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Monday 9 May 2016

St Leonards aiming to make fortified wines cool again

Fortified wines are among the great treasures of the Australian wine industry. 

Wine styles like muscats and tokays are uniquely Australian, but are unfortunately associated with boring old duffers wearing tweed jackets. Old farts wines.  

The bright young team at St Leonards Vineyard, in the Rutherglen wine region of north-east Victoria, is in the process of launching a new range of fortified wines designed to appeal to young, hip consumers and reverse the decline of fortifieds. 

The Hip Sip range is designed to capture the attention of young consumers. 

The first wine to launch is the Tawny, a port-style which  is predominantly made from shiraz grapes. Others labelled Muscat and Muscadelle will follow in the coming months.
The packaging of the new range certainly looks hip enough and the Tawny has had 2-5 years of barrel maturation to add character and complexity. Think Christmas Cake characters with hints of vanilla and chocolate. 

The St Leonards team is spruiking the wine as an ideal partner for coffees, or as a cocktail ingredient.

“Hip Sip was designed with compelling packaging to inspire the 25-35 age group,” says St Leonards marketing director Angela Brown. 

“Fortified wine is not well understood by consumers but there is a definite wow factor when they are enjoyed. We are hoping to capture attention and bring new relevance to this unique wine style."

The Hip Sip Tawny ($20 for 350ml) is available at Dan Murphy’s, St Leonards Vineyard cellar door and online at

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