The 27th of this month marks a very special day that all you Riesling lovers should pencil into your calendar!

On Thursday the 27th of February, we celebrate the birthday of our own Mackenzie William which calls for a celebration, and to do this, we are officially launching our inaugural Brockenchack Mackenzie William Riesling Day!

During his first year of Uni last year Mack also worked hard in Trevor’s (his Pa’s) Liquid Specialty Beverages warehouse in Brisbane, gaining his forklift ticket along the way. He returns to the second year of his Business/Commerce degree at QUT this week. A skilled rugby player, Mack captained the Queensland residents under 18 team late last year in the Australasian Championships, followed up with a massive rugby off-season of training and kicks off the 2020 season with his first match for the West Brisbane Colts this weekend, which we will all proudly follow.

Every year on our Mack’s birthday, we plan to celebrate the great young man that our 19-year-old Mackenzie William has become by cracking open a bottle and raising a glass of our Mackenzie William Riesling itself.

Riesling is a versatile variety, and our Mackenzie William Riesling is one we are incredibly proud of. It’s the perfect bottle to share with a group of friends, as any wine drinker, from amateur to connoisseur, will appreciate the delicately weighted palate that is full of fruity and herbaceous characters. This Riesling is simply delightful to drink!

With the fruit for this Riesling hand-picked from our longstanding Eden Valley vines, so much history and depth can be found in each bottle. Riesling has been a main regional variety in Eden Valley for centuries. Its soils and growing conditions are particularly suited to this varietal, producing Rieslings of great intensity, which is exactly why Eden Valley has become one of the top Riesling regions in Australia.

The vines for our Mackenzie William Riesling date all the way back to the 1960s, 1980s, and most excitingly, from our cherished, deep rooted 1890s vines that are thought to be some of the oldest in Australia. Prior to these vines being planted in 1896, this land was farmed for fruit trees and cattle for the butcher’s shop prior to that.

This Riesling has become a winner among all ages, not just the young ones who enjoy the lighter styles. Our Mackenzie William Riesling delivers classic Eden Valley citrus (lime juice and orange blossoms) with steely, minerally characters which our region is so well known for, while leaving a layer of complexity that ensures our dry style’s impressive length of finish.

The best Rieslings can easily be cellared for decades. The high acidity and bright fruit characters provide the perfect framework for maturation. Over time, the primary fruit characters of lemons, limes and blossoms, take on richer honey, nutty, toffee-like characters. High acidity aids longevity and screw caps ensure very little oxygen contact.

Our bone dry style of Riesling has already shown us its potential to mature gracefully, with back vintages available for purchase in our cellar door museum, a highlight for many when they come to visit – but that’s a topic for another day.

Cellaring this Riesling doesn’t have to be a difficult or expensive job, if you don’t have a flashy cellar to store this gem in, just make sure that it is stored in a temperature-controlled room or fridge where it doesn’t exceed 18 degrees, at maximum. Also make sure your beloved bottles of Riesling aren’t exposed to UV light as they age, as it will decrease its cellaring potential dramatically. Check out this article if you’re wanting to read up on how to simply cellar wines.

As Australian Riesling ages, the sugars and acids become more integrated with the fruit, making them fuller and richer. The first three years sees the soaring acidity and citrus notes of the young wine give way to intense dried stone fruits and marmalade characteristics.

Further ageing revels subtle toastiness and honeyed characteristics with kerosene or petrol characters on the nose; the latter being a much-discussed and debated topic among Riesling-lovers.

The Australian Wine Research Institute have done a lot of research into this, identifying that these kerosene aroma characteristics are linked to the formation of a compound called TDN (1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2- dihydronaphthalene). There are few aroma compounds in wine that are more distinctive or more polarising than this one. It has been described as delicious, but undesirable in excess. TDN increases in concentration when grapes are exposed to sunlight and warm temperatures. High concentrations of TDN are also linked to bottle age and higher temperatures when bottles are stored.

Eden Valley wines have the potential to produce more TDN than some of our other cool climate region counterparts. While we personally enjoy these notes, we take measures to keep this at a desirable level, by retaining healthy canopies, providing just the right amount of leaf shading over the bunches to protect against over-exposure to sunlight.

We also apply a natural clay sunscreen to our white grapes to further aid in protecting against sunburn. Careful drip irrigation at the right times also makes a big difference, stopping the vines defoliating in the hot, dry summers. When vines maintain good leaf cover to protect the berries right up to harvest, this can reduce these kerosene notes in our aged wines. So even while we’re growing our grapes this year in 2020, we are thinking about how our current actions will affect this future wine’s taste 10 years from now, in 2030.

When cellared carefully, our Mackenzie William Riesling will mature elegantly for at least 12 or more years. And we can confirm that aging this Riesling is worth the wait. Give it a few years and those light, crisp, delicate flavours will have matured into a drop with even more depth.

Here’s cheers to the first of many Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling Day’s – a great variety of white wine, and a man, worth celebrating!


2011 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Gold Medal, 2011 Barossa Wine Show

2012 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Silver Medal, 2013 Barossa Wine Show

2013 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Silver Medal, 2013 Barossa Wine Show

2014 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Bronze Medal, 2014 Barossa Wine Show

2015 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Silver Medal, 2015 Perth Royal Wine Show

2016 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Silver Medal, 2018 NZ International Wine Show

2018 Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling – Silver Medal, 2018 Melbourne International Wine Show