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Dandelion Vineyards

Dandelion vineyards was established in 2007 in South Australia's McLaren Vale. It is a venture between winemaker, wine judge and wine marketer Zar Brooks and his winemaker wife Elena. Elena is a native of Lyaskovets a small town in central northern Bulgaria in the Danube Plain wine-growing region, where her mother was involved in the wine industry. After the demise of the Soviet Republic, many westerners, including Australians, visited her mother's winery and stayed to work, interested in the age-old techniques of the country. Elena was the only one who could speak English, so she acted as translator and by the age of 12 she was interpreting barrel tastings with the winemakers. By 15 her wine knowledge and vocabulary was practically fluent and by 16 she had produced her first wine: a batch of Chardonnay. Of course Elena wanted to become a winemaker, and in 1998 travelled to Australia to pursue her dream, qualifying from the University of Adelaide in 2001. She has worked as a winemaker in Spain and Italy, and for many Australian wineries. Dandelion is a partnership - a unique fusion of vineyards and vignerons. Elena makes wines from key sites in the McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek, Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsular, seeking out the best terroir. Indeed some of the vines she works with are over 100 years old. A broad range of thrilling artisan award-winning wines are produced, and Elena is recognised as one of Australia's brightest young winemakers. The charming eponymous labels feature a dandelion “wishing clock” on all their bottles; they believe that this little weed is the heart and soul of their vineyard, sprouting with the first sign of life in the soil and eventually returning to the earth to feed the vines.