It all started as a ‘tonne for fun’

Varney Wines was unveiled in 2019, yet the story dates back many years.  It all started as a ‘tonne for fun’, over a decade ago, an opportunity for winemaker Alan Varney to make his own style of wines from some of his favourite vineyards in McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. After years in the industry working for respected wineries both in Australia and abroad, that initial foray into creating his own wines quickly grew into a small family run wine brand, with an environmentally sensitive winery built alongside their renovated 1870’s limestone barn. The family purchased the derelict property in 2015 and it now houses the Varney Wines tasting room and winery, located at the high profile Gateway to McLaren Vale and has become an iconic destination.

The Vineyards

Years spent working in the McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills regions have helped Alan develop strong relationships with the region’s top grape growers. Some vignerons have been family friends for many years while others have more recently come on board as suppliers of high quality fruit for the Varney Wines label. The ethos of starting with the very highest quality fruit is a cornerstone to the Varney Wines philosophy. The grapes are then carefully guided on their way through fermentation and maturation before final blending to create wines of balance, depth, and length.

In the Winery

Alan’s winemaking approach is traditional yet sensitive. He is not afraid to step out of the box and go with his intuition, gleaned from years of winemaking experience in Australia and abroad. He utilises whole bunch and/or whole berry addition, extended cold soaks, wild yeast, submerged cap fermentation, foot treading, carbonic maceration, and extended time on skins. As he says, “Whatever the fruit calls for really”.

There is no set fermentation regime in the winery. He only uses old seasoned oak and does not rely on fining or filtration. Ferments are closely monitored and the various tools and tricks of the trade are utilised to guide the fruit through its journey from vineyard to bottle. The wines are made in a new, environmentally sensitive winery, built in 2017 on the family property and commissioned for the 2018 vintage.