Dan Graham, whose new releases have just hit the UK, is a young winemaker making waves in the Australian wine industry with his innovative and refreshing approach. Named the People's Choice Winemaker of the Year last year by the Young Gun of Wine awards, his Sigurd Wines have been something of the sleeper hit of our Australian wine portfolio in recent times.
Dan's wines are made with minimal intervention, using natural yeasts and no fining or filtration. The result is wines that are full of flavor and character, with a sense of freshness and purity that was often lacking in Australian wines, particularly from his surroundings in the Barossa Valley.
In keeping with the modern approach, alongside the traditional Shiraz, Dan deploys a variety of grapes across his wines, including radical alternatives such as Lagrein. He sources grapes from both well-known and lesser-known pockets, including some vineyards he leases and manages organically, and he is always experimenting with new techniques and varieties - especially in his Red Blend (new 2021 vintage has just landed) and White Blend.
One of the things that sets Dan's wines apart is his use of whole bunch fermentation. This technique involves fermenting the grapes with their stems still attached, which gives the wines a more rustic and earthy character. Then there is the skin contact he uses for some of his whites, which adds another layer of complexity and flavour.
The Sigurd wines might not be for everyone. They are not necessarily big, bold and jammy, like many traditional wines from the Barossa especially. Instead, they are subtle and elegant, with a focus on freshness and purity of fruit. If you are looking for wines that are true departures from the norm, then Dan's wines are definitely worth a try