Craneford Wines was established at Springton in 1978 and relocated to its current home at Truro in the Barossa Valley in 1998.
The winery is located on the northern edge of the Barossa Valley and the grape varieties used in its wines include Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache and Mourvedre (Mataro).
Craneford winemaker Carol Riebke, pictured below, said the winery has grown to be a self‐sufficient wine production facility and its wines are made from start to finish on site.
“For the size of Craneford, the main thing that sets us apart from other wineries is that we do every part of the winemaking process,” Carol said.
“We process and bottle all our premium wines on site therefore giving us total control over our products.
“We also have the facility to load our own shipping containers giving us great opportunities with our overseas customers.”
An important element in the success of its wines is the grapes which are sourced from different regions in the Barossa Valley.
“We have 10 growers that supply a range of grape varieties and they are located in different areas of the Barossa Valley, giving variation in picking time,” Carol said.
“Fruit parcels from our growers are independently processed during the winemaking process and this maintains the unique character of each vineyard.
“Final blends are made only after the wines have been individually tasted and analysed to ensure that they show classic Barossa Valley flavours as well as being complex and well balanced.”
Carol was appointed as Craneford winemaker in 2006 with John Glaetzer, a winner of four Jimmy Watson Trophies as chief red wine maker at Wolf Blass Wines, providing support overseeing.
Craneford’s aim is to continually produce the highest quality wine from the best Barossa Valley fruit available.
The winery makes 5 premium product ranges which include:
- Fire Station label - the top Shiraz for the season.
- Craneford label - includes 5 red wines Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, GSM, Quartet, 1 Rose’ and 1 white wine Viognier.
- Black and White label - includes 3 red wines Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
- Allyson Parson label - includes 2 red wines Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1 white wine Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
- Private Selection - includes 3 red wines Shiraz cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and 1 white wine chardonnay
Craneford also has a number of entry level wines and also do buyers own branded products.
Craneford exports its wines to a number of overseas countries, with China being the largest customer.
Carol said that there were many great opportunities in doing business in the international market.
“Exporting wine increases the scope of the business and it spreads the exposure of the brand,” she said.
“It also provides the opportunity to make different types of wines to suit the styles of particular countries and it enables the movement of large volumes of products at any one time.
“There are some challenges because each country has its own set of rules and regulations that need to be followed, including the information that is displayed on the labels.”
Carol highlighted some of the common hurdles being faced by winemakers, including the ever changing consumer preferences on styles of wine.
“Winemakers need to keep evolving and changing their styles of wines or introducing new wines to their portfolio to fit in with the consumer trends,” she said.
“We have seen in recent times consumer trends of Sauvignon Blanc, Rose’ and Moscato, however consumers are always changing their preferences and we need to try and keep at the forefront of this.
“There are also challenges beyond this including simple things like the weather and how this can have a major impact on the end wines.
“The winemaker needs to ensure that every vintage produced is of similar style to the vintage before, as consumers demand a product to be the same from vintage to vintage with only minimal differences.“
Carol added that while the current environment for winemakers is tough, wineries in the Barossa sit in a very good position due to the area being a very well known wine region around the world.
The full range of Craneford wines is available through its cellar door at Truro or online at www.cranefordwines.com.
Some of the wines are also available throughout Adelaide, regional South Australia and interstate in bottle shops and restaurants.