Glorious Beechworth in September

With lots more rain forecast for Beechworth, we are busy at Castagna getting the mower (or should I say tractor?!) in between the vines.

Castagna Vineyard Beechworth biodynamic wine

Getting the tractor out there before it gets too soggy again.

Blue sky and clouds at Castagna vineyard Beechworth biodynamic

Blue sky and clouds at Castagna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What started as a glorious blue Beechworth sky is gradually clouding over, but some of the Castagnas are making the most of the sun…

Coach Castagna Vineyard beechworth dog

Coach enjoys the sunshine outside the office

Wisteria Castagna Vineyard Beechworth biodynamic wines

Wisteria buds forming outside the office and wine store

Castagna Beechworth olives grapes wine

Sunshine! Looking south over the olive grove.

 

 

Global Castagna

It is a really busy time at Castagna at the moment and the last few months have flown by. Julian is currently in Europe, participating in a number of tastings, firstly the La Renaissance des Appellations  tasting in Copenhagen, then off to London.

‘This organisation of biodynamic wine growers – La Renaissance des Appellations – invited distributors, restaurateurs and sommeliers of Scandinavia, to come to Copenhagen and partake in wine tasting. No less than 74 wine makers from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Portugal, Australia and the United States offered high quality wines produced in according with biodynamic principles.’

(from Rennaissance des Appelletions)

The organisation was founded in 2001 and now consists of 190 biodynamic winemakers from 13 countries. The purpose of the organization is to promote the local term of each wine and ensure a high quality through careful cultivation, fastidious selection of grapes and the craftsman-ship of cellar practices.

Castagna wines beechworth

Julian Castagna

Here is an excerpt from Julian’s travel diary.

“I did enjoy Copenhagen, it’s lovely to be in a city full of friendly smiling people a city not being clogged by traffic – the bikes make such a difference.   The tasting took place at Papirhallen, which is an old paper making factory in the old part of town very near Noma, which unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a booking at.

I visited Rome briefly and stayed with friends in the area known as Monti, which is the old area of Rome near the Colosseum, it’s an area where Romans live with not too much damage from tourism – a really enjoyable day and a half – I walked my feet off.

Then off to a Casale near Orvieto where Tim Phillips, who did vintage with us in the 2005 vintage, is trying to set up a tiny winery. Tim makes wine in the UK and has a small walled vineyard in the new Forest where he is making very interesting sparkling wine.

It was interesting having some time to myself as it’s very rare that I have any time off at all on these European trips I do – the timing of the Renaissance tasting and then the Artisans of Australia tasting in London made this possible.

After Tuscany with Sean O’Callaghan, who for the last 25 years has been making delicious wine at Riecine – the wine and food culture there is just superb, I am now in London for the Artisans of Australia tasting.”

artisans of australia castagna beechworth wineThe Artisans of Australia tasting is this weekend in Shoreditch, a trade tasting that is a fantastic opportunity for Castagna to showcase our wines to the UK.

 

 

bottling wine Castagna Beechworth

Intense supervision occurring

 

Meanwhile, back in Beechworth, we have been busy getting ready for the release of our latest vintage. Bottling, labelling, the whole shebang!

Castagna wines Beechworth family

Adam and Alexis Castagna

Castagna Beechworth wines family

While the cat’s away… the mice will get stuff done!

Castagna Beechworth wine family bottling

Serious business

Adam Castagna Beechworth wine bottling

All finished

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Spring is here at Castagna (almost!)

Well it is Spring, but you wouldn’t know it! Rainy and cool today, with clouds flying across the sky. It is lovely and green here at Castagna and the buds are just beginning to burst. So bring on the sunshine!

grape vines buds Castagna Beechworth wine

Bud Burst

Castagna Beechworth wine grape vines

Pruning Off cuts and the view toward Stanley

Castagna biodynamics Beechworth

Chamomile in our biodynamic vegie garden, looking through to a very full lake

Castagna Vineyard Beechworth

Castagna Vineyard

 

Castagna wines in Western Australia

A lovely write-up Ray Jordan from The West Australian. Here are a few excerpts, or check out the full review here. Ray Jordan review

Castagna Genesis Syrah 2013

Deep opaque colour, sensational aroma. Violets and chocolate, with a savoury anise character. there is a smidge of viognier. So rich and textured, yet so smooth and well balanced. A stylish wine with a dryness more akin to European wines. 96/100

Castagna La Chiave 2013

This has a lovely floral and slightly peppermint character. It’s Sangiovese as you’ve never tasted in Australia. A thoroughly beautiful medium-bodied wine with grainy, savoury tannins and excellent fruit. Gets 20 per cent new oak but the fruit really hits home. Has moved away from the 50 per cent new oak used in earlier vintages. A real mouthful of flavour. 95/100

Castagna wine Beechworth biodynamic

Adam Castagna at Castagna Vineyard Beechworth

 

‘Castagna 13 Reds Rock Batman’s Arse’ by Phillip White

The exceptional Phillip White has once again used his amazing literary skills to write some wonderful reviews of our 2013 Castagna Reds. Here are some snippets to tantalise you…

It takes you away from where you were going. Absorbing these wines together is like moving to another room. It is one of the best rooms in Australia. Drinking a glass from each bottle each day til it’s done is like attending a magnificent exhibition.

On the Castagna Beechworth Genesis Syrah 2013

By Bacchus and Pan this wine’s a sweet and delicious thing rhythmically, like prunes and peat and liquorice and figs and fennel and aniseed and black fruits that haven’t evolved yet but already ooze the nectar of some midnight bloom that teases bats.

castagna open day genesis beechworth wine

On the Castagna Beechworth Un Segreto 2013

This blend is more it than the sum of its parts. It is an individual alive and happy unto itself: a ravishing, drop-dead challenging and enticing wine of a new style. Previous vintages have already given it authority.

It really is worth reading Phillip’s amazing write-up at his blog Drinkster.

Syrah grapes at Castagna vineyard

Castagna Harlequin – part of our amazing range of wines

A recent review of our Castagna 2013 Harlequin, from WineGenius.com.

Castagna harlequin wine beechworthJulian Castagna is an imposing figure, both physically and with the wines he produces.  He is not afraid to take a chance and his range of amazing wines reflects this. The ‘Harlequin’ is a Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier blend that has been fermented on skins.  This wine is full and textural with a honeyed spicy savoury overtone. This wine certainly surprised me as it doesn’t drink like a typical aromatic white, it has more structure, texture and complexity. Drinking Range: 2013 – 2018 Score: 90

Head to our WINES page to read our tasting notes for this amazing and complex wine.

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Julian Castagna at Castagna vineyardJulian Castagna at Castagna vineyard

Sarah Ahmed’s Castagna visit

In March this year Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective, paid us a visit at Castagna to taste our full range of wines, after experiencing our cru wines (Genesis, La Chiave and Un Segreto) at a Beechworth Vignerons tasting. Here are just a few snippets from her blog post.

Castagna La Chiave 2004 (Beechworth)

A burgundy hue, this is showing nice development, but has a ‘Sangio-ness.’  Sweeter and broader, with a soft ‘edge’ of chocolate the cherry fruit still retains a juiciness and I particularly liked the backdrop of black tea – a savoury and textural reminder of provenance.  14%

Castagna Growers’ Selection Harlequin 2013 (Beechworth)

Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier grapes are sourced from the Indigo vineyard over the road.  It spent 30 days on skins in stainless steel where it was fermented, prior to pressing into barrel and concrete egg for ageing. Initially round and soft, very textural, it assumes a weight in the mouth and yet the apricot fruit is very much on the backfoot.  This is no mid-palate wine.  Rather in tempo and structure it builds in the mouth, a conundrum of freshness with (attractive) alcohol warmth and a stole of spicy tannin which steals across the palate.  Bids you to break bread.  I liked this very much.  13%

Castagna Classic Dry Vermouth (Beechworth)

Amber with salmon pink flashes this delicious dry vermouth is pungent,  bitter but fresh – the ultimate saliva-inducing aperitivo designed to awaken the palate for dinner. It’s awash with pink grapefruit,orange peel, aniseed, angostura bitters and earthy sandalwood.  Let’s just say I wouldn’t want a tank of this a stone’s throw from my back door – it’s way too dangerously drinkable! 17%

Beechworth wine Castagna vineyard

At the kitchen table with Adam and Julian Castagna. Photo credit Sarah Ahmed

Click here to read the full article, including reviews of all the current Castagna wines

Max Allen and the Beechworth Vignerons

Castagna Beechworth Beechworth VigneronsThanks Max Allen for a lovely write up of the Beechworth Vigneron’s recent tasting in Melbourne. It’s always nice to get a special mention…

“And I was very impressed by some Italian red varietal wines such as Castagna’s beautifully balanced, poised and precise 2013 La Chiave Sangiovese”
Max Allen, The Australian, May 31, 2016

(Julian Castagna, left, at Taxi Riverside for the Beechworth Vignerons’ tasting)


Read the full article
, or head to our Wines page to see tasting notes for the Castagna 2013 La Chiave, as well as all our other wines.