His wines are about as close as the Barossa gets to reminding the drinker of the Southern Rhone, and their value for money is quite astounding. Teusner Wines came into being late in 2001 when Kym Teusner, then at Torbreck, witnessed a conversation between his wife’s uncle and his brother. They were discussing the viability of an old Grenache vineyard, planted in the Northern Barossa Valley by their grandfather. The low yields and low prices being paid by the ‘big boys’ meant the vineyard was running at a loss and facing certain destruction. Kym was loath to hear this and approached his brother-in-law, now business partner, Michael Page, to see if they could scratch together enough cash to keep these gnarled old vines in the ground.
In that first year, they raised enough capital for about a quarter of the fruit from that vineyard, but this was enough for the Riebke brothers to stall their plans for these precious old vines. They were aware of a few other old blocks from which fruit could be sourced, if required, and made their first release with 165 cases of 2002 Joshua. In addition to this, about eight hogsheads of Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz were put aside, destined to be released around 24 months later as Avatar. From here the selection of wines have expanded significantly.
The Avatar sees approximately 12 months in seasoned French and American oak…we work on the premise that oak should be a seasoning to add complexity and savoury nuance to a wine and it should never dominate the fruit. With vines that average 90 years of age, we want the fruit and earth to speak with the clearest voice."- Teusner Wines.