This year marks 40 years since the first vines were planted at Xanadu by Doctor John Lagan in 1977. Since then a lot has happened at Xanadu Wines from a business perspective, and during my 17 years working here it has certainly been a rollercoaster ride at times! The purchase of Xanadu by the Rathbone family in 2005 is the most significant event, but there are a couple of other milestones which really stick out for me . . .
First was the production of our inaugural Reserve Chardonnay in 2008, which allowed the potential of our oldest Chardonnay vineyard (Lagan Estate) to be recognized, reigniting our Reserve wine program. The second significant milestone, in my mind at least, was the purchase of our Stevens Road vineyard. After leasing the vineyard for a while, and realising the potential that the site had to offer, it was purchased in 2008 by Darren Rathbone. At the time, producing wines under a Stevens Road label was ‘never exactly the plan’, but I’ve always been thankful to have been given enough freedom to bottle single block wines which offer a genuine expression of what this extraordinary little vineyard can produce. Granted there have been plenty of other milestones over the last 40 years, but it is really these two which have led to the wines you have in front of you now.
First planted in 1989, the Stevens Road property is a unique and personal site for Xanadu. While production remains very limited under the Stevens Road label (only 250 dozen Chardonnay and 280 dozen Cabernet this release), it demonstrates our focus on only selecting the very best parcels of fruit (yes, it does get down to row selection!) from the best and oldest blocks on the property.
Our Lagan Estate vineyard continues to provide the fruit for the 2015 Reserve Chardonnay while the 2014 Reserve Cabernet is comprised of several fruit sources; two of our long time Growers the McCloy’s (Timber Creek vineyard), the Berson’s (Victory Point Vineyard), provide fruit which is supplemented with the best from our own Estate Vineyards grown under the watchful eye of Xanadu Viticulturist Suzie Muntz and the team.
Glenn Goodall, Senior Winemaker
(Picture of Winemakers Left to Right: Glenn Goodall, Brendan Carr and Steve Kyme)