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The Elderton Wines Blog

Making Great Wine

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In the October Buzz, we discussed that great wine comes from great fruit which comes from great vineyards (which is undeniably true). Following this, we wanted to write a piece addressing the factors, aside from great dirt and amazing vineyards, which we think contribute to a wine being classified as one of the great wines of the world – such as our Command Shiraz and Ashmead Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine is a unique and remarkable thing, in that it connects and is connected with people and their community. It represents history and reflects talents in both art and science. Wine is all this, as well as being a delicious beverage with a true sole intention of making people happy.


Make no mistake, people make wine. At heart, the families that make great wine are largely generational farmers who continue to make wine from their own understanding of their little piece of the earth. They are connected and committed to their community and respectful of their surroundings and environment in general.

Community is a big part of making great wine. It is rare that a great wine stands in isolation. Instead, it is likely that the community that the winemaker is a part of has influenced and helped form the ideology of the wines they make.

In the Ashmead family, great wine is a family commitment and a responsibility to the place we love.

Winemakers Jules Ashmead and Brock Harrison in vineyard


Life constantly evolves, but lessons can be learnt from the past. The world’s greatest winemakers have a respect for history, in both the successes and the failures. This allows them to be much better equipped to cope and succeed in the future, and also to be able to adapt and embrace what the seasons may provide.

We also believe that great wine is not a one off. The best producers have shown through history that they are able to attain a remarkable standard year after year much more often than those vintages they miss.

It is remarkable that the Barossa has a very proud 180 year history of grape growing and winemaking. Continuity of this successful history is our goal.


For a wine to be considered great, it needs to have a uniqueness and have its own sense of place. Copying what others do around you or trying to make wine like somewhere else in the world does not set the precedence of great wine.

Wine needs to be genuine and come from the heart. Making wine for a purely commercial reason is never a good way to make something iconic.


This one is a tightrope and will surely raise some debate among our readers! There is little doubt making great wine requires love and attention that is second to none. It requires a knowledge of science that ensures you are one step ahead of the game, but also an understanding that for things of beauty often a small imperfection can make a wine a touch more intriguing.

In essence, though, wine needs to be handled well at each stage from the vineyard through to bottling, to ensure that great fruit is turned into great wine!


Story from our newsletter, the Elderton Buzz – March 2020 edition