‘Moments bottled become memories poured.’
A story of small-batch, seasonal and creative winemaking, where each vintage is the product of a time and place, and a thought, or feeling pursued: a spirited endeavour that bottles a time of inspiration and experimentation; a moment captured to never be reproduced in the same way, again. An extension of the mind and heart of Jared Dixon, Jilly Wines are hand-made in Clunes, New South Wales, to inspire, celebrate, and enjoy.
The New England is unlike any other grape growing region in Australia, and much of this is due to the region’s diversity. Ranging from high altitude (1,000m ASL), cool climate vineyards along the spine of the Great Dividing Range, to the lower and warmer sites on the western edges of the New England Tablelands; the region offers up dramatic and unique conditions for viticulture.
Situated 35km south of Tenterfield, the farm is nestled amongst grazing properties and spectacular granite outcrops of the Bolivia district of Northern NSW. The rich granite soil and cold winters, warm summers and summer rainfall produces a wonderful example of cool climate wines.
Toppers Mountain Tingha, NSW
Toppers vineyard is just north of Tingha (between Armidale & Inverell) on the spine of the Great Dividing Range in northern NSW. It sits on the western edge of the New England Tablelands at an altitude of 900m ASL, high above the valleys of the McIntyre and Gwydir Rivers on deep, red volcanic soils called Krasnozems.
The unique story behind this vineyard starts with the owner/viticulturist Mark Kirkby, was flying over the region in a chopper with his brother. From the corner of his eye, he saw a mass of red dirt. They both immediately decided that regardless of what they planted on this unique piece of agricultural dirt, something special would come of it. In 1997, in a moment of inspiration, Kirkby planted a vineyard with some 27 varieties before grafting over the varieties that were the most suited; leaving the 14 that remain to this day.
The foundation of Jilly wines was built of the fruit that comes from this incredible piece of dirt.
Planted in 2019 on a gentle slope facing the west, Jilly - the Lone Ranger - is pioneering Winemaking in the Northern Rivers, the first patch of it's kind in the area. An experimental fruit salad patch that sits just below the winery, with a view out to the Border Ranges, we're expecting our first fruit next year, in 2022.
The New England Australia wine producing area, although widely thought of as a new wine producing region is actually a re-emerging wine region with an interesting history that dates back as far as the first settlers. Squatters and settlers planted vineyards and made their own wine due to the difficulty in transporting alcohol from other major centres. The most famous of these was Mr George Wyndham, founder of award-winning Wyndham Estate winery. George established a 100,000-acre property “Bukkulla”, near Inverell the 1850’s.
Between 1870 & 1920 wines from the area won many awards at international wine shows. A prominent English wine judge of the time wrote of the Bukkulla wines.
“(They) have a character and quality above the average of most wine-producing countries. The lowest quality is better than a large proportion of the ordinary wines of Europe, while the best would not suffer in comparison to the finest known growths”.
As the New England area continues to prove itself as an ‘undiscovered gem,’ we begin a new chapter in History here in Clunes, NSW with an experimental patch; the first of it's kind in Northern NSW. To be Continued.
A direct reflection of the environment, we understand and appreciate that which provides for us. With a deep knowledge of viticulture and agricultural practices, the Winery was created to be completely off-grid, utlising the sun's energy as power, and composting all waste on the property, to in turn be used as fertiliser for the vineyard. We believe in continuing this narrative for many to come, and are folding this history into the land, and the soil - to be continued as we open the cellar door in 2022.
We believe in a philosophy that wine should be representative of time and place - a moment bottled - and so we produce minimal intervention, natural wines, utilising natural yeasts with no fining, and zero additives aside from a small amount of sulphur before going to bottle.
A selection of New England and Country NSW Vineyards, and an experimental project here at home in Clunes, NSW.
Dependant on style, but usually when we're feeling bold. More often than not.
Sometimes a minimal amount of suphites are added to the wine to travel well, but often not. Check the bottle for details.
No filtering, we prefer to keep things natural.
No fining either, we want to ensure you see the truest, most authentic version of these grapes.
Only native yeasts used.
Enjoying a layered history of music, travel, and food, Jared’s earlier years informed a passion that has now become the vitality and vibrancy in Jilly Wines. After regional band tours and international travel, Jared returned home to study viticulture and during that time worked closely with Houghton Wines. In conversation and collaboration, he gained a colourful spectrum of experiences and appreciations and continued to enjoy the New England area over time, and so when his family made Clunes NSW home, he gathered his cumulative histories to establish the interesting and experimental splash of Jilly Wines in Northern NSW.
A pioneer of place and product, Jared is referred to as 'The Lone Ranger', - his wines are made from interesting varieties grown on unique vineyards, forging a path unknown in the country of New England and now with a fruit salad patch at Clunes. His winemaking is extremely hands-off, allowing the full expression of the fruit to be the focus of every wine, an endeavour that ensures the experience is a colourful and vibrant expression of time and place. Surrounded by an inclusive community of wine makers, distributors, and friends, our wines are like the company we keep - they are fun, don't take themselves too seriously and have a distinct energy about them. Jared is one of Northern NSW's most exciting and impassioned young winemakers, and where the path leads is anyone's guess.Click Here to meet with the Lone Ranger
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