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Celebrate with us the release of our Iconic 2014 M53 Shiraz

After a super successful 2014 M53 release dinner in Adelaide and Melbourne !

We would love to invite you to come and celebrate with us as we launch the release of our iconic 2014 M53 Shiraz in Sydney and Brisbane.

We are celebrating this release with an amazing five course dinner in Sydney at The Chophouse on 6th September at 6pm and Brisbane at Moo Moo The Wine Bar & Grill on 20th September at 6pm matched with Oliver’s Taranga premium wines.  The main courses included some of the carefully prepared finest cuts of meat – a match made in heaven with our iconic 2014 M53 Shiraz.

We would love to see as many of our Taranga friends as we can

SYDNEY -$160 per person, all inclusive
BRISBANE-$140 per person all inclusive

Sydney Location > 25 Bligh St, Sydney 

Brisbane  location > Port Office Building, 39 Edward St, Brisbane



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Sweet prawn
Blini, avocado cream
Matched with our 2016 The Hunt for Mrs Oliver, Fiano Méthode Traditionelle

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Seared Harvey Bay scallop
Green tomato salsa / red curry
Matched with our 2017 Vermentino & Fiano

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Duck terrine /chicken liver parfait
Matched with our 2016 Tempranillo and 2016 Grenache

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Slow braised beef cheek parsnip puree, celery, au Jus
glazed heirloom carrots, chat potatoes, sauteed chards
Matched with our 2016 Shiraz, and star of the night 2014 M53 Shiraz

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Choux cream puff Creme patissiere
Matched with our 2017 ‘Chica’ Mencia Rose





½ Shell Hervey Scallop, Pinenut Tarator + Foie Gras & Burnt Lemon Gel
2016 The Hunt for Mrs Oliver Fiano Méthode Traditionelle


42 Degree Poached River Trout, Preserved Lime, Dashi, Green Onion & Okra
2017 Vermentino & Fiano


Flinders Island Lamb + Duck liver Parfait, Sotto Mushroom & Puy Lentils, Sour Cherry
2016 Tempranillo & 2016 Grenache


Beurre Monte Wagyu Rump Cap, Kalbi Style Wagyu Short Rib Blackened Beetroots & Onions, Burnt Eggplant Puree, Green Raisins Toast, Pancetta
2016 Shiraz & 2014 M53 Shiraz


Vanilla Tapioca & Burnt Honey Custard, Hazelnut & Milk Chocolate, Caramelized Fig Ice Cream
2017 ‘Chica’ Mencia Rose


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The making of ‘The hunt for Mrs. Oliver Méthode Traditionnelle Fiano’

Kate Laurie in background, yeast plug in the neck of The hunt for Mrs.Oliver foreground

I knew I needed help with this project. Luckily, as all of this was forming in my mind, I was lucky enough to be included on a panel of winemakers for an event put on by PIRSA celebrating women in agriculture. I was conveniently sat next to Kate Laurie of Deviation Road Wines . Kate is arguably the states finest sparkling winemaker, and we fortuitously hit it off. Eventually, I plucked up the courage to tell her of our dream, and ask if she would be interested in mentoring me. Thankfully, she agreed, excited about the process of looking at how a different variety will come together in the winemaking process. With much hand holding, access to her specialised equipment, countless hours of mentoring, and some dedicated ‘tastings’ for research purposes, I am really happy with our first release.


The hunt for Mrs.Oliver post disgorging ready for labels

The next step to think about, now that the inside of the bottle was under control, was the outside of the bottle. Brioni and I knew that we really wanted to honour our gran, Marjorie, with our new sparkling. Our graphic design team of Chris & Ellen from Draw Studio came down to the cellar door for a day, and we brainstormed all of the stories and words that make out Gran special to us. Believe me it was a full day, with many giggles and favourite Gran stories.

Like the one time when she found a brown snake in the house, and cut its head off with her dressmaking scissors as it reared up at her. Or the time she made a hat out of an old ice-cream container with eyes on the top for me when I was being attacked by brooding magpies while pruning the vineyard. Or all the crazy patterned socks she knitted us. Those times when she picked us up from school when we were sick, fed us homemade chicken soup, tucked us into the crisply ironed sheets and heavy woollen blankets with a hot water bottle. Her fully stocked homemade biscuit tin. I could go on.

Gran (Marjorie Lois Oliver) is the only remaining member of the forth generation of our family, and she is our matriarch in so many ways. She was always the one feeding us, looking after us when we were sick, washing and mending all of our clothes, and writing us little notes on the back of old envelopes cut out with pinking shears. We knew that although she is crowned as the head of our family, she would be far too humble to wear a jewelled crown. We decided that a floral crown would suit her personality much better. Gran used to paint flowers when she was younger, always had geranium in a vase, plumbago stuck to her top and encouraged us to make daisy chains for hours on sunny days. So it was decided that a floral crown would be incorporated onto the label.

Plumbago at Oliver’s Taranga cellar door

Conveniently, I had recently sat next to award winning Adelaide artist Emma Hack at an event. Emma’s amazing body art are strongly influenced by flowers, and she likes wine! A collaboration was born, and the divine floral crown that adorns the label was painted in water colour, and includes many hidden non-floral items amongst the flowers. A sewing needle and thread, an old style washerwoman peg, a golf tee and feathers- all reminders of our legendary Gran. We came up with the name ‘The hunt for Mrs. Oliver’, for a number of reasons. Grans maiden name was Hunt, and we liked the play on words that this offered. She was forever hiding little notes, and making little vignettes of found flowers, feather and other bits and bobs. Plus, there was the small trademark issue that the names ‘Marjorie’ and ‘Lois’ were already used by wonderful other SA winemakers (Golding Wines and The Lane Vineyard) on their sparkling wines!!

Emma’s gorgeous watercolour was translated onto the label and the three pack cartons, and we are thrilled with the result. Given that this is a very limited bottling, each of the bottles are individually numbered.

We have chosen to sell The hunt for Mrs.Oliver ‘en primeur’. This is used a lot in France, when there is a limited supply of a wine, and ensures that customers are able to pre-order and cement their stocks early. Also, this enables us to leave the sparkling on yeast lees for a bit longer, hence improving the complexity of the wine. The rest of the 2016 The hunt for Mrs. Oliver will be disgorged in late November, ready to ship to the lucky new owners in perfect time for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the wine, and how you are celebrating with your family and friends. We will be raising a glass to our legend Gran along with you.

Gran, Brioni & Corrina at our 170th birthday celebrations
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The making of ‘The hunt for Mrs. Oliver Methode Traditionnelle Fiano’

By now you are probably asking, what the hell is she talking about ‘traditional method’!?! Well, it turns out that all sparkling wines are not the same. There are basically three methods to make sparkling wines.

  1. Carbonation: In this case, a sparkling base wine is made in the same way that any white wine is made. Then carbon dioxide gas is pushed into the wine during the bottling process, which creates the bubbles. Think soda stream style. This is the cheapest method, but is also the lowest quality as the bubbles are often harsher.
  2. Transfer method: In this case, a sparkling base wine is made as per a normal white wine. Then, while still in a pressurised tank, a yeast and grape juice mixture is added. This yeast then ferments the grape juice to alcohol, of which the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) is a by-product. In a still white wine, this CO2 is allowed to escape the wine. The now sparkling wine is then filtered and bottled. This is a more ‘natural’ way to create the bubbles, but is generally used for more mass produced sparkling wines. Also known as the Charmat method.
  3. Traditional method: Also known as Methode Champenoise, Methode Traditionelle, Bottle Fermented. In this method, the base wine is made then mixed with a little bit of yeast and grape juice and put into bottle. The same bottle that you will ultimately drink the finished wine from. This is known as tirage. Once in the bottle, the yeast ferments the grape juice and forms bubbles with the CO2 produced. Each bottle is its own tiny little ferment. Once this ferment has finished, the wines may stay on the yeast lees (the dead bits of yeast) for as long as the winemaker wants. Aging the wine on yeast lees adds complexity to the wine. Then the individual bottles are gradually turned upside down in a process called riddling. This results in all of the yeast lees gathering in the neck of the bottle. In a process called disgorgement, the tops of the neck of each bottle are frozen, the bottle is opened and the frozen little yeast plug is popped out. At this stage some dosage (wine/juice mixture depending on the sugar level that the winemaker is looking for) is added, the bottle is topped up and recorked ready for sale. As you can see, there is a bit more involved in this process, and as a result, is the method chosen by high end producers. It is the method that we have used to make our 2016 The hunt for Mrs. Oliver Fiano.

In reality, making sparkling wine is much more technical than still winemaking. This is because you are basically managing thousands of tiny little ferments, in conditions that yeast don’t really love (low pH, pressure, alcohol, temperature…)- maybe that is why traditional method sparkling wines are just a little bit magic as well.

(Thanks for the pics Wine Folly)