) and Euan McKenzie

Fresh from their time in the spotlight in episode one of season four of River Cottage Australia this week, a one of a kind Bega Valley winery is preparing to step into a future that is rich in the values of its past.

Rescue helicopter pilot Euan McKenzie and retired soldier Carlin Stanford put their first vines in the ground at Verona, near Bega NSW in 2009.

Armed with a degree in Oenology and Viticulture from Margaret River, Euan and Carlin’s dream of Together Wines was growing well until just before getting ready to sell their first drop.

Despite their old dairy having produced food for the region for around 100 years, current legislation stopped it from being used to produce, bottle and sell wines.

A new straw bale building is on the drawing board with a crowd funding call out hoping to make the new Together Wines facility a reality.

Euan and Carlin are looking to make the financing of their family business just as sustainable as their management of the environment.

Despite some killer hot days since planting, their vines have never shown any signs of heat stress. What makes that even more remarkable is that their vines have never been irrigated.

Together Wines is working with nature to produce Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rose that demonstrate their time and place. Traditional wine making techniques with low intervention as well as organic and biodynamic viticulture adds further depth.

Vines were first planted  into deep wide holes ( 2475 holes in total 400mm wide, 800mm deep) that were backfilled with decomposed green manure, sending the roots deep into the famous soils of the Bega Valley. A technique not generally used in commercial vineyards, but something Euan and Carlin thought essential in their sustainable dream.

Grasses and herbs around the base of the vines are used to regulate water uptake, as well as provide minerals, mulch and habitat.

The end result is a wine that reflects each unique season.

By launching this crowd funding campaign Euan and Carlin are hoping to open up what Together Wines really means.

It’s only “together”, with small contributions from people with a passion for sustainable farming, good wine and regional innovation that Together Wines can take the next step.

A pledge of $100 builds momentum towards the $24 000 target and sees people become a Friend of Together Wines with a lifelong discount of 20% on future wine orders. Bigger pledges open up more opportunities including private vineyard tours and barrel sampling.

An opportunity for wine lovers to connect with the grower and build the future.

Go to www.togetherwines.com.au or email info@togetherwines.com.au

Pic1 : Carlin Stanford, Tasmen  McKenzie, Permona McKenzie, Paul West (Host of River Cottage Australia) and Euan McKenzie

Pic2: Together Wines at Verona, north west of Bega. Over 2000 vines are in the ground growing deep into these famous soils.

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