Ministry of Clouds

McLaren Vale, South Australia

SUSTAINABLE - MINIMAL INTERVENTION - VEGAN

Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood certainly don’t lack for personality, charisma or passion and their Ministry of Clouds wines

are an absolute representation of all that they exude.

McLaren Vale has always surprised me by its diversity. Geographically it offers countless micro climates through elevation and exposure, Geologically it is blessed with some of the most ancient and complex soil structures in the world dating back 1.6 billion years, Viticulturally it boasts some the country’s oldest vines and newest varietals and with regard to winemaking you have the complete cross section of ‘Old School’ and ‘New School’ vignerons. It is a truly mind blowing region, and in order to create great wines of ‘The Vale’ you must know the ins and outs of all of these elements.

After a shared thirty years in the Industry, the greater portion of which has been spent in the Vale with the likes of Wirra Wirra and Woodstock, Bernice and Julian have developed an understanding of what it takes to create truly excellent McLaren Vale wine and how the aforementioned elements can come together. What’s more is that their respect for the region means they are intent on undertaking this without having a negative environmental impact on the Vale itself.

It is widely regarded that the most balanced, fragrant, and complex wines produced in the Vale come from the old rocks of Seaview, the deep sandy soils of Blewitt Springs, and the siltstone + gravel of the Clarendon hills. With a firm belief that the great wines of the world reflect their origins, the pair have searched out distinguished sites to forth basis for the wines they make. These include an elevated 86 year old bush vine Grenache vineyard in the heart of Blewitt Springs, dry grown Grenache from Bernard Smart’s famed 1920’s plantings at Clarendon, a 70 plus year old south-facing Blewitt Springs Shiraz block, the low yielding dry grown Shiraz vineyard planted in 1960 by the Patritti family and the bio-dynamically managed Hickinbotham vineyard in the cool climes of Clarendon. Most recently, Bernice and Julian have purchased 11 hectares in Seaview planted into ancient rock, a vineyard which is the past recipient of the Single Vineyard Trophy at the McLaren Vale Wine Show.

When it comes to winemaking the pair aren’t afraid to get in and get their hands dirty. With an emphasis on early picking by hand, whole-berrry and whole-bunch ferments, relatively lengthy time on skins, and an oak regime that favours old and large vessels, the reds are fermented at Geddes winery in Blewitt Springs. Preferring delicacy and purity in their whites, Bernice and Julian travel to the Clare Valley and Tasmania to avoid transporting their white fruit. Without formal winemaking training the wines are made simply and thoughtfully by the pair, but they are not too proud to ask help and advice of those around them.

Undeniable in their provenance while evidencing progressive viticulture and winemaking, Ministry of Clouds’ wines are well

worth watching as they become what can only be considered as new world classics.

2022 MINISTRY OF CLOUDS SHIRAZ - MCLAREN VALE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

$20.96
fter a painful number of vintages with even more painful yields, we have continued to work hard to supplement our historical vineyard partners in 2022. This vintage comprises about 90% 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 the second consecutive La Nina we enjoyed another cool growing season, with flavour developing slowly over time making for a welcome change from recent vintages, producing a distinctly delicate but intense character. Low Baumes, coupled with healthy natural acids led to lifted and fine floral notes, lavender and lime leaf, grapefruit pith, bath salts, and underlying talc. Classic Clare citrus notes are complimented by the mouthwatering chalky and mineral texture on the palate, finishing with a fine and taut acid line.

2022 MINISTRY OF CLOUDS ROSE – MCLAREN VALE, SA

$19.89
A blend of mature Mataro planted deep into loam to provide texture and savoury tannins, with Cinsault off our own The Chase Vineyard sitting on top of the Onkaparinga Rocks for fragrance and lift. Both parcels were whole bunch pressed lightly to retain only the most delicate aromatics, settled upon its own lees to build mid texture, then fermented to dryness before blending together. On the drier end of the spectrum, a deliberately delicate and aromatic expression of strawberries, apples, guava and pomegranate. The palate is long, dry and intense, with tangy raspberry fruit, a lick of amaro bitters, and a little tannin to provide the whip-tale of necessary refreshment..

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