THE FIRST RELEASE OF PATRICK OF COONAWARRA WINES
In 1998, Pat got to work; finally making his own wine from the home block. For him, it was crucial to focus his efforts on the vines first before thinking about a cellar door, to ensure he was making the best wine he possibly could.
Luke explains the significance of the Home Block wine to his family, saying “Home Block is the first vineyard that we purchased with the family home when Dad moved down to Coonawarra in 1989. It is a single vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon - a block of 60 year old vines around our family home, just down the road from our cellar door.
I grew up working in the vineyard. I earned my pocket money doing pruning and lifting wires and fixing sprinklers and things like that, so it’s the vineyard that I’ve spent the most time in and is always my favourite."
"I know the vineyard very well, which is key when you're making a premium wine. You know where the best parts of the vineyard are and know how to treat them differently.”
VARIETY/VARIETIES: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
HARVEST DATE: 28th March 2016
Pat also bought 50 hectares of land at Wrattonbully, a 20 minute drive north, taking a chance on what was an upcoming winegrowing region and established Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling. It was a good mix of varietals to establish their identity and set them on the path of being able to make wine using only their own grapes – an essential element of Pat’s vision.
It took six years before the wines came onto the market. From the very beginning, Pat decided to follow the philosophy of delayed release. Like a father emu, he sits patiently on the wines as they develop. By holding them back, he does the work of cellaring for the customer, only delivering them at their peak.
The Tocacius took the plunge and opened the cellar door in 2004. There was no going back now – Patrick of Coonawarra was out in the world. Pat had decades of wine experience under his belt and was well respected in the industry but it was his own name on the label now.
“It was Pat’s dream to grow, make and sell his own wine. We took a big risk - the wine industry is not an easy one to get into and he didn’t have huge financial backing.” - Jenny Tocaciu