Tell us about the vineyards where The Hidden Sea is born
We have vineyards in Padthaway, Mount Benson and the Wrattonbully sub-regions of the Limestone Coast, and we are also lucky enough to have some fantastic vineyards in Coonawarra, Mount Gambier and Robe. In Padthaway, we have shiraz with concentrated black fruit and tannins and chardonnay full of fresh citrus and stone fruit. At Mount Benson, only a few kilometres from the sea, we grow true cool-climate shiraz, intensely perfumed, lighter and elegant in nature. And in Wrattonbully, again shiraz but this time with bright and juicy red fruits, and the quintessentially Australian character of Eucalypt gum and menthol.
What do you grow, and how does the climate and terroir help the varieties to flourish?
Haha, we grow grapes! Shiraz and chardonnay are our main focus, but we have access to many other varieties too. The soils of The Limestone Coast, funnily enough, have a lot of limestone in them. In the chardonnay, this results in a chalky, flinty minerality that balances well with the citrus and stone fruit characters of the grapes. The limestone is covered in an array of topsoil profiles, most notably the famed ‘Terra Rossa” red soils which give a rich, vibrant earthiness to our reds. Alternatively, patches of heavy black clay produce wines of immense power and structure, with big black fruit and tannin profiles. Being a coastal/maritime type climate and only a stones-throw from the cold Southern Ocean, the warm days allow the grapes to develop intense flavour ripeness, without becoming jammy or “stewed”, but the cool nights retain a fresh natural acidity in the wines, both red and white.
Tell us about your eco, sustainable and ethical practices
At our wineries, all water and waste is fully recycled. Water goes back onto our own woodlots, and winery waste is turned into compost. Our Entwine data, which is a sustainability measure for the wine industry, puts us in the top echelon.
In addition, our wine bottles are recyclable, our cartons are made from cardboard sourced through manufacturers that only use sustainable and recyclable materials, and we’re also in the process of becoming a certified member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, a body which has just recently been formed.
If you’d could fix one problem in the industry today, what would it be?
Simply to take the mystery out of wine, but keep the mystique…
What excites you most about the future?
That The Hidden Sea is rising to the challenge of fixing a part of this broken world. I don’t want to do anything that distracts from our core mission. In fact, when I reflect on The Hidden Sea, I think of it as being a world-changing brand funded by wine, rather than a wine brand interested in changing the world. To me, that’s our differentiator, and that’s our “why”! This drives me every day.
To what do you attribute your success?
Simple. Have the right attitude and put in the work – as there is no short cuts – and be consistent and disciplined. These are the controllables. Market distractions will always happen, so focus only on what you can control.
Why should retailers stock your wines in 100 words or less?
One wine. One mission. To remove plastic from the world’s oceans. We produce wines that matter, for people that care!