In 1998, when Lee Flourentzou purchased a small parcel of land in the far south west corner of McLaren Vale, he wanted to create a collection of wines that reflected his own sense of passion and adventure. He took his inspiration for the vineyard name from one of the greatest stories of all time – Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, and one of its most enduring characters, the audacious and visionary Aramis.
From that day forward our small team has dedicated itself to crafting wines that tell the story of our unique piece of the stunning McLaren Vale, producing the rich and intensely flavoured wines for which the region is renowned. Lee’s uncompromising approach towards quality has ensured that Aramis Vineyards achieved Halliday 5 star winery status within just 3 years of the first release in 2002.
Fruit for our range of classic reds comes exclusively from our own vineyard site. Located at the foot of McLaren Vale it is just 2km away from the Gulf St Vincent. The steep southerly aspect protects the vines from the intense afternoon sun and allows the entire vineyard to enjoy the cooling sea breeze that comes in from the south west. With one of the coolest vineyard sites in the Vale we are able to produce elegant wines that balance rich primary fruit flavours with the characteristic earthiness and minerality associated with the region.
The 70 hectares are planted exclusively to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, the varietals we believe are best suited to our unique vineyard site. Our sole objective is to produce inspirational wines that act as ambassadors, both to Aramis Vineyards and to the McLaren Vale region itself.
The only wine in our current range that does not come from our vineyard is our White Label Sauvignon Blanc, which we first introduced last year. Grapes are sourced from the Woodside area of the Adelaide Hills, which has the ideal conditions for producing crisp and zesty Sauvignon – the perfect complement to our gutsy McLaren Vale reds.
With our musketeering heritage it may seem appropriate that we are cloak and dagger about the identity of our winemaker. It is indeed undeniable that the notion of a shadowy figure, a phantom winemaker hand-crafting his masterpieces under cover of darkness conveys a certain sense of romance and mystery.
Unfortunately it is not for this reason that we conceal his identity from any official publication. The truth is quite simply this: in our pursuit of excellence we believe that only with the very best winemaker will we be able to create the exceptional wines we aim to produce. With this in mind we have selected a man as synonymous with the McLaren Vale as Shiraz itself. Born and bred in the region, he knows every acre of soil, every coastal breeze, and most importantly how to make the most out of each and every vine. He is arguably McLaren Vale’s, if not Australia’s, most internationally renowned winemaker. However, this knowledge and acclaim come at a price. He is a man so firmly associated with another leading McLaren Vale winery, that the only way we could be allowed to have him work with us was if we never used his name in any official way.
For us this equation is an easy one. We can’t tell the world who he is, but then we don’t need to. We may never put his name on a bottle, but his distinctive talent is evident from the moment a bottle of Aramis Vineyards wine is opened. So we live with the compromise and our ‘phantom’ winemaker, and let the wine do the talking.
Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Aramis Vineyards, The Governor, O'Aristocratis
>> McLaren Vale
Cellar Door Hours
Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm
Weekends and public holidays by arrangement.
29 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Mile End South
08 8352 2900