The Pawn’s passionate moves have rebelled against the trend, realising the potential alternative wine styles and allowing them to shine within the wine industry.
By staying small and hands-on, we can continue our crusade to create uniquely handcrafted, artisinal wines from the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills.
Our vineyard has an intensive landscape of hills, valleys and flats. This complex landscape creates an infinite array of micro-climates that we match to varieties to produce grapes with complex and refined flavour profiles.
The El Desperado Whites and Rose’s clever design changes with the temperature of the wine, displaying a skull when the wine is at room temperature; when chilled below 15 degrees, a beautiful flowers appears over the skull while the leaves turn from brown to green.
Élevage is the French term for the progression of wines from adolescence to maturity, under attentive winemaking. Wines only spend a short time aging in fine French, American and Hungarian barriques in our cellar.
m above sea level
The Adelaide Hills has enormous variation between the high daytime temperatures and a low night-time temperatures during the ripening period. This variation has an amazing effect on our grapes, producing high acid and a high sugar content, as the exposure to sunlight increases the ripening qualities, while the sudden drop in temperature at night preserves the balance of natural acids in the grape.
Another shared aspect of the terroir on our vineyards is that the soil makes up a mere 5 percent of our lands soil spectrum. The Hills have some of the oldest soils in the world and consists of shattered iron stone, providing the perfect balance of drainage and moisture retention.
Our vineyards are situated in Macclesfield, on the southern end of the Adelaide Hills. A historically significant town settled in 1840, it is nestled amongst rolling hills
Winter is cold and wet in the Hills, so we prune our vineyard as early as we can to try and avoid the rain and chill.
The number of chilling hours required by grapes is about 150 chilling hours. This is much less than required by other fruits in the Adelaide Hills such as cherries which need up to 800 hours of chilling.
The pawn (♙♟) is the most numerous piece in the game of chess, and in most circumstances, also the weakest. The Pawn Wine Co represents all the small, artisanal, family owned wineries who often feel like just pawns in the global Wine game. We the small, boutique producers are sometimes perceived to be a sacrificial part of the wine industry by the corporate giants, but beware….The game can be won by the seemingly insignificant Pawn.
There would be no game of chess if the Pawns refused to play.
In chess, El Desperado is a doomed pawn determined to give itself up to bring about a stalemate when captured – a pawn that is as good as dead – setting out to do as much damage as possible. Our first ever Vintage of El Desperado was 2011, and will always be known in Australian wine history as the vintage from hell, as many vineyards succumb to the wet summer. For the Pawn, we sacrificed making our full range of wines that year to create a brand new style wine. Although we did not set out to make the El Desperado before that vintage, when you taste these wines, by hell you will be glad we did.
Revolution I s like a chess game where the pawns can either destroy, or save the King. These carefully hand selected Óld World’ parcels of fruit produce wines that are not only unconventional, but incredibly food friendly.
French term meaning “”in passing””, En Passant is a special chess move that allows you to take an enemy pawn even when the pawn is not diagonal to your pawn
An Italian word for “”a trip up”” The Gambit occurs in chess when the first player voluntarily sacrifices a pawn or piece in the opening for positional or developmental advantage.”
The Austrian Attack is a famous chess opening that establishes a wide pawn centre early in the game. Played by Bobby Fischer in the Championship match of 1972, the attack places pawns on d4 e4 f4 & is seen as a direct charge against the opponents King.
Jeu de fin – or end game. Handpicked parcels of fruit, carefully selected oak and old world minimal winemaking techniques creating truely handcrafted wines. In end game strategies the pawns become more important, with the game often revolving around attempting to promote a pawn by advancing it to the eighth rank. Sometimes size does matter.
The vineyard utilises best practice environmentally sustainable principles and is a member of the Sustainable Australia Winegrowers (SAW) Program, ENTWINE and is accredited under Freshcare.
The Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) program is the result of a series of initiatives that were developed with the objective to improve viticultural practices, fruit quality and financial viability in the Adelaide Hills region.
The program was developed to maximise growers and regional overall sustainability, and aims to minimise environmental impacts. The data capture and reporting provides growers with the best management tool to demonstrate their performance against their regional peers and recognised best practice.
“We believe that an integrated pest management system utilising naturally occurring biological systems is more sustainable to our land and our vines. Our viticultural team is committed to maintaining organically and biologically sustainable vineyards for The Pawn Wine Co.”
The Pawn is strongly Independent and supports the small guys across our industry. If you are finding it hard to sometimes find our wines, that’s because we do not sell into the large corporate chains. Shop at your local independent retailer and ask for us there !
The folds and undulations of the Adelaide Hills create a wide range of mesoclimates. In seeking and exploiting these climatic differences, the vineyards tend to be small in area and often steep.
All our grapes are estate grown, all our wines are handmade in house, all our stories are real. We grow wines that faithfully express our terroir in the Adelaide Hills