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Friday 31 March 2023

A new way to approach fortified wines

Fortifieds were once the powerhouse of the Australian wine industry. Today they are the much-ignored ugly relative. 

Now family-owned McLaren Vale winery Woodstock is aiming to change the perception of fortified wines among consumers, launching a new campaign focused on cocktail recipes that showcase their award-winning fortified wines.

The Woodstock team shares a passion for the art of fortified winemaking, producing a wide range of dessert styles. 

“Woodstock has a proud tradition of fortified wines which spans over 70 years, beginning with my grandfather, Doug Collett,” says third-generation winemaker Peter Collett.

“Before table wine [became popular], Australian winemakers were dedicated to the production of world-class fortifieds. We want to bring back the celebration of this craft and share some of our cellar treasures."

The Woodstock team wanted to help drinkers rediscover the enjoyment of fortified wine and to learn about the winemaking and maturation processes. 

The popularity of cocktails was an opportunity they identified to help people reassess what they know about fortified wines - and to introduce the style to people who haven’t tasted them before.

Together with mixologist Harry Mansfield, the Woodstock team developed a range of cocktail recipes, exploring fortifieds beyond the traditional stereotypes and embracing new ways to enjoy them. 

“Fortifieds have been a little left behind in the bartending arsenal, but well made and aged fortified wines can bring intensity, complexity and balance when embraced in the right cocktail recipe,” Mansfield said.

The bespoke cocktail recipes include an Espresso Muscatini, a Tawny Negroni and a Blackcurrant Sour (top image) - each highlighting a specific Woodstock fortified wine.

“We’re really excited about what we’ve been able to create - the recipes are fun, simple to replicate at home, and most importantly, delicious,” says Mansfield said. 

The Rediscover Fortified cocktail recipe videos can be viewed at

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