First Drop

*****James Halliday - 5 Star Rated Winery - 2014 & 2015*****

This is a virtual winery, with no vineyards and no winery of its own. What it does have is two owners with immaculate credentials to produce a diverse range of wines of significantly higher quality than those of many more conventional operations. Matt Gant was in his final year of a geography degree at the University of London in 1995 when lecturer Tim Unwin (a noted wine writer) contrived a course that involved tastings and ultimately a field trip of Burgundy and Champagne. Geography went out the window, and Matt did vintages in NZ, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the US and finally Australia. Working at St Hallett he won the Wine Society’s Young Winemaker of the Year Award ’04, and the Young Gun Wine Award for First Drop in ’07. John Retsas has an equally impressive CV, working at St Hallett and Chain of Ponds, and is now general manager of Schild Estate. First Drop’s portfolio includes Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Montepulciano (all from the Adelaide Hills), Barossa Trincadeira Rose, a string of Barossa Shirazs ranging from $25 to $100 a bottle, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional from McLaren Vale. Exports to the UK, the US, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and NZ.

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