Finding perfection at the base of the Grampians
For A. T. Richardson Wines owner and winemaker Adam Richardson, Armstrong, nestled between Great Western and Ararat, is the perfect spot.
He has spent the past 12 years growing his cool climate shiraz and Riesling, and could not be happier with where he decided to plant his roots.
“I purchased the land in 2005 and planted our vines in 2006 after spending the previous 10 years searching Australia – and the world – for the perfect spot to grow my cool climate shiraz and riesling at the same site,” he explains.
Adam explains although the vineyard was planted in 2006, he, his wife, Eva, their twins, Madeleine and Jackson, only moved to the region from the United States three years ago.
Adam is a Western Australian native who spent his younger adult years as an aviator in the Royal Australian Navy. But a passion for wine saw him change careers in the 1990s.
The father-of-two has had various senior international winemaking and management roles including chief winemaker for Treasury Wine Estates Americas and vice president of international winemaking for a major California-based wine company.
The beautiful region that has plenty to offer in terms of intrigue and adventure, lured Adam and his family, who spend their spare time getting outdoors participating in activities including rock climbing and mountain biking.
Of course, the quality of wines in the region was another major drawcard, that saw Adam come into his own.
“I’m passionate about making wines that I love to drink in exactly my style without compromise, and I’ve always been driven to create wines that will live longer than me,” he says.
“It gets easier every year.”
A.T. Richardson Wines produces shiraz, riesling, durif, nebbiolo and tannat.
In his relatively short time in the region, Adam already has a suite of proud moments as a winemaker.
He says releasing his first Great Western durif wine from his Hard Hill Road vineyard has been a career highlight.
“Who would have expected durif to work so well in the Grampians?” he says.
Adam loves a white wine, riesling and barbaresco his drops of choice. After five years exhibiting at the Grampians Grape Escape he admits he enjoys it as a spectator as much as an exhibitor.
“I love checking out the other wine producers to taste local wines or blends that I haven’t come across before,” he says.
“I think it’s one of the best wine and food events I’ve been to.
“It might be the combination of the impressive Halls Gap environment, the very open and approachable local food and wine people, and the overall relaxed festival atmosphere.”