KILIKANOON
Clare Valley
Founded in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell, Kilikanoon is a boutique Clare Valley winery with an international reputation for producing regionally expressive, terroir-driven wines. The Kilikanoon property, featuring a circa 1860s stone cottage housing Kilikanoon's tasting room, was originally settled by early English migrants who named it after an historic old mansion in Cornwall. On purchase of the historic property in 1997, mature vineyards of Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Riesling that had been planted by Kevin's father, Mort in the 1960s, became a part of Kilikanoon, and now form the heart of the estate vineyards. Ten years on, with the addition of partners Nathan Waks, a principal cellist with the Sydney Symphony, and Bruce Baudinet, Managing Director of Oracle Estates, Kilikanoon is rated by US and Australian critics as one of the Clare Valley's outstanding wineries, producing bracingly intense and long-lived Rieslings, along with powerful, yet balanced Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.

"This is one of the most brilliantly run wineries in Australia, and the quality of the entire portfolio is impressive thanks to the enviable talents of winemaker Kevin Mitchell... also one of South Australia's 'good guys.'"
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (2005)
  • Founded: 1997
  • Winemaker: Kevin Mitchell
  • Size: 230 acres in the Clare Valley
  • Climate: Continental with mediterranean influence, warm days and cool nights, low humidity
  • Key Varieties: Shiraz, Riesling and Grenache

Winemaking

The descendant of a long line of Clare Valley grape growers, Kevin Mitchell is a skilled winemaker, having trained at South Australia’s prestigious Roseworthy Wine College (now Adelaide University). A passion for terroir, particularly that of the beautiful Clare, with its steep north-south ranges and austere slate escarpments, arose from a childhood playing in, then working, the vineyards alongside his father, Mort.

Now crafting highly-awarded wines from the family’s mature vineyards, his winemaking techniques focus on minimal intervention. By his own confession he is fanatical about carrying out his craft without masking the inherent vineyard flavors.

This means no fining, clarification or filtering; the wines settle themselves. Likewise, intensity of flavor, achieved through low yields, will not be compromised. Kevin’s steadfastness to these principles offer the Kilikanoon wines a robustness of flavor and texture that presents across the entire range, defining and setting them apart from their peers.

Viticulture

With around 50 wineries producing less than 2% of the Australian grape crush, the Clare Valley remains boutique in stature and philosophy, despite developing an envied reputation for producing mineral-driven, age-worthy Riesling and Shiraz.

Altitude, aspect and position within the Valley create unique macro-climates, though it is the universally cool afternoon breezes that are key in providing long, slow ripening conditions in this warm climate.

Kilikanoon boasts access to the best of the Clare, yet the nuclei of the Kilikanoon vineyards are those planted by Kevin’s father, Mort, in the Leasingham sub-district. Affectionately known as the “Golden Hillside,” this unique site boasts a terroir of rich red loam soils over free-draining limestone and plentiful sunshine that has kept the vines flourishing for 50 years. These terra rossa soils are renowned for producing long-lived Rieslings of distinct minerality, and spicy, dark-fruited reds of great intensity and earthiness.

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