Winemaking at Willunga Creek Wines is shared by two of the hottest ‘guns’ around at the moment in Phil Christiansen and Goe di Fabio. Both have a wealth of experience in dealing with fruit from the McLaren Vale district, and both are passionate in their belief that the region can produce wines that can stand up to any in the world.
Phil has more than 20 years experience in the local wine industry, honing his skills at companies as diverse as the corporate giant Hardy’s and the Adelaide Hills cool-climate specialist, Longwood. Known by the moniker ‘Silver Fox’ around the district, Phil specialises in small batch, basket-pressed, open fermentation techniques. A vastly more labour-intensive process than the more common modern day high-tech, stainless steel procedures, Phil believes the traditional methods actually draw out the best from the fruit and contribute to the overall complexity of the finished wine.
Goe suspects he has red wine coursing through his veins. His family planted their first vineyards in the region back in the 1960s and Goe has known no other life but growing grapes and turning them into wine. Complementing his local training with numerous vintages in Italy, Goe brings to the Willunga Creek camp a worldly approach to winemaking gained from exposure to techniques used across the globe. He too, believes in a ‘minimalist intervention’ approach, favouring methods that allow the essence of the grapes to fully express themselves.
Together, Phil and Goe craft for Willunga Creek a range of superlative wines that are raising the eyebrows of the most serious wine lover. The wines are rich, fruit driven and powerful. They are released when they are still youthful, and should ordinarily continue to improve in the bottle for at least another five to eight or ten years.
Both our winemakers agree on one thing – wines are made for drinking, ideally in good company with good, honest food. So, enjoy!