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Friday 22 February 2019

One small step: major milestone for leading family winery

    It is 50 years since Sydney hotelier and publican Bill Taylor Snr decided to establish a family wine estate in the Clare Valley.

    It was a time when fortified wines still ruled the roost in Australia, but Taylor was determined to replicate some of the great wines of Bordeaux. 

    On July 20, 1969, Bill Taylor first set foot on a site by the Wakefield River. It was the same day that Neil Armstrong took man's first steps on the moon.

    Plantings of cabernet sauvignon vines - gifted by the famous Wynn family of Coonawarra - were the start of the estate, which is known as Wakefield Estate outside Australia. 

    While the Taylors, now led by third generation Mitchell Taylor, already have premium wines The Visionary and The Pioneer (both outstanding), they will launch a new ultra-premium red blend to mark the 50th birthday of the business and the family legacy. 

    The details are currently being kept under wraps but will be revealed at a special function at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney in April. 

    I understand there will be fewer than 100 cases of what may be a cabernet-merlot (a nod to the family heritage) but Mitchell Taylor (below) politely refused to reveal any more about Project X when I caught up with him in Hobart last week.

    He was, however, happy to show off the latest premium and St Andrews releases, all of which were in fine form

    The Taylor family vineyards are at Auburn and have an elevation of up to 350 metres, ensuring warm days and cool nights. Today, the Taylor family are the biggest producers of wine from the Clare Valley with a reputation for fine cabernets, shirazes and rieslings.

    Taylors is a member of Australia's First Families of Wine group, and a regular winner of show wards around the globe. 

    The elegant 2014 The Visionary won the Concours International de Cabernets in Bordeaux last year. It beat cabernet wines from 35 countries "a real thrill" says Mitchell Taylor, whose family has long admired wines like Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

    See and stay tuned.. 


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