Every year at least one business marks a milestone in the Hunter Valley and this year is no exception with one of our favourite wineries, Saddler’s Creek hailing its 30th year as one of wine countries preeminent producers. This month we caught up with Brett Woodward, Winemaker to find out a little about the history of Saddler’s Creek Wines.
What is the history of Saddler’s Creek Wines – how did the winery come about? Our story began in 1990, when two friends with a passion for fine wine and a serious love of horses, established Saddler's Creek Wines, naming their wine label after a little creek located in the Upper Hunter Valley. Then, five years ago, Saddler's Creek was purchased by a long-time Saddler’s Creek Club Equus member Frank Laureti, wife Wendy and brother Serge Laureti.
What inspired Frank to convert his membership to ownership? Building upon the wineries Hunter heritage of premium Semillon releases, Saddler’s Creek developed what would later become our flagship Bluegrass Collection. Frank was introduced to Bluegrass Cabernet Sauvignon through a friend and subsequently took up a Saddler's Club Equus membership which he enjoyed for over ten years.
He loved the stuff so much that, in a Victor Kiam' moment (he of Remington Shaver fame), Frank purchased the winery lock, stock and barrel – literally!
That’s a big commitment to make; it was apparently a brand he had a lot of faith in! Frank concedes that buying into the wine business was a romantic notion, but says you do some things for work and some things for love and good friends, good food and of course great wine are among life’s great pleasures. This year also marks five of years the Laureti’s family ownership of Saddler’s Creek Wines.
Did Frank and his brother have any previous experience in making (rather than tasting) wine? Producing wine is in the Laureti brother’s blood. Frank and Serge’s father, Alessandro Laureti produced wine in Italy before migrating with his wife Maria to Australia in the 1950's. Frank says that wine has long been part of his family’s culture and that while growing up there was never a meal without a glass of wine.
What celebrations will take place at the winery this year to celebrate two special anniversaries? To mark Saddler's Creek's 30th anniversary, and the fifth anniversary for the Lauretti family, we've released a Diamond Edition Alessandro and Maria Reserve Collection. These premium single vineyard wines will be released exclusively in our Hunter Valley Cellar Door and to our Club Equus members.
This collection recognises a man for his principles in keeping life simple. He believed in working hard, with passion and delighted in time spent with family and friends, all the while enjoying the pleasures of good food and great wine. The collection is produced from hand-selected parcels of the finest quality fruit. Select parcels were set aside and made in small batches to highlight the unique characteristics of the varietal and the individual terroir of the region. Pristine fruit, a gentle hand and the finest oak gives finesse, flavour and longevity. These wines are crafted for sharing and celebrating the Laureti way!
You can find Saddler’s Creek Wines and taste their premium quality wines at 15 Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin (open 7 days 10am to 5pm and until 7pm on Fridays throughout daylight savings). For more information visit www.saddlerscreekwines.com.au