Spring and a new batch of Castagna Wines

Even though most people in the North East Victoria would argue this point, it is starting to look like Spring even more here at Castagna Vineyard. We have had above average rainfalls the last month or so, and our vines are looking divine! It’s hard to believe these little shoots will grow taller than the posts and create a wall of cool, dark green leaves, interspersed with bunches of luscious fruit, all ready to be harvested in late Summer, early Autumn next year.

Syrah at Castagna Vineyard Spring Beechworth

Syrah at Castagna Vineyard.

Delicate, and almost velvety. Syrah vines at Castagna Vineyard.

Delicate, and almost velvety. Syrah vines at Castagna Vineyard.

All the animals in our menagerie are enjoying the warmer weather too. We use fowl (both chooks and guinea fowl) as a form of pest control and to enrich our soils. It’s also an amusing past time to sit on the veranda at the end of a long day, glass of something yummy in hand (Castagna of course!) and watch the grandchildren chase the chooks off the vegetable garden for us!

Rocky the Resident Rooster, struts his stuff at Castagna. Beechworth Spring

Rocky the Resident Rooster, struts his stuff at Castagna.

kids Castagna winery Beechworth Spring

it’s amazing world we live in, especially when you are only one metre tall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the weather warms up (or pretends too!) we are busy preparing for the release of our latest wines. Keep an eye on this space for updates on the new wines, or join our mailing list for special offers and mailing-list only invitations.

Castagna Mailing List.

Spring Winery Dogs Castagna Beechworth

Kip, Lord of the Hounds, He of the Big Bark and the Even Bigger Bounce

 

Jim Lockard’s write up of Castagna wines at the Artisans of Australia tasting

Nice write up of Castagna wines from Jim Lockard in his blog Jim Lockard on Wine. 

artisans of australia castagna beechworth wine

 

Here is little excerpt from Jim’s Australian Wine Tasting in London post, about his time at the recent Artisans of Australia tasting in London that both Adam and Julian attended.

 

Castagna Wines: The father and son team of Julian and Adam Castagna were presiding over their table with aplomb. Their Rhône-focused vineyard & winery deliver the goods. Their wines were consistently well made and nicely balanced

…Standouts were the 2016 Rousanne, bottled a week ago, and already moving toward becoming a great white wine. The highlight, however, is their 2008 Sparkling Genesis Shiraz-Viognier, a dark red sparkler that delivers great taste and can be paired with just about anything, including meat. This is an amazing wine.

– Jim Lockard

Julian and Adam of Castagna wines at the Artisans of Australia tasting. Photo credit: Jim Lockard

Julian and Adam at the Artisans of Australia tasting.
Photo credit: Jim Lockard

Read the full blog post here Australian Wine Tasting in London.

Beechworth and Castagna – wet but still glorious!

So the rain came to Beechworth again, but it is still beautiful here in North-East Victoria. Tiny leaves bursting out of the buds show that Vintage 2017 is on its way.

Grey Beechworth skies and baby vine leaves

Grey Beechworth skies and baby vine leaves

rain clouds Beechworth Castagna Vineyard Winery

More rain forecast for Beechworth and the North East

wine barrel statue Castagna Winery Beechworth

Everyone is a little wet here…

 

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

Remember to sign up for our mailing list to receive invitations to special events and great wine offers. Join the Mailing List here.

 

 

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 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.

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

Ten Questions with Milton Wordley

Julian and Adam met with Milton Wordley Photographer earlier this year, to chat about all things Castagna, as part of Milton’s ‘People of Wine: Ten Questions’ project.

Covering everything from biodynamics and viticulture, to Julian’s personal history and wine making views, this interview is well worth a read. Click here to get a fascinating glimpse into the history and philosophy of Castagna, as well as some delightful images.

Castagna vineyard. Adam and Alexis. BrothersPhoto by Milton Wordley

Castagna 2007 Sauvage – a vineyard blend

When one believes that the best wine is made with the least intervention, nature seems able to throw in a few surprises. 2007 was such a year. A complex vintage, a vintage where the fruit we grew was atypical, so I made the decision that the fruit would be best served by not keeping the varieties separate but by making a vineyard blend. This blend was bottled in November 2008 and although really good and extremely interesting, was like the fruit at harvest, atypical. The tannins especially, were quite different from what we have come to expect of Castagna wines – it needed time in bottle.

Sauvage in barrels at CastagnaBarrels at Castagna Vineyard

We thought two years should do the trick. The wine was put into cool storage for probable release in late 2010 or early 2011. Then vintage 2011 happened. The blend, which we labelled Sauvage, assumed a different importance we made a decision to hold onto it and release it instead of 2011 – thus ensuring that we would have at least one new wine to release at the end of 2013. The wine sat quietly in a cool dark place for five years and was released in 2013. The tannins are now typically Castagna – firm and fine, simply delicious. So No Genesis, No La Chiave nor Un Segreto in 2013, instead a vineyard blend, with five years bottle age, and because it was labelled Sauvage it was incredible value. It still is. The wine is delicious and I am very proud of it.

Castagna 2007 Sauvage tasting notes