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  • Liane Morris

Striving to Stand Out | Gartelmann Wines

Gartelmann. Image Credit: Elfes Images.

Gartelmann Wines has recently taken out the James Busby Perpetual Trophy for Best NSW Wine for their Diedrich Reserve Shiraz 2018. Awarded to the wine achieving the highest total medal score over the previous 12 months on the NSW Wine Show circuit, the wine is a beautiful balancing act of dark berry fruit and subtle spice with supple tannins and lasting acidity. Named after Jorg Gartelmann’s grandfather Diedrich, it is the winery’s icon Shiraz, sourced from a single cool climate vineyard in Orange and matured for 16 months in a mix of American and French oak barrels.


Matt Dillow, renowned chef and restauranteur who purchased Gartelmann in 2020, could not be more proud of the recognition that the wine has so deservedly won.

“We were on cloud nine when we won the award,” said Matt.

“It’s great for the brand and is a wonderful acknowledgment of everyone’s hard work. We inherited this wine, but we’ve also been winning awards for wines we’ve created since taking over the winery, including last year’s Best Rosé trophy at the Hunter Valley Wine Show for our Veronica Rosé Shiraz. We’ve been careful to continue with the Gartelmann traditions, to strive for stand-out wines across the range, and to offer exceptional quality at respectable prices. It’s what drew me to Gartelmann in the first place.”

Matt has run the popular on-site restaurant, The Deck Café, since 2013, but since purchasing the winery, he has been able to make changes, including the extension of the café, landscaping improvements, and minor renovations to the cellar door, including artworks from artist Tanya Loviz to make the space more welcoming. They have also revitalised the brand, taking inspiration from the original 1996 drawings of the famous magpie from the artist Chris Fussell and adding a different magpie to each label.

Operations Manager Jimmy Smith works closely with Matt on developing the wines, along with Liz Silkman and Annabel Holland at First Creek Winemaking Services.

“Matt and I both taste the wines during their production and finish the wines with the winemakers to ensure they are of a quality and style truly fitting with the Gartelmann range and history,” said Jimmy.

“We’re excited about some of our new wines that we’re releasing. Tammy’s Riesling was the first in a range of new varietals from different regions, and Gartelmann’s first Tawny was produced and released this year. We have a Barbera wine from the Orange region, which will be released next year. We are also looking at Montepulciano, hopefully from the 2024 vintage and a new vintage of the infamous Diedrich Shiraz.”

Matt has a Maltese background and is very interested in Italian varieties. He visits Italy regularly on his Food and Wine Tours, taking intimate groups of 20 people on one-week wine and cooking tours of food and wine regions. He also hosts tours to Tasmania and the Margaret River.

“I like the Italian varieties because they are light with big fruit,” said


“We created the Riesling because it’s a great food pairing wine. Our last vintage was 2021, and we sold out very quickly. We have a new vintage 2023 coming this year. We try to do a limited release every year.”

Gartelmann sources 70% of fruit from the Hunter Valley, with the remainder coming from Rylstone, Orange, the Clare Valley, and Renmark.

The most popular white wine at Gartelmann is the Jessica Verdelho, with its refreshingly assertive and glorious strength, ideal for pairing with any fiery food, while the best-selling red is the Phillip Alexander Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, with flavours of aniseed swirled with dark berries and fabulous cellaring potential.

Gartelmann Wines, along with The Deck Café, is a Hunter Valley landmark winery offering tastings of award-winning wines and fabulous food. Beautiful gardens and grounds complete the package, with an animal farm to keep the kids amused. Located at Lovedale, you can’t, and shouldn’t, miss the magpie!



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