Inkwell

Inkwell was born in 2003 when Dudley Brown returned to Australia from California and bought a somewhat rundown vineyard on the serendipitously named California Road. He inherited 5ha of neglected shiraz, and planted an additional 7ha to viognier (2.5ha), zinfandel (2.5ha) and heritage shiraz clones (2.5ha). The five-year restoration of the old vines and establishment of the new reads like the ultimate handbook for aspiring vignerons, particularly those who are prepared to work non-stop. The reward has been rich almost all the grapes are sold, and the grapes go from a mid-range commercial rating to near the top of the tree. The first toe in the water of commercial winemaking came in 2006 with 140 dozen produced, rising to 400 dozen in 08. Inkwell released Primitivo in 09 vintage and Viognier in 10. Dudley is adamant the production will be capped at 2000 dozen. JAMES HALLIDAY