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Winemaking

O’Leary Walker Wines are handcrafted by David O’Leary and Nick Walker in conjunction with a talented young winemaking team. All of our wines are purpose made from individual vineyards, carefully selected from specific regions to produce wine of great quality to reflect their true origin.

Vineyard site selection is critical and is the lynchpin to producing wines with depth, character and regional personality.

Clare Valley Rieslings are world class and their international reputation has been earned through consistency of quality over many decades. The cooler elevated slopes of the Adelaide Hills produce outstanding Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blancs. The O’Leary’s, along with Petaluma and Geoff Weaver, were the first to recognise the potential of this now blossoming region.

David and Nick spent twenty plus vintages working for some of Australia’s elite winemaking companies in Hardy’s and Mildara Blass, involved in labels like Annies Lane, Chateau Reynella, Mildara, Krondorf and Yellowglen.

The larger companies provide fantastic learning environments and they were privileged to have worked with some of the industry’s greats. David and Nick have always been fascinated by the influence of oak and the variation between cooperages. O’Leary Walker Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are exclusively matured in French oak from famous oak houses like Siruge and Daraud and Jaugle.

With our Shiraz and Cabernets we also adopt the 100% French theme as the integration of fruit and oak elegance is conducive to our style of wine.

We embrace modern technology with the use of tank presses for white and red pressing but still rely on the traditional two and four Tonne open fementers. These vessels are ideal for closely following the progress of fermentation and assessing the quality of fruit received. Gentle hand plunging and control of temperature allows you to maximise the colour and flavour extraction.

Many of our Watervale Vineyards are “dry grown” and are self regulating, which means they are in balance with nature, producing modest crops of high quality and ensuring survival throughout seasonal variations.

Every vintage gives us the opportunity to experiment with new technologies, which have given rise to more European styles like our “Fully Worked Sauvignon” and “Dr’s Cut Riesling”. The winemaking process is very dynamic; the way we make wine today is different to how it was crafted 30 years ago and will continue to evolve again over the next 30 years.

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