Whadjuk Country - Swan District, Western Australia
Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest wine region, and one of the oldest in all of Australia, first planted in 1829. The region has had a long time to figure out the grapes that work in its warm climate – so appropriate, old vine plantings are plentiful – but historically wines were often made in a ripe and robust, commercially-oriented, old Australian way.
“[I have] seen a lot of grapes from around the region not reaching their full potential. I have always wanted to focus in on these vineyards, work with the growers and play around with the winemaking to make an array of expressive wines that speak about where they are from,” says Garth Cliff, the proprietor of Vino Volta (along with partner Kristen McGann).
Though Garth and Kristen look like spring chickens, they between them have over 40 years experience in the wine industry. Garth was the winemaker at Houghton – Swan Valley’s oldest, biggest, and most renowned winery – for 10 years before he and Kristen started Vino Volta in 2018.
Though it’s a young winery, Vino Volta has already made waves in the wine industry, garnering praise from the new wave and traditionalists alike. The focus here is old-vine grenache and chenin, with novelties like skin-contact frontignac and gewürztraminer, a few over-delivering pét-nats, and a liqueur verdelho, blended from base wines that date back a whopping 60 years. With compelling and whimsical names (like “Intimations of Immortality” and “Post-Modern Seriousism”) and dynamic landscape labels, these wines deliver a package that has something for everyone. Garth and Kristen’s sense of adventure is only matched by their commitment to making the best wine possible. They’ve single-handedly redefined what the Swan Valley is capable of, and they’re just getting started.
What Jane and Jon have to say...
Warm climate may just be the new cool climate…when it’s in the hands of talented vignerons like Garth Cliff and Kristen McGann. In fact, the wines of Vino Volta are so precise and electric, that there’s no way you’d think they come from one of Australia’s warmest wine regions. These wines are pure, fascinating, and utterly delicious – and they’re helping redefine the Swan Valley.
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