Clonakilla, Canberra District, Australia
Located 30 minutes drive north of Canberra, Clonakilla is a small, family winery dedicated to making distinctive, handcrafted wines from the Shiraz and Viogniergrapes.
Clonakilla, Irish for “meadow of the church” has risen to fame meteorically in Australia during the past five years. Tim Kirk and his father were pioneers in every sense, leaving Ireland for Australia in 1970, planting vines in the hitherto untested cool climate Canberra region in 1971, and being the first winery outside the famous Cote Rotie Appellation in the Northern Rhone not only to coferment red Shiraz and white Viognier grapes, but to highlight this blend for all to see on their labels. Now most of Australia has followed suit and Shiraz Viognier blends are the new trend.
Clonakilla is widely acknowledged as being “one of the leading small wineries in the country” (Huon Hooke). Langton’s Classification of Australian wines (2010) rates it “exceptional” and James Halliday MW rates its Shiraz Viognier “an icon wine, one of the best in Australia”.