'The Alternates' - an exploration in sustainability

Rymill Coonawarra is proud to release ‘The Alternates’, an experimental collection of wines exploring Rymill’s commitment to sustainability in a changing climate, and an investigation of innovative, low impact techniques in winemaking.

With an initial release of five wines in the range, there has been ample opportunity to explore new practices in both the vineyard and the winery.

Winemaker and General Manager of Rymill Coonawarra, Shannon Sutherland, said that these new wines are trials for future viticultural and winemaking practices in the region.

“We need to be willing to adapt to climate change, and that means exploring low impact techniques, new varieties, and sustainable practices in both the vineyard and the winery”, Shannon said.

The release of The Alternates is the first time that the winery has released wine from a region outside its Coonawarra home – producing a Sagrantino from the Barossa.

“Sagrantino is a fascinating Italian grape, and I was lucky enough to get a small parcel of fruit from the Blaxland vineyard in the Barossa”, Shannon said.

This Italian fruit is well suited to mid-to-cool climate vineyards and provides a terrific case-study into what varieties may be well suited to Coonawarra in the future with warmer days inevitable.

Accompanying the Sagrantino is a Cabernet Franc and a Petit Verdot from Rymill’s estate vineyards; the first time these wines have been released as single varieties.

Additionally, Rymill is releasing two Shiraz wine trials; ‘less is more’ – a wine made with zero electricity, and ‘waste not, want not’ – a wine utilising discarded stalks to embolden and enhance a Shiraz.

The nature of experiments means some of these wines will be one-off, could become core range, or even result in new plantings at our Coonawarra estate – regardless though, the outcome will be to exceed the requirements of Rymill’s Freshcare and Entwine certified sustainable status.