A & C Ainsworth!

A husband-and-wife team! Organically tended grapes from distinguished Central Western Victorian vineyards! A teeny-tiny production of expressive wines that convey the work of steady hands and a true sense of place! Indeed, there’s so much to love about Andy and Clare Ainsworth, it’s hard to know where to begin. Some of you may remember Andy from his days at Sydney’s 10 William St; others may better know these two as the powerhouse couple behind Bar Merenda in Daylesford, Victoria, which The Age Good Food Guide named Bar of the Year last October. 
Since 2021, they’ve been sourcing grapes from some of the state’s finest growers and fashioning a small suite of wines out of Cobaw Ridge, Nelly and Alan Cooper’s holy grail winery in the Macedon Ranges. The 2023 release is once again headlined by grenache, crafted with the spirit of the Rhône in mind – whole-bunch fermented and pressed off into old French oak puncheons for 10 months. It’s vividly perfumed, with scents of raspberry pastilles, dried rose and anise, all underpinned by a core of darker fruit and a gravelly texture. If names like Texier and Gramenon resonate with you, there’s no doubt this will, too. This year also sees the addition of a syrah to the stable, made in the same manner as the grenache, albeit from a cooler site. It’s equal parts Central Vic and Northern Rhône, built on a bedrock of black fruit, layered with peppery spice, alpine herb detail and savoury jolts of olive tapenade. Trust us when we say: “Get in on the ground floor.”
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