Quilty Wines

Quilty Wines handplucks the best possible grapes from the most interesting parcels of land to produce small batches of super-premium single vineyard red wines full of flavour, complexity, personality. A sense of place.

Good things come in small packages...

We're a small, some would say extremely small, wine company. Family owned by Des and Emma Quilty, managed and operated by Des. Wonderful winemakers like Andrew Ewart and Jacob Stein have provided us with invaluable expertise, technical brilliance and guidance with our winemaking decisions. And that's our team.

We make small batches of our reds which allows us to focus purely on quality, picking only the most exceptional patches of selected vineyards. Small batches also mean we can spare nothing in the winemaking process in the pursuit of that quality and finesse. Handpicking, hand-plunging open fermentation vats, as much new French and American oak maturation as required to balance the style, and copious attention to detail are all within our means.

We only produce around 450 cases each vintage, so each bottle you hold in your hands is not only authentic and special, but really quite unique.

Worth the wait...

After 20 years of Des working in the wine industry, and even after the two and a half years since we took our first steps towards becoming wine producers in 2008, until our first releases late 2010, in many ways it's been quite a wait...

After growing up in the Hunter, Des worked for several Hunter wineries to help pay his way through an Agriculture degree, but it was a four year stint managing vineyards at Tyrrells, among the likes of Murray and Bruce Tyrrell, Andrew Spinaze, Andrew Thomas, Andrew Margan, Reid Bosward and others, that fired a deep curiosity and attachment to the fascinating art, science and industry of wine that never quite went away. Since that time Des's role as a viticulturist has seen him work with the majority of wine producers, big and small, successful and otherwise, mainly in the Hunter then Mudgee, as well as other NSW wine regions. 

Wonderful opportunities to form ideas, over time, about what sites, vines and grapes produce the best quality wines in for different varieties in different seasons, and the reasons why (or why not). Also a long time to watch others having a crack at producing quality wine and a viable business, without having a go yourself... 

As well, the sites we've chosen ripen slowly, gradually and late. We use slow, simple, gentle methods because they produce the best wine. We give the wines 16 months in oak barrells of various ages to mature, and another few months until they are ready for release. These wines have been a long time in the making. But that's the very essence of their charm. Savour them with friends, over time.

A taste for discovery...

If terroir can be characterised as "the unique combination of country, climate and culture" then Mudgee possesses a rich mix. An authentic wine town with a colourful history, buildings and characters surrounded by glorious hills with altitudes ranging from 470m to 1100m, giving large temperature differences. Soils range from fertile flats and deep red basalts all the way to shallow, gravelly, pale hillslopes in the upper reaches.

Des wanted to use his intimate knowledge of the region's terroirs and the vineyards in them to select special blocks for specific varieties' needs that he knew could deliver the kind of intense, complex and interesting fruit he was after. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are proven performers in the district, but we wanted to take the flavours towards the cooler climate end of what's possible here. Powerful and spicy Shiraz and elegant, finer tannins for Cabernet. Important site considerations include altitude (up to 800m) with associated cooler temperatures giving an early April harvest. Soils of only moderate fertility, often shallow gravelly hillslopes, give natural balance at low (sometimes extremely low) yields and concentrated fruit.

Petit Verdot struggles to ripen in its native Bordeaux, but with the right care it does it beautifully here in Mudgee. Warm enough to ripen but cool enough to maintain intense black fruit flavours all its own. A spiritual home? We believe it shows great promise in this district.

So friends, this is it. Wines hand-made from the tapestry of our experiences and the things we know. A labour of love. And our family's own subtle stitch in the great Australian wine tapestry.