Home' Grower : February 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- February 2012
Exotic varieties help
Salena keep shining
Varieties grown in the 208-hectare
vineyard include shiraz, cabernet
sauvignon, petit verdot, merlot,
chardonnay, colombard, semillon and
SALENA Estate owners at
Loxton Bob and Sylvia
Franchitto produced their first
vintage 14 years ago -- and have achieved
a great deal since then.
They chose to work in the South
Australian Riverland, a climate not
normally considered ideal for premium
Loxton, on the Murray River about
255 kilometres north east of Adelaide,
receives an average annual rainfall of only
260 millimetres, most of it in July and
Summer daily maximum temperatures
are well in above 30C degrees and
occasionally climb to 40C.
"I disagree with the perception. If you do
things right, you can produce wine in a
warm climate as good as in a cool climate,"
Bob said. "We try to be different and try
different ideas with our winemaker."
Their objective from the start was
always to become recognised as a maker
of world-class wines that represent great
value in any market.
The company's show record of three
trophies, 30 gold medals and more than
350 silver, bronze and other gongs
gathered from competitions around the
globe, testifies to their success in
producing premium wines.
They firmly believe in the old
winemaker's maxim that 'the making of
good wine starts in the vineyard'.
To achieve consistently high-quality
fruit, the latest pruning, canopy
management and other vineyard practices
are undertaken to ensure the best-possible
varietal expression in the har vest.
They planted their first vines in 1981,
but did not open their state-of-the-art
winery until 1998.
The vineyard plantings stretch to 208
hectares. Varieties grown include shiraz,
cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, merlot,
chardonnay, colombard, semillon and
riesling. They also buy unusual varieties
from other growers, including
sangiovese, vermentino, bianco
d'alessano, viognier, fiano, casillero del
diabolo and matera.
This fruit is used for their Ink Series of
wines. The brand was created to highlight
a group of special-interest wines not
produced on a regular basis, but are made
only when the winemakers find parcels of
fruit that deser ve special attention.
The Ink Series wines receive special
care and attention from the winemakers,
and are always made in extremely limited
"We have about 17 or 18 varieties on
our hit-list," Bob said. "A lot of old
varieties have been nearly forgotten, but
some might make good wine."
One little-known white variety bianco
d'alessano won three trophies at the
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine
Show in November, 2010. Salena won
the trophies for best wine of the show,
best Italian varietal, and best white wine.
Winemaker Melanie Kargas described
the Ink Series 2010 Bianco d'Alessano as
pale-straw in colour with a green edge.
Salena Estate endeavours to utilise a
"minimalist inter vention" approach to
weed and pest control. Half the vineyard
area has been converted to certified-
"We might go completely organic if
demand in the marketplace for organic
wines continues its trend," Bob said.
The sole aim of the vineyard
operations is the production of premium
fr uit. Grapes are machine-har vested in
the cool of the morning when they are
in peak condition.
The har vest is then transferred to the
modern winery, just minutes away on
the same property, where crushing and
processing are quickly started.
Peak processing capacity is more than
12,000 tonnes of grapes, with 10 million
litres of temperature-controlled stainless
steel storage on-site. This storage is fed
by large and small capacity bag presses
and an assortment of fermenting vessels.
The Salena portfolio is destined almost
entirely for export, with Asia including
China the major market. It still sell some
bulk wine mainly to Scandinavia, and
organic wine to Germany and Canada.
"We are planning to open a cellar door
in Adelaide," Bob said.
"Loxton is too far for a day trip so we
don't get many buyers visiting the winer y."
Details: Bob and Sylvia Franchitto 08 8584 1333.
History preserved in
KATNOOK Estate's $450,000 cellar door and
conference centre development has been officially
launched by South Australian Tourism and
Regional Development Minister Gail Gago as part
of opening celebrations at the Coonawarra winery.
Owned by the Wingara Wine Group, Katnook
Estate's winemaking history goes back to 1896,
when Coonawarra's second vintage was made in
the Katnook woolshed by Scottish immigrant John
Riddoch -- a famous figure in the Coonawarra
region. The company has always shown a
commitment to preserving the history and integrity
of the site, and the original woolshed now houses
Katnook's oak barrels.
The latest renovations have continued the
dedication to history preservation.
"As well as the new cellar door, which has been
created through a stunning renovation of the
building where the winery's founder John Riddoch
set up the Coonawarra Fruit Colony in the 19th
Century, the Katnook Estate redevelopment
includes a new function and conference centre,
which is a sensitive redevelopment of the
limestone building used as the winery's stables in
the 1800s," Ms Gago said.
"The stables' original form has been refurbished
to provide all the facilities needed to host small
conferences, meetings and weddings, while still
retaining the beauty of this historic building.
"I would like to congratulate the whole Katnook
Estate Team, as well as the Wingara Wine Group
and their parent company, the Freixenet Group, for
their bold vision and investment in this project.
"They have already started work on a new
project, which will see the winery's historic
woolshed transformed into a showcase area, used
for tastings, dinners and special events."
The project was partially funded through a
$50,000 grant from the South Australian Tourism
Commission's Tourism Development Fund.
Wingara Wine Group chief executive Diego
Jimenez said he was very proud of what his
company has achieved at Katnook Estate.
"Our goal is to attract as many visitors to
regional South Australia as we can, because we
believe this is really important in bringing more
wealth to the local regional community," he said.
"That's why we are investing in regional
Alternative varieties embraced
Vineyards cover 208ha
AT A GLANCE
Bob and Sylvial Franchitto produced their
first vintage of Salena Estate wines 14
GreenTech Vineyard Sprayer
GreenTech Tree Sprayer
GreenTech Row Crop Sprayer
Available tank sizes:
• 800 Litre • 2000 Litre • 3000 Litre
• 4000 Litre • 6000 Litre
Brilliant coverage and penetration
Lowest horsepower requirement
Easy row space adjustments
Built to last
Flexibility of low volume spraying
Optional extras available!
RIVERLAND FARM MACHINERY
Phone: (08) 8586 3688
255 Renmark Ave, Renmark
Brett Turnbull 0429 807 808
Phone: (08) 8564 2600
Lot 99, Stockwell Road, Angaston
Geoff Zerk 0428 245 141
Phone: (08) 8388 4111
206 Onkaparinga Valley Road,
Phone: (08) 8762 3316
2 Lucindale Road,
108-112 Wing St, Wingfield
Phone: (08) 8359 5362
Links Archive Dec 2011-Jan 2012 March 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page