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Feature Winery: Teusner
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Owners: Kym Teusner & Mick Page
Chief Winemaker: Kym Teusner
Unsurprisingly for Kym Teusner and Mick Page, beer played a major role in their decision to start Teusner Wines in 2001. Overhearing a couple of grape growers at the pub contemplating removing their 85 year old Grenache vines, Kym and Mick stepped up to the plate and offered them 4 times what they’d been paid by ‘the big guys’ for the crop if they’d keep the vineyard in the ground. The offer was accepted, the vines stayed in the ground, Teusner Wines came to life with a singular mission – to make the kind of wines they liked to drink!
Introducing Kym Teusner
Growing up the son of a sheep farmer in the riverside town of Tailem Bend in South Australia, Kym Teusner couldn’t envision a life for himself that involved sheep. Keen to fly the nest as soon possible, he headed to Adelaide straight out of high school to study business management. Working in restaurants to pay his way through university, the wonders of wine were soon discovered. Completely hooked on this newfound favorite drink, any spare time available became devoted to studying the stuff!
Whilst life in the hospitality game presents plenty of obvious attractions to a 20 something year old country kid living in the big smoke, the country lifestyle was calling…especially when he’d met a Barossa girl who would become his wife! The idea of owning a restaurant or bar in the Barossa briefly crossed his mind, but with the numbers not stacking up and a bit of light ‘self-analysis’ telling him to follow his heart, it was back to university to study winemaking.
Kym Teusner on 2021
“I feel nervous even saying this, but 2021 is shaping as one of better Barossa Vintage’s in recent years, arguably more promising than the highly heralded 2018 – but nothing’s safe until it’s in the shed. There has been a bit of local chatter about Grenache yields being down in a few spots, but overall crop levels seem ok for most varieties. An average winter’s rainfall was a pleasant change after the past few years of drought and with canopies looking vibrant, balanced and healthy, we’re hopeful that these ideal ripening conditions manage to last for a month or two longer…”
- This coming vintage, 2021 will be our 20th vintage as Teusner wines and looking back now, I’ve managed to squeeze quite a bit in during this time.
- Lots of people try to get Tuesday into Teusner but it’s actually correctly pronounced ‘toys-ner’ (a lingual remnant of my German heritage).
- Vintage is my favourite time of year……. the mellowing weather, the buzz and sense of excitement in the ‘Valley’, the hum of tractors in the distance, the sweet smell of ripe fruit fermenting and the rewarding taste of a cold Coopers Pale and long days’ work in the winery.
- A keen water skier, I’m now banned from the activity prior to and during vintage having broken my ankle, requiring surgery, back in 2018 - the weekend before our first crush in 2018. Not ideal!!
- We’ve recently gained full access to a small network of vineyards that have amazing potential. Watch this space, but if you do hear me talking about the Wilksh Vineyard in the future, take note (wink-wink).
- My sister, Lee, is a well credentialed artist and one of her first commissioned pieces was actually our label design complete with the trademark vine and leaf logo. She has since gone on to add her touch to The Empress Riesling and The Salsa Rose.
- I’ve always enjoyed cars and motor sport, so much so that I decided to buy a racing Kart…..this hobby has now evolved to owning and learning to drive a drift car!
- In 2014 I was inaugurated as a Baron of the Barossa, I don’t get out in the robe much but it’s a considerable honour none the less.
- Teusner Wines is a five red-star rated winery as decreed by The Halliday Wine Companion, a feat we’ve been able to maintain for well over a decade.
- I have a new vineyard sampling companion for 2021…..meet Jarra the brown labrador, the latest addition to the Teusner family, and soon to be Shiraz grape expert...
The Teusner Story
The numbers of growers and the range of wines may have expanded over the years, but for Kym and Mick some things will never change. They’ve always insisted on treating their grape growers like the real people they are, and not just suppliers. They’re welcomed at the winery for a beer and invited to taste wines made from the old vine fruit their family has grown for generations. They’re paid well because not only do they work hard but they’re extremely good at what they do...as you’d expect from people that have been growing grapes for so many years. Kym and Mick reckon it’s by taking this approach that they’ve been able get fruit from some of the best of the old Barossa vineyards to make their wines.
In the winery, a lot faith is placed in having a set of human eyes and hands (and sometimes feet) on the job...believing that having a person with a feel for what is and isn’t working will win out over a machine any day. Everything is crushed one small picking bin at a time, which makes for plenty of long days at the peak of vintage. At all times the focus is on keeping close watch to ensure everything – colour, flavour, aroma and structure – is as it should be, whilst taking it easy with the oak to let the righteous flavours found in old Barossa vineyards take center stage in the wines. Winemaking at Teusner Wines is powered by people...so you know that it’s been done right and it’s been done well.
Stepping into the winery, you’re met with an immediate sense that everyone at Teusner Wines gets enormous pleasure from doing what they do, and that they want for nothing more than people to get pleasure when they put their hand in their pocket to buy a bottle of Teusner wine. By sticking to making the kind of wines they like to drink, Kym and Mick have amassed an army of fans and the applause of the commentators. Keeping it simple has paid off!
TRUE & RIGHTEOUS PLEASURE
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