Vintage 2015 with a Japanese twist at Windowrie in Canowindra

Yields low, quality high and a winemaker from afar drops in for vintage

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Windowrie cellar door, Cowra, NSW

Windowrie cellar door, Cowra, NSW [©Windowrie Estate]

Vineyards, Cowra, New South Wales
Hot air ballooning in Canowindra, NSW


The 2015 vintage is looking particularly promising in the Cowra region of NSW.

“Our yields were somewhat lower than average due to the frost in 2014,” explained Windowrie’s viniculturist, Jason O’Dea. “However this helped increase the quality of the fruit, especially in the shiraz and chardonnay vineyards.”

Vintage began at the end of January with sparkling base being picked and continued to around the end of April. “We are all about preserving the flavours from the vineyard, complementing them with various winemaking techniques, and creating a sense of place from the vineyard and the region.”

Vintage at Windowrie was distinctive in that the winemaking team welcomed Japanese winemaker Shige Kimura to the winery.

Windowrie has a strong relationship with Japan, having exported to this market for over a decade. “Having Shige with us for vintage was fantastic,” commented Windowrie winemaker Anthony D’Onise.

“He gave us a new perspective on our winemaking, as well as a better understanding of the Japanese market and palate. Each process in our harvest and winemaking came into question, making us re-think and re-evaluate we are doing in order to make the best wine possible.”

“We’re lucky to have had him in the region and will be working closely with him in the future.”

“Shige is from Tokyo and was a sommelier there for several years before deciding to study oenology and viticulture in New Zealand. He has been in the industry for around 20 years, making wine for 9 years.”

Windowrie, one of the region’s leading organic winegrower, has significantly increased the focus of its organic winemaking this vineyards. “This is our first harvest of an organic Sauvignon Blanc which is looking exceptional,” commented Anthony.

“Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect accompaniment to many Japanese dishes, however Chardonnay and Shiraz is becoming quite popular. The Japanese market is changing, with an increase in education about wine and subsequently, more people enjoying different varieties,” explained Shige.

WINDOWRIE is one of the Cowra region’s founding winemakers. Established by the O’Dea family in 1988, the business experienced considerable success, allowing them to build a winery in 1999, which was certified organic in 2008. The Windowrie range now comprises the ‘Family Reserve’ and ‘The Mill’ range. Jason O’Dea also makes the ‘Pig In The House’ organic brand, which was recently awarded the NASSA Organic Wine of the Year Trophy.


  • Cowra (NSW)

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April 29th, 2015
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