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There's always something exciting happening at the winery. With lunches, dinners, wine schools, new releases and special tastings, we'd love to be able to let you know how you can be involved.
'The Lowedown' is just that; the 'what's happening' at Lowe wines.
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The Latest News...
Annual celebration of the new harvest of Lowe Wines
On Saturday April 27 120 people will be seated in the middle of the Lowe Winery to begin an epic ten courses of food matched to 20 wines.
The Vintage Birthday Party at Lowe Wines is an end of each vintage tradition, reflecting on the harvest while checking out what shape previous vintages are in.
It is a relatively new tradition explains Chief Winemaker and CEO, David Lowe. “I cut my teeth in the wine industry during the heady and extravagant days at Rothbury Estate and whilst those parties were pretty over the top, they were a lot of fun. This is our annual ode to indulgence.”
The first Vintage Birthday Party coincided with a celebration of ten years since Lowe Wines built the winery in Mudgee. Now in its 3rd year, or 13th Birthday Party, there is another significant milestone to celebrate.
It is 40 years since Keith Lowe and 14-year-old David planted the first vines at Tinja, albeit some were ‘apparently’ planted upside down.
“Not to get too sentimental about it, but the real celebration of achievement here is not that Lowe Wines is a year older, but that 40 years ago my father was prepared to have a go at what was for him a new form of agriculture.”
“He innovated, he diversified and he was a conservationist before we even knew what that meant,” said David.
Lowe Wines continues this tradition of innovation and environmental awareness, and is a leader in organic, biodynamic and preservative free wines.
Vintage Birthday Party details:
Venue: Lowe Winery, Tinja Lane, Mudgee NSW
Date: Saturday 27th April 2013
Cost: $150.00 inclusive of wine
Tickets: click here or 02 6372 0800
Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine
The latest Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine has been released, listing Australia's Best Cellar Doors.
The magazine wrote, "Join a group of our top wine writers on a cross-country escapade as they reveal the greatest cellar doors this wide brown land has to offer. Whether the highlight is a line-up of rare museum wines to taste or a picture perfect country country cafe in which to linger over lunch, they're found the very best."
Lowe Wines was named as Mudgee's Best Small Cellar Door.
Other cellar doors to be awarded include Logan, diLusso, Huntington, Robert Oatley and Robert Stein.
What’s on at Lowe Winery this MARCH?
After two months of hosting so many locals for Friday night Tapas I had a little withdrawal last Friday, until I walked back into the winery in full vintage swing. This is my 35th vintage and the 13th in Mudgee. Grape growing is my first love and equal pegging with making and drinking wine.
Visitors to the cellar door this month will get a real sense of the fact that we are first and foremost a working winery. If there is crushing, pressing or plunging there’s a very real chance it can be experienced by our cellar door guests.
In between a record harvest we’re squeezing in a few other things like those below - just to keep it interesting!
We’re always open
Lowe Wines cellar door is open every day from 10.00am to 5.00pm. It’s been this way for a long time but we still get calls asking.
Winemakers Table Dinner – March 16
March 16 is still available, tickets are $110. These are held every third Saturday of the month, same day as the Farmers Market. They now always book out but often there are unforseen last minute cancelations so it’s worth giving us a call if you have a late enquiry.
Heroes & Icons – March 23
This event is shaping up to be lots of fun. 16 iconic wines have been chosen by a panel of winemakers and David Cox, Rachael McCarthy, Rebecca Sutton and Shawn Marshall are all working with Kim to put the menu together.
The inaugural Heroes & Icons award for service to industry will be presented and as I mentioned last time, Pete Howard is the MC.
Easter drinking, eating and cellar dooring March 29 – April 1
We will be open all of Easter including Good Friday. Food options are Lunches ($30pp), Grazing Platters all long weekend ($25 per platter, available all day) and daily specials.
Bookings are only required for lunches.
April heads up…
Vintage Birthday Party Lunch - April 27. 13th Birthday, 20 wines, 10 courses, Midday to 5pm.
More to know…
We’re happy to provide more info. Please call the winery on 02 6272 0800, email or go to http://www.lowewine.com.au.
Hope we get to see you, your friends or visitors soon.
David Lowe launches new Heritage Series wines
We have recently launched of new ‘Heritage Series’ range of wines.
The range includes two sparkling wines; the 2009 Lowe ‘Bobby Lowe’ Organic Sparkling Merlot ($30) and 2010 Lowe ‘Gentleman’s Daughter’ Pinot Noir Chardonnay ($45).
This is one of the most exciting new releases for us in the past decade. We’ve been known to tell a story or two at the cellar door. The ‘Heritage Series’ is an extension of this; it captures the stories associated with the wine’s namesakes.
This range of wines is all about small, premium parcels of fruit. The wines may be a trial, something innovative or simply a superb parcel of fruit that is too good to be blended away. Each of the wines reflects a bit of history of Lowe, the region and me.
The Lowe family history holds a number of colourful characters. Robert ‘Bobby’ Lowe was David’s great grandfather.
Much like David, Bobby was a community minded man. When, in 1863, he and his companion were bailed up by a local bushranger Bobby ‘levelled a gun he happened to have with him, the contents of which he lodged in the fellow’s neck and breast, which proved fatal.’ *
It was rumoured thereafter, those within the bushranging trade were heard to cry, “don’t try a Bobby Lowe on me,” when confronted by a target with poise.
Another of David Lowe’s ancestors was Muriel Lowe. Muriel was known to have travelled the world, often leaving her Mudgee home for months at a time. According to Muriel’s passport, her ‘occupation was ‘Gentleman’s Daughter’.
The new 2009 Lowe ‘Bobby Lowe’ Sparkling Merlot is made from organically grown grapes from Lowe’s Mudgee vineyards. The wine did not spend time on lees as it had built enough complexity from the maturation in large oak for nearly three years; the objective to soften tannin and to remove the inherent fruitiness that often happens.
The 2010 Lowe ‘Gentleman’s Daughter’ is a traditional blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Orange region vineyards located at an elevation of 1000 metres. The wine underwent secondary fermentation in the traditional method, followed by nine months on lees.
I have always gone for elegance and lightness courtesy of my Hunter Valley training and I am pleased that the wine is fine and sustained, requiring very little sugar at the disgorging to balance the acidity.
New 2012 Tinja Wines Released
We are particularly excited to release our new 2012 Tinja wines with new labels.
The word Tinja is an aboriginal word, which we understand means 'reedy waterhole'. This is the name of our property, which has been in the Lowe family for a number of generations.
The white is made from a blend of Verdelho from the our Rylstone vineyard and Chardonnay from our organic Mudgee Vineyard.
To make a preservative free wine you are restricted to grapes that are pure, with no damage and hand harvested.
The need for sulpur is only because something is wrong or something may go wrong. It's difficult but not impossible with red wine, are harder still with white wine as it has no colour and no tannins, which are natural preservatives.
For our cheat sheet on preservative wines, please click here.
Also released with the Preservative Free Merlot and White, is our 2012 Tinja Riesling. For our Japanese friends, you will be happy to hear that we are doubling the quantity of the Tinja Riesling being exported to Japan. The wine is being very well received, and we believe that the 2012 is even better than previous vintages.
For more details on all these wines, please visit our wine section here.
Vintage 2009 in Mudgee: Idiot proof
The winemakers of Mudgee are experiencing a resurgence with the region’s wines seeing growth in sales driven by a core group of proactive winemakers who are taking their wines and stories to the market.
This growing interest in Mudgee stems from the natural progression and improvement in quality of the wines from the region. Whilst Mudgee is one of Australia’s oldest winegrowing regions, it has made great leaps in the past ten years. Greater appreciation of the terroir and a more involved winemaking community has been the catalyst to these improvements.
We have recently released our 2009 Lowe ‘Block 8’ Organic Shiraz ($30). The 2009 Lowe ‘Block 8’ Shiraz is made from grapes grown on our organic and unirrigated Mudgee vineyard.
We had a dream harvest in 2009. There was good rain in spring and warm and dry conditions through harvest ensured no disease pressure.
Unlike some of Australia’s southern wine regions, we didn’t experience the extreme heat that caused them so much grief. With good yields and high quality fruit, the conditions were near perfect; you’d be an idiot if you made bad wine.
50 per cent of the 2009 Lowe Shiraz was fermented with wild yeast, cultivated from the Block 5 Shiraz vineyard. We utilised a lot of natural yeast fermentation in the winery in 2009. The resulting Shiraz shows lovely complexity and an aromatic, almost blueberry aroma.
The 2009 Lowe Shiraz is an extension of the Lowe style, with the dark Mudgee fruit still a feature of the wine, however there is a brighter, more appealing aspect to the wines in their youth.
We are aiming for fruit purity without a lot of heavy oak. This style has been applauded by a number of sommeliers that we have hosted over the last few months.
The 2009 Lowe Shiraz joins its red stable-mates, the Lowe Merlot and Australia and New Zealand’s best organic Wine*, the Lowe Zinfandel.
* The 2009 Lowe Zinfandel was awarded the trophy for the ‘Best Organic Wine of the Show’ at the 2011 Australia/ NZ Organic Wine Show.
Mudgee’s Nullo Mountain is Australia’s coolest for 2012
The ongoing debate about what classifies individual winegrowing regions as cool climate comes down to degree-days and, using data from the Bureau of Meteorology, Nullo Mountain within the Mudgee G.I. is officially the coolest for 2012.*
Meteorological data from the ripening period of December 2011 through to February 2012 highlights Nullo Mountain’s 488 degree days, the lowest by far, with Tasmania’s Scottsdale second at 627 degree days, and then Orange in NSW at 630 degree days.
Whilst the measuring of degree days during this key growing period is only one of a number of measures of climate, it gives a fairly clear indication that with the increasing move to more elegant, refined cool climate wines, the Nullo Mountain vineyard has the potential to produce some of Australia’s best aromatic wines.
We have all the resources in this vineyard to make some of the countries best Rieslings, Pinot Grigios and other aromatic wines. The degree days during these key ripening periods, the cool nights, the high sunshine hours and reliable rainfall are near perfect. If the weather during vintage is right, then it will only be my fault if we screw it up.
The data for Nullo Mountain came from a weather station situated at 1045 metres. Our vineyard sits a further 100 metres up the mountain, which would make it marginally cooler.
The degree days from the Mudgee valley floor also showed a decline from 1103 degree days in 2010/2011 to 935 this vintage.
This year is the latest that we have seen in Mudgee for 12 years. There has been a lot of rain, and subsequent humidity.
We will be expecting lower alcohol reds this year, more in the style of Canberra and Sunbury in Victoria, with spicy aromatics and lots of background pepper. Cabernet Sauvignon looks to be Mudgee’s star performer this year.
With the white varieties, the Nullo Mountain Rieslings will be aromatic, austere and slow to age. They will continue to be the performing variety of 2012, along with the lower alcohol Chardonnays.
* Information collated by Stephen Doyle from Bloodwood Wines from data collected from the Bureau of Meteorology weather stations located within the wine growing regions.
Mudgee – Icons & Heroes
The winemakers of Mudgee are banding together as part of the 2012 NSW Wine Festival Tour of the Regions dinners to showcase the history and characters that make the region unique.
On Friday the 23rd of March, Lowe Wines will host some of Mudgee’s most well recognised winemakers, including Huntington Estate’s founder Bob Roberts and Gil Wahlquist from Botobolar.
This is a dinner for both nostalgia and optimism, with some of Mudgee’s most famous wines being poured alongside the ‘new generation’ wines and varieties, by the men and women that made them.
There will be tall tales and good-natured rivalry interspersed with locally produced food and the region’s best wine.
“The Icons and Heroes dinner could possibly be the last chance to have these winemakers in the room together, with their wines alongside the newer generation of Mudgee winemakers,” explained David Lowe, NSW Wine Industry Association President.
“Mudgee, along with all NSW wine, is starting to gain momentum in the market, and this will be a fantastic opportunity to see the foundation wines that have got us here.”
“The wines that will be poured on the night are the pioneering styles that set the direction of many of the current winemakers. These are from some of the most historic vineyards in the country and to be able to taste these old wines alongside the new wines, in the presence of the people that made them, is a very special opportunity.”
The wines to be enjoyed on the night include Riesling from Louee and Robert Stein, museum Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from Mirimar, Huntington and Botobolar alongside recent vintage wines from Logan and Burnbrae. Back vintage Mudgee Chardonnay from Craigmoor will be tasted with the current Bunnamagoo wines and new red styles such as Durif, Tinta Cao, Sangiovese and Barbera will be presented from Di Lusso, Montrose and Mansfield.
Other Mudgee icons will be poured including Rosemount Mountain Blue, Lowe Zinfandel and the collaborative blend of Mudgee Gold.
“This is a true reflection of regionalism in Australia, with a recognitions and respect given to the pioneers, but equal time and new opportunity given to the innovators,” Lowe concluded.
Whilst the wines will be highlighted, the dinner accompanying them comprises eight courses prepared by Kim Currie, a vigorous proponent of regional food and wine, ‘2009 Rural Women of the Year’ and winner of the ‘2005 Maggie Beer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Food’.
The NSW Wine Festival Tour of the Regions forms part of the 2012 NSW Wine Festival, with a raft of dinners being held through the state with specially selected ‘hatted’ and winery restaurants offering degustation menus to match the state’s best wines. 2012 is the first year that these dinners have been held in the actual regions.
Other dinners being held throughout the month are at Racine in Orange, Vale Creek Wines in Bathurst as well as a number of Sydney restaurants including Buon Ricordo, Otto Ristorante, Marque and Sepia.
For the full list and details please visit http://www.nswwinefestival.com.au/content/wine-region-dinners/gjijt4
Mudgee – Icons & Heroes
Date: Friday 23 March 2012.
Time: 6.30pm for a 7.00 start.
Tickets: $95.00 (discounts apply for Lowe Wine Club Members).
Bookings: 02 6372 0800 or
Mudgee Winemaker set to be Future Leader
Lowe Winemaker Liam Heslop has recently been named one of 15 wine industry professionals to join the 2012 Future Leaders Program hosted by Wine Australia.
Future Leaders is an innovative program jointly initiated by ‘Wine Australia’, the ‘Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’ (WFA), the ‘Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation’ and ‘Wine Grape Growers’ Australia’.
The initiative is designed to provide a valuable conduit for the wine industry veterans to pass on their industry knowledge and wisdom, as well as provide opportunities to develop leadership, networking and collaboration.
Liam, who has worked with Lowe Wines since 2005, is the first Mudgee winemaker to be offered this valuable experience.
Liam is also the recipient of the Trevor Drayton Scholarship. This is a scholarship put forward by the WFA to honour the lifetime work of Hunter Valley winemaker Trevor Drayton who was a serving WFA Board member at the time of his death. The scholarship covers the travel costs and expenses related to the program.
The 2012 Future Leaders comprise winemakers, marketing and sales managers, viticulturalists, general managers, public relations managers and business owners. The course will cover a range of topics including personal leadership, tacit leadership, strategic leadership, international leadership and leading change.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me and a great chance to involve the Mudgee region with a broad range of wine industry professionals,” said Liam. “Mudgee is making world class wines which I am looking forward to sharing with people from other Australian wine regions.”
“This is a very well regarded program within the industry. It will give me further leadership skills to help not only the industry, but our region. I am looking forward to the challenges that the course will throw at me and the opportunity to be involved at a higher level within the leadership of the industry.”
“This is fantastic opportunity for Liam,” explained Lowe Wines owner David Lowe. “Liam is an impressive winemaker and is heavily involved in Mudgee’s wine industry. I’m sure that he will gain valuable knowledge and networks from this industry program which will in turn benefit the Mudgee region.”
New Whites showcase Mudgee's Cool Heights
We have recently released two new 2011 vintage wines, the 2011 Louee Chardonnay ($25) and 2011 Louee Riesling ($25). Both these wines are from Mudgee’s highest vineyard, Nullo Mountain that sits at an impressive elevation of 1100 metres.
The new vintage wines form part of Lowe’s single vineyard Louee Range. The Louee vineyard is located at Rylstone, on the south-eastern boundary of the Mudgee GI, a genuine sub region of Mudgee.
“No where in Mudgee can produce wines of this style,” explained David Lowe. “The elevation of the vineyard and its subsequent high sunshine hours offers the vines increased ultra-violet light which can increase the levels of phenolics that build flavour and mouth feel.”
“What we can therefore achieve with this vineyard is lovely flavour and ripeness at lower baumé and subsequently lower alcohol levels.”
This is something that, as Vice President of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, I recognise that we need; to progress wines of lower alcohol. We like the taste of wine, and if we can have wine with a good taste and lower alcohol it is all the better for our community and our social responsibility.”
“The key is to use the correct sites and clones to ensure that the wines produced show the terroir and not just a featureless expression of the variety. We believe that the wines from Nullo Mountain achieve this, as well as showing exceptional longevity.”
“Our older vintages, such as the 2003 Riesling, are drinking really well, showing how the natural, cool climate acidity maintains the wine structure over time.”
The new vintage Louee wines join the other Louee wines including the Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Late Picked Riesling, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
2 Trophies for the new 2009 Lowe Zinfandel at the Australia / New Zealand Organic Wine Show
Lowe Wines has been awarded the ‘Best Wine of the Show’ at the 2011 Australia / New Zealand Organic Wine Show with the recently released 2009 Lowe Mudgee Zinfandel.
The Australia / New Zealand Organic Wine Show was established in 2005 and is the only annual organic wine show dedicated to the judging and promotion of certified organic and biodymanic wines from Australia and New Zealand.
Showcasing the diversity, regionality and quality of organic wines, the show aims to help the organic wine sector carve a larger niche for itself on the shelves of the wine trade and in the knowledge base of wine connoisseurs.
The 2009 Lowe Zinfandel won two prestigious trophies; the ‘Trophy for the Best Red Wine of the Show’ and the prestigious ‘Gil Wahlquist Trophy for the Best Wine of the Show’.
According to the Organic Wine Show’s website, “the Best Wine of Show is awarded the beautiful Gil Wahlquist Trophy, designed and carved by Nick Statham (from Rosnay Organic Wines in Cowra) from a fallen tree. Gil Wahlquist planted the first organic vine in Australia in 1971, which then went on to become the first certified organic vineyard in 1984.”
“2009 was a textbook season with a mild spring and good rainfall, then a benign, dry summer,” explained Lowe Wines winemaker and owner, David Lowe. “Following the drought from 2002 onwards, this was a godsend. We crop-thinned the unripe fruit twice in the vineyard which helped produce outstanding fruit.”
The 2009 Zinfandel is only made in very limited quantities and only in years where David Lowe deems the fruit to be of outstanding quality.
The 2009 Zinfandel was also recently named in the NSW Top 40 wines of 2011. The Citibank NSW Wines Awards will hold their Trophy Presentation and Awards dinner on 17 October 2011 at the Sydney Opera House.
• “Best Wine of the Show” Australia / New Zealand Organic Wine Show 2011
• “Best Red Wine of the Show” Australia / New Zealand Organic Wine Show 2011
• Gold Medal, Australia / New Zealand Organic Wine Show 2011 (19/20)
• Top 40, NSW Wines 2011
• The Gil Walhquist Perpetual Trophy for ‘The Most Successful Exhibitor of the Show, Mudgee Wine Show 2011
3 Trophies for Lowe Wines
Last week Lowe Wines was awarded three trophies at the annual 2011 ‘Clear Image’ Mudgee Wine Show.
The trophies reflected the attention to detail that David Lowe focuses on in his organic winery on Tinja Lane. The trophies, including the Best Organic Producer comprised:
Best White Wine (not including Chardonnay & Semillon)
2010 Louee Nullo Mountain Riesling
Most Outstanding Fortified Wine of the Show
The Gil Wahlquist Trophy (Best Organic Producer)
“This is an excellent result for Lowe Wines,” commented David Lowe. “The Best White Wine Trophy, other than Chardonnay and Semillon is particularly competitive, as it traditionally comes down to the region’s best rieslings.”
“We’re experiencing a bit of a renaissance with this variety in Mudgee. There are a few fantastic examples that can compete with any from across Australia. We believe that our Nullo Mountain vineyard, at an elevation of 1100 metres, consistently produces some of the region’s best, with incredible natural acidity and intensity of flavour.”
The Best Organic Producer is also closely contested given the range and history of organic grape growing in the region. “Mudgee has a number of organic vineyards and it’s something that we are very passionate about. Our vineyards, winery and farm are all certified organic as we believe it makes a better quality wine; it’s good to see the judges agree.”
The 2011 Clear Image Mudgee Wine Show was judged by Greg Duncan-Powell (Wine Writer and Judge), Stephen Doyle (Bloodwood Wines) and Renee Foster (Ultimo Wine Centre). The Associate Judges were Liam Heslop (Lowe Wines) and Jacob Stein (Robert Stein Wines).
Gold Medal, Class 7, 2010 Louee Nullo Mountain Riesling
Gold Medal, Class 14, 2005 Louee Tongbong Chardonnay
Gold Medal, Class 24, Lowe Muscat