Real Characters. Real stories.
There are a number of people who have shaped the history of Oxford Landing. Real characters who have made it the place it is today.
Andrew La Nauze
Andrew, or Andy as we call him, grew up in South Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region where, not surprisingly, he developed a great interest in wine. After studying Oenology and getting some vintages under his belt in the Barossa, Mt Benson and Alsace in France, he joined the Yalumba winemaking team. Here he crafted the outstanding Y Series range. Now at the helm of Oxford Landing Estates, Andy is responsible for ensuring our wines express the regional and varietal character of our neck of the woods. When he’s not walking the vineyards or toiling away in the winery, Andy likes to play guitar. He’s been in a few bands with other winery crew, most recently one called, The Travelling Wineberries. Music’s a part time gig for Andy but he’s always on song when it comes to crafting fine wines. By the way, La Nauze is pronounced, La Nose (quite appropriate for a winemaker).
A Riverland boy through and through, Glynn grew up in the region, not far from Oxford Landing. He went to school here, played footy and cricket here and started working in vineyards around the traps, which quickly brought him to Oxford Landing Estates. After 9 years with us, Glynn spread his wings and went to manage another vineyard just 10 minutes down the road. 8 years later we were able to lure him back and he now manages our vineyards. Although he’s not playing cricket anymore (he recently retired his bat and ball), Glynn is still hitting sixes in the vineyard. He’s pushing the boundaries to grow the best possible grapes and produce the best possible wines.
Marty Burnell was a footloose and fancy-free, 20-something traveller working his way around Australia, picking fruit and grapes, when he arrived at Oxford Landing Estates. That was over 33 years ago and he’s been part of the furniture ever since. Today, as our operations manager, Marty ensures that everyone who works here feels as at home and supported as he did on that first day. A walking encyclopedia of the history of the vineyard, Marty can tell you everything about the vines and the soil. He can also tell you the best place to catch fish and yabbies in the river, which he likes to do in his spare time. But what Marty is really hooked on is making great wine, and his local knowledge and attention to detail helps us do just that.
1909 - 1990
Oxford Landing founder, Wyndham Hill-Smith was a significant player in the birth of the modern Australian wine industry. Great-grandson of Samuel Smith who established Yalumba in 1849, Wyndham had wine in his blood. He led Australia's renaissance from fortifieds to table wine during the 1960's and 1970's, introducing new labels and wine styles to meet the nation’s changing palate. He also liked a punt on the horses, was a talented landscape painter and even represented Australia against England and South Africa in the cricket. He was certainly a busy man and an interesting dinner party guest.
Great Rivers. Great Wine.
Many of the famous wine regions of Europe are planted around great rivers. The Gironde in Bordeaux, the Tain in the Rhone Valley and the Rhine and Mosel Rivers in Germany. In Australia, we have the Murray River. Set on the banks of the majestic Murray, the Oxford Landing vineyard is named after a nearby site where drovers once grazed and watered sheep. Today it’s home to a loyal flock of down-to-earth folk who take great pride in making quality wines, enjoyed the world over.
Over the last decade, Oxford Landing has tripled in size with the creation of a beautiful native forest adjacent to the vineyard. Water is also very important to us. While we are reliant on the Murray River, we’re never complacent about irrigation methods. It’s all about sustainable winemaking.
Out of the Ashes
In the late 1800’s the Murray River was a thriving trade highway. Commercial paddle steamers made their way up and down the river transporting goods such as wheat, wool and household supplies. One such paddle steamer met with an untimely end when a fire aboard forced the vessel ashore where it was reduced to ashes. Among the wreckage strewn on the riverbank was a singed sign carrying the name of the boat – ‘The City of Oxford’. From that time on, this area was known as Oxford Landing.
In 1958, South Australian entrepreneur and winemaking visionary Wyndham Hill Smith took a spade and sank it into the riverside dirt. He believed this place of fertile red soil and bountiful sunshine would be ideal for growing premium grape varieties, and Oxford Landing Estates was born.
Big Vistas, Small Thinking
With 650 acres under vine, we could never call Oxford Landing small but we act like we are. We micro-manage 130 five-acre blocks as separate ecosystems so we become intimately familiar with each block and can give the grapes exactly what they need to achieve optimum flavour. ‘Small vineyard’ techniques such as detailed pruning, canopy management and crop thinning give us ultimate control in expressing the individuality of each block. And we are nimble enough to harvest small batches of the fruit as soon as it ripens, so not an ounce of freshness is lost.
The ‘small scale’ approach continues in the winery with methods usually reserved for boutique winemaking. These include using wild ferments native to the vineyard and back-blending with barrel-aged wines. Minimal handling of the juice also means less chance for error or contamination, so the fruit is processed gently yet quickly. Thinking small does make a lot more work for us, but we take pride in working hard to craft quality wine.
Australian Born & Bottled
Every one of our wines is bottled at our winery in Australia. By nurturing the wine every step along the journey from bunch to bottle we can guarantee the authenticity, provenance, quality and consistency of every wine, every day. We put our heart and soul into every bottle of wine we make so there’s no way we would entertain the variances and vagaries of bulk shipping and offshore bottling.
2013 Sauvignon Blanc
This refreshing Sauvignon Blanc has fresh herb nuances along with citrus, nettles and passionfruit. Great with soft cheeses, salads with loads of herbs and lemon, chicken and fish.
2013 Pinot Grigio
Vibrant and fresh with lifted pear, delicious cream biscuits, musk and cinnamon. Try smoked meats with this wine, prosciutto with mustard apricots, or a bean salad with mushrooms and preserved lemon.
A crisp and stylish Chardonnay with melon, stone fruit and honey notes. Roast chicken is a natural pair with Chardonnay. Try a pork and sage sausage or mushroom pasta... you get the picture.
A fresh and zesty Viognier that shows the classic flavours and aromas of white flowers, some musk and stone fruit. The first Viognier was planted at Oxford Landing in 1993, and the wines made from the fruit these vines produce just keep getting better and better.
A well-structured Rosé of amazing purity and clarity. Pale pink in colour with salmon hues, it displays lifted aromas of cherry berry, fresh satsuma plum and blackberry nip. Richly fruited and bright on the palate, with fresh flavours of cherries, raspberries, blackberry and capsicum.
Silky, soft Merlot is brimming with plummy fruit, red berries and spice flavours. Lamb is a delicious match with Merlot, soft and juicy with rosemary and garlic.
A sublime Shiraz. Deep purple red in colour, it has lifted aromas of plums and black cherries with hints of violets and white pepper. The generous palate has flavours of blackberry and plum, complimented by soft, supple tannins with hints of chocolate and spice, and subtle oak influence.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz
Cabernet Sauvignon is the original and oldest planting at Oxford Landing with some vines in excess of 40 years old. These vines are believed to be some of the first planted in the region.