Generational change is happening in a big way at the Clare Valley’s Mitchell Wines. Founders Andrew and Jane Mitchell are now described as being in ‘ambassadorial roles’ to make way for their children, Angus, Edwina and Hilary.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Angus’s focus is to continue the sustainable farming approach that has been passed down from previous generations.
Angus is the new general manager. Hilary is at uni, studying to take over as winemaker, and Edwina is marketing and cellar door manager.
To mark the change, the Mitchells have released a new range of four wines under the Kinsfolk label. They include a 2017 half-dry RS12 riesling and 2017 grüner veltliner (both AUD $30), and a 2017 grenache and 2015 shiraz (both AUD $40).
They’re described as small-batch, individual wines that express unique single-vineyard characteristics. And they’re very zeitgeisty.
The riesling, from a grower’s vineyard at Penwortham, is wild fermented, produced without additives, and matured in a 3,000-litre foudre. The grenache was sourced from an old, dry-grown vineyard in the northern White Hut locality, fermented in an open slate fermenter and aged in a 3,000-litre French oak foudre. The shiraz comes from a low-yielding vineyard in the Skilly Hills behind the winery, where the vines have never been irrigated or had artificial chemicals.
Angus Mitchell said:
“The Kinsfolk range is produced with the same sustainable practices implemented throughout all our winemaking.”
Following in his father’s footsteps, Angus’s focus is to continue the sustainable farming approach that has been passed down from previous generations. He has considerable vineyard and winery experience from working in the Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Alsace.
Mitchell will continue with three ranges: the Mitchell range is ‘more traditional’ in style, the McNicol collection is for aged wines, and Kinsfolk is ‘more modern and adventurous’. The family believes these ranges demonstrate the versatility of the Clare region.
Kinsfolk wines are sold exclusively at the Mitchell cellar door and the online shop.
The Mitchell family property, purchased in 1949, was originally a dairy farm and orchard, and included a small hobby vineyard that was managed by Peter McNicol Mitchell. In 1975 Andrew, Peter’s son, took over management and Mitchell Wines was established. He and Jane grew the area under vine to 80 hectares, with a winery and bottling facility.