The first Homeless Grapes Project started in 2015 with one little Facebook post. Jock Harvey, from Chalk Hill Wines, posted that he had a surplus block of grapes and anyone was welcome to them if they made a donation to charity. We saw an opportunity: why not make a cheeky little shiraz instead and send 100% of the profits to charity? We contacted Jock, and the rest - as they say in the biz - took loads of hard work but was totally worth it.
Three hours later, we had pickers, tractors, a winemaker, barrels, bottles and labels all lined up. The whole community came together to make the wine a reality, and the Homeless Grapes Project was born.
The Homeless Grapes Project is defined by generosity; from the growers, winemakers, volunteers, bottlers, printers and supporters, this project would not be possible without the support of our beautiful community who have donated their talent, goods and services to help raise money for those who need it most.
In 2018 we picked grapes in the Yarra Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale - the idea being that each pick supports a local homelessness issue.
All proceeds from the McLaren Vale Shiraz will go to Hutt St Centre, an amazing frontline charity with an open door policy for the homeless or those living in poverty in SA. They work with those excluded from other services, who have complex problems, are isolated and are most at risk of falling through the gaps.
Though we have the absolute honour of selling the finished product, we can’t take responsibility for this vino. This is a community effort for community gain, from the winemakers doing the hard yards to our designer working on the label, to the volunteer mofos out picking grapes. Everyone played or will play a part in this and we give thanks to you all.
But extra special thanks go to:
Jock Harvey, of Chalk Hill Wines
The original instigator, and his contributions keep on keeping on. Jock is a star connector, and helped find participants from all fields, from other Vale legends providing burgers and coffee for the pick, to other providers of vinous goodness for the wine. He is a force for good.
Dudley Brown and Irina Santiago-Brown, Inkwell Wines
Irina & Dudley hosted the pick and provided the grapes. It was an amazing day, as those of you who joined us know. Inkwell have some brilliant grapes, and we’re very lucky to have some of their special grapes for this project.
Alexia Roberts and Penny’s Hill
The wine’s being made by another deadset legend, Alexia Roberts of Penny’s Hill. Her aim is to make elegant, fruit-driven, single vineyard estate-grown wines, and we can attest to the fact that she’s winning on this front. Looking forward to seeing the goodness she creates here.
Yeah, you. You who jumped out of bed and headed to a vineyard to spend some time with these homeless grapes. You who bought a case of a previous vintage and helped us do some good. You who shared that wine with friends and spread the message of Homeless Grapes. You, who upon reading this, will buy a case of this vintage and help make a difference. You, beautiful mofo, who is out there contributing to a better world.
The wine itself is incredibly elegant, as though it knew it was destined for a noble cause. It has that delicious McLaren Vale fruit profile, but doesn’t need to shout to tell its story. Rather, it lets it all unfold across the palate in measured and unhurried style. There’s ripe plum and dark cherry, with crunchy stalkiness and spicy herbs. It’s all brought to life by a sprinkling of black pepper and a good crackle of tannin across the gums. Medium-plus bodied, it’s easy drinking by itself, and will be a wicked food wine when called upon. Plus, it’ll age fantastically, giving you the opportunity to tell friends about this wonderful project you took part in, even years from now.
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It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- McLaren Vale
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Shiraz
- Serving Temp.
McLaren Vale is a region that lives in the shadow of the hype of the Barossa. While it has played on Shiraz as its drawcard, and continues to battle (quite rightly) with the supreme power of the Barossa, perhaps the most exciting wines from this region are its old vine Grenache and Mataro (Mourvedre/Monastrell - whatever you want to call it), and its more recent foray into Spanish and Italian varietals. Both the sun's warmth and the reliable salty afternoon gully breeze make the climate closer to Mediterranean than many other Aussie regions, and some of the Fiano, Vermentino, Tempranillo and Sangiovese from here are sublime (to name only a few). Awareness, proper consideration and sense of place are key attributes to the region's success, and its recent win against urbanisation reinforces the value of the viticultural region.
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