LDV Winery has a comprehensive barrel program and the wood for our barrels comes from forests throughout the U.S. and France. The journey of our wine barrels is quite fascinating.
One such barrel connection is with one or our favorite Australian winemakers Penfolds. Some of our American oak takes a very interesting journey south to Australia. Penfolds, one of Australia’s most respected and revered wineries makes a very special wine called Grange. It is a Shiraz (Syrah in the rest of the world) and is our role model wine. Year in and year out, we feel that Penfolds produces some of the finest wines worldwide. While it might be a lofty expectation, we hope to make wines of that quality and character as our vineyard matures. It might be surprising that this great Australian winery uses American oak barrels. To replicate the excellence we recognize in Grange, LDV has chosen to use the same coopers (barrel makers), AP John. American oak from our preferred forests is shipped to Australia where LDV’s barrels are constructed. When finished, the barrels are shipped back to the USA.
Once the barrel construction is completed, they are wrapped and transported by truck to our winery in Pearce, Arizona. Our oak barrels have travelled many thousands of miles before settling at LDV Winery. Besides the obvious geographic challenges and cost differences, choosing the right barrel is an important winemaking decision. At LDV Winery, the right barrel is critical in creating the desired flavor profile for the fruit from each vintage. Barrels impart numerous components in the finished wine. Not only are they vessels to hold our precious juice as they magically mature into great wine, but they impart just the right amount of flavor to complement the fruit. Hopefully, you can taste the difference.
A Little Penfolds Grange History: As any business advisor will tell you, when you are starting or growing your business, having a business model to measure your success against is very important. For LDV Winery, that role model is Penfolds. The success of Penfolds have been driven by visionaries and innovators since it began in 1844. Penfolds recently released its 66th consecutive release of Grange and it is now the most celebrated wine in Australia. In 1957, Max Schubert (Penfolds first chief winemaker) made Grange as an experimental wine program. It was universally disliked and was ordered shut down by the board. This just made Max more determined to succeed. In hiding, he continued to craft Grange vintages. The Grange program saw the light of day again just in time for the 1960 vintage. From that point forward, it gained international prestige and awards including the 1990 vintage of Grange being named Wine Spectator’s Red Wine of the Year in 1995 and the 2008 Grange vintage achieved a perfect score of 100 in two prestige wine publications.
LDV humbly tries to emulate Penfolds dedication and passion to produce the finest quality and memorable wines vintage after vintage. This history just reinforces Curt’s motto that “if your wine is ok with everyone, it will excite no one.” Risk excites, doesn’t it?