Australian winemaker Dean Hewitson is the real deal. You won't find Hewitson Winery churning out bottles of low-quality wines with cartoonish labels to ship off to unsuspecting consumers abroad. Hewitson produces authentic wines, the kind that Australians actually drink, and they are fantastic!
Founded in 1998 in the heart of the Barossa Valley, Hewitson Winery boasts some of the oldest vines in the world - some dating back to 1853! Many of Dean's wines are single vineyard and display an incredible character and authenticity. A native of Australia, Dean's love of winemaking has taken him around the globe and he has worked three vintages in France and earned a Masters in Winemaking from UC Davis, California. Dean's experiences abroad have influenced his approach to winemaking and he describes his wines as combining Old-World traditions with New-World fruit purity. Truly a family business, many of the wines in the Hewitson portfolio are named after members of Dean's family.
Watch the video to hear Dean describe his winemaking philosophy, flavor profiles of three Hewitson wines, and a few funny family anecdotes! The wines featured in the video include Lu Lu Sauvignon Blanc, Miss Harry Rhone Style Blend, and Ned & Henry's Shiraz.
Named after Dean's wife, Lu Lu Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($15) is quite exceptional. Adelaide Hills is considered Australia's premier region for Sauvignon Blanc and Lu Lu has earned rave reviews as one of the very best. No sugar or acid is added to Lu Lu during the winemaking process and Dean describes it as a "complete wine" and a "pure natural expression of this single site vineyard." Crisp and refreshing, Lu Lu has vibrant flavors of tropical fruit, melon, and peach that are balanced by a hint of herbs. This is not an overwhelmingly grassy and aggressive Sauvignon Blanc but its gracefulness makes a powerful statement.
Named after his daughter Harriet, Hewitson Miss Harry Rhone Style Blend 2013 ($20) is sourced from vineyards dating back to the late 1800's. A blend of grapes that are closely identified with France's Southern Rhone - Grenache, Mourvédre, Shiraz, Cinsault, and Carignan; this wine delivers outstanding structure, balance, and freshness and flavors of rich forest fruits, dark cherries, a hint of hibiscus, and dried herbs.
To maintain harmony within the family, Dean knew that he had to name a wine after Miss Harry's older brothers! Hewitson Ned & Henry's Shiraz 2014 ($23) will knock your socks off if you've only been drinking too sweet, too tannic, super jammy Shiraz - this wine is an excellent reminder of how wonderful Shiraz can be when treated with respect. Full-bodied but lithe and refreshing, Ned & Henry's Shiraz is silky with elegant flavors of blackberry, pomegranate, and a subtle hint of spice.
If you're a planning a trip to the Barossa Valley, Hewitson Winery will begin welcoming visitors for tastings at their newly renovated Cellar Door facility in December 2016.