' Quintessential - Kay Borthers

Kay Brothers

McLaren Vale, Australia

Along the coast in South Australia, lies McLaren Vale, one of Australia's most famous wine regions. It is also home to the renowned Kay Brothers. Established in 1890 by brothers Herbert & Frederick Kay, it is the oldest McLaren Vale winery still in the hands of the founding family, with Herbert’s grandson, Colin Kay, continuing the family’s wine heritage.

The Kay Brothers Amery vineyard was first planted in 1891. It is now 54 acres with five different soil types, producing powerful wines with concentrated flavors and textured tannins. The hero variety of McLaren Vale, Shiraz, accounts for 70% of production (including Block 6 which was planted in 1892). Additionally, the vineyard is now certified under the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program for its elimination of insecticides and herbicide for organic matter, and the use of sheep to graze and increase the fertility of the soil.

Traditional winemaking has always been preferred: hand harvesting, open-top fermentation in original vessels, using their 1928 heritage basket press and the varied oak barrel program. Colin crafts rich, full-bodied fruit-driven wines with a minimum of 18 months ageing in small American oak casks. The Block 6 Shiraz and Hillside Shiraz spend up to two and a half years maturing in a combination of American, Eastern European and French oak barrels. These choices continue to enhance the quality of their wines, solidifying Kay Brothers as an iconic Australian winery. 

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