Clarendon Hills
Clarendon Hills is owned and run by Ukranian immigrant Roman Bratasiuk, who arrived in Australia with his parents in 1950. The winery is situated 25 miles south of Adelaide, and is surrounded by vineyards, all within two miles of the estate. The Clarendon Hills vineyards include Brookman, Hickinbotham, Sandown, Blewitt Springs, Clarendon, Liandra, Piggott Range, Romas, Astralis and Kangarilla. All the vines are dry grown, hand harvested, and mostly untrellised “Bush Vines”; soil types vary dramatically despite proximity of the vineyard plots. Sand and clay top soils and ironstone, sandstone, even gravel lies beneath.
Bratasiuk’s winery produces only 800 to 1000 cases. There are now nineteen single vineyard wines and they are 100% varietal, planted with the oldest vines of Grenache, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon aged between 70 to 100 years and the average age of 60 years.

The juice is fermented using indigenous yeasts. The whites are fermented in new French oak barriques and the reds in open stainless steel tanks. The reds undergo a traditional winemaking, with warm fermentation and an extended maceration, resulting in deeply coloured, often turbo-charged wines. All the pressings are returned to the 100% new oak. All the wine are matured in imported Burgundian barriques. The whites are matured for 12 months and the reds, 18 months. No filtering and fining means that the Clarendon Hills wines still have their colour and character when they go into bottle. The above techniques are used to produce rich, complex wines that will age very well in the cellar and also will complement food extremely well.

James Halliday:
"Clarendon Hills produces some of the most concentrated, rich and full bodied red wines in Australia. Its owner, Roman Bratasiuk, is a larger than life figure who makes larger than life wines from small parcels of old, low-yielding vines."

Robert Parker:
"To my taste, no one makes better Old Vine Grenache in Australia than Roman Bratasiuk, and I doubt anyone in California can compete with him. These immense, super-concentrated, muscular wine appear to mirror the personality and stature of proprietor/winemaker Roman Bratasiuk. Clarendon Hills produces some of my favourite Australian wines and readers looking for flavour, personality and pleasure should seek out these limited production gems."

In Robert Parker's words: "If Penfolds Grange has been the most legendary wine in Australia, my instincts suggest that in the future, if any winery surpasses Grange, it will be made by Roman Bratasiuk of Clarendon Hills in McLaren Vale. Unlike many of the best Australian wines, Bratasiuk's influences, more than most of his peers, have been formed by his love of French wine. He has invested enormously in a state-of-the-art winery, secured some of the finest old vine Grenache and Syrah vineyards in McLaren Vale, and to his credit, believes in aging everything in more subtle French oak, which certainly puts him among the minority of Australian producers, who believe the more aggressive, sometimes overwhelming characteristics of American oak are better suited for their wines. His wines are all made from incredibly low yields, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and bottled with no fining nor filtration."
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