When Dave and Diana Palmer left the UK, it was supposed to be a three-year stint in Papua New Guinea, where Dave had found a job. Six years later, work took them to Canberra until, three years further on, Dave resigned to set up his own business. By this point, Skillogalee had already entered their lives, mainly because they’d drunk plenty of it with the eldest son of the owners, and sold it at a festival. Then they heard that the winery was up for sale…so naturally they sold the house and the sports car, packed up the kids and the cat, and moved to South Australia.
What drew them to this small corner of the Clare Valley? Beyond the wines, it was possibly the mature, established vineyards, beautifully contoured and equipped to produce everything from aromatic Riesling and Gewürztraminer to full-flavoured Cabernet and Shiraz, plus lusciously sweet liqueur Muscat. But they were following in earlier English footsteps too. Skillogalee was given its name by Lancashire-born explorer John Horrocks after a troubled expedition into the Flinders Ranges when skillogalee – a Celtic name for a thin gruel – was all they had left to eat. Meanwhile, Trevarrick – Skillogalee’s finest Riesling – comes from the property’s original name, Trevarrick Farm, given to it in 1851 by Cornish miner John Trestrail – who built the stone cottage which still serves as Skillogalee’s cellar door.
Skillogalee crafts their Gewurztraminer in the classic style – textural, aromatic and spicy with a crisp finish. The 2015 / 2016 growing season was relatively warm and dry but late on we experience the onset of cool autumn nights allowing the fruit develop full flavoured and pristine fruit with good natural acid.
The Gewurztraminer vines at Skillogalee are grown using minimal intervention and sustainable farming practices to minimise the impact on our environment. The wine was made on-site at the Skillogalee winery.
The wine is pale straw yellow in appearance with green tinges. Exotic aromatics of orange blossom and quince with ginger spice and orange zest follow through onto the palate which is slippery and round with fruit sweetness, balanced by refreshing, juicy acidity and a lingering, dry finish.
A fantastic food matching wine, spanning most genres: top of the list should be lightly-spiced, contemporary Asian food, fresh summertime salads and flavoursome white meat dishes.