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Clonakilla is a small, family winery dedicated to making distinctive, handcrafted wines. Our wines are made in limited quantities and can be a little hard to find. They are worth the search. We make a range of wines, but our speciality is wines made from two varieties which have their original home in the Northern Rhone valley in France: Syrah (Shiraz in Australia) and Viognier. Our flagship is a Shiraz Viognier blend.

Clonakilla was established in 1971 by present owner John Kirk. A Canberra based research scientist of Irish descent, John came to Australia with his young family in 1968 to work with the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. To his surprise, despite the suitability of the environment, there was no wine industry in the cool southern table lands of NSW around Canberra. To remedy this situation, he bought a 44 acre farm near the village of Murrumbateman in New South Wales, 40 kilometres north of Canberra. The soil consisted of sandy clay loams over friable clay and a deeper layer of decomposed granite. Holding high hopes for its wine producing potential, he proceeded to plant 1.2 acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. He named the property Clonakilla (gaelic for 'meadow of the church') after his grandfather's farm in County Clare.

A further 1.2 acres of Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were planted in 1972 and the vines grew well, although some were lost in a drought in 1972-73. John persevered and produced the Canberra District's first commercial vintage in 1976: a Riesling and a Cabernet Shiraz. In 1978 a bore was sunk and larger plantings became feasible. From 1978 to the present the vineyard has gradually expanded with Shiraz, Viognier and Riesling the dominant varieties.

At the end of 1996 John's fourth son Tim left a teaching career at Melbourne's Xavier College to work full time in the family business. Tim is Clonakilla's chief winemaker and since 2009, CEO.

In 1998 Tim and his wife Lara bought the 50 acre property next door and planted Shiraz and Viognier as well as a small olive grove on the warm north-east facing slope. In 2007 Euroka Park, the 55 acre farm on the northern boundary of Clonakilla was purchased. Four acres of Shiraz was planted in a high, north facing block along with a small block of Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties: Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Carignan. There are now thirty acres (twelve hectares) of vines planted across the three estate properties. Fruit is also purchased from a number of growers in the Canberra District and the Hilltops region around the town of Young on the south western slopes of New South Wales.

At Clonakilla we currently produce 10,000 - 12,000 cases of wine a year. These are available primarily through the cellar door, online and via our mailing list, but you will also find our wines at many of the best restaurants and a number of specialist wine retailers in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. Clonakilla wines are also available in the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan, Ireland and New Zealand.

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Advertiser Details

Table 1: Advertiser Details
Business Name: Clonakilla Business ID: ABN: 21 929 370 630
Phone: (02) 6227 5877 Fax: (02) 6227 5871
Contact: Tim Kirk Mobile: Contact via website
Address: 3 Crisps Lane, Murrumbateman , NSW, 2582, Australia Hours: Cellar Door 11 am to 5 pm daily
Area Serviced: International Local-made products: 100%

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