Why Smallfry Wines? It’s a big pond out there!

Smallfry is our reaction to the increasingly corporate wine industry.  We want to stay small, maintain our hands on approach and produce wine that we would like to share with others. The best fruit invariably comes from small blocks owned by small growers who tend each vine year in year out.

As I have come through the system, I’ve been lucky enough to learn from a few exceptional individuals within our local industry.  Robert O’Callaghan and Carl Lindner, are probably the most prominent in my memory but there are a whole host of people that in one way or another, have helped me along in my understanding of how the wine industry works.

The essential component is good fruit, we are lucky to have our own vineyards and the knowledge, experience and desire to produce the best possible fruit we can from them.  We sell the fruit we don’t make into wine to as many of our winemaking peers as possible including Teusner, Chateau Tanunda, Murray Street Vineyards, Torbreck, Soul Growers, Turkey Flat, Charlie Melton, Diggers Bluff, Spinifex, Rockford, Bethany, Tim Smith Wines and Flaxman Wines.  We also buy in fruit from family vineyards to allow some flexibility, again our experience and history here in the Barossa is essential in helping us source the particular varieties and flavours we need to complement our range of wines.

The best fruit invariably comes from small blocks owned by small growers who tend each vine year in year out.  These special grapes are then allowed to express themselves in our small batch processing and storage, so that we can produce unique wines to better get to know the subregions of the Barossa.  To be able to produce wines that reflect the diversity of Eden and Barossa Valleys is an important part of what we do.

Wine is not a commodity where 1 bottle is much the same as the next this is the fundamental point that some corporate jocks fail to get.  That is why their place in this industry is so tenuous.  We don’t want to grow beyond a certain size.  To lose touch with our soil and wines would be to lose the whole point.  This is our journey and we will do it our own way.

Luckily there are a lot of our contemporaries out there at the moment toiling away on much the same journey as we are.  I believe that when we look back on this time from some vantage point in the future, we will see that this is a time of great creativity, the emerging young turks will become the seasoned campaigners of the future.  The Barossa is in good hands and we want to be a part of that.

As we go forward we hope to develop a brand we can be proud of.  A business that takes its part in the fabric of the local community.  Supports the local growers and gives its customers something unique.  Gives back to the traditions as we have benefited from them.  Which above all else is sustainable in that our dealings with all people are fair and honest and don’t burn any bridges.

This is were you come in dear punter, we can nurture our vines as much as we want, agonise over this or that oak treatment, patiently wait until wines and ideas reach fruition, all in vain if you guys don’t support us.  When these enterprises work the customers have a sense of their ownership of this nebulous thing call a brand.  You are as important in the success of this venture as anyone.

Hopefully you will join us on the journey, get to know us and the wines and feel the joy of creating and sharing something unique.

Wayne Ahrens

Winemaker