FROM its establishment in 2006 in South Australia's Eden Valley, the Eden Road brand has wound its way more than 1124 kilometres to the Canberra Wine Region.
And that's nothing compared with the 16,925 kilometres its winemaker-manager Celine Rousseau has journeyed from her Paris birthplace.
For both the brand and the winemaker it has been a productive shift, with Eden Road winning accolades for its cool-climate wines from the Canberra, Tumbarumba, Hilltops and Gundagai areas - gaining the 2021 James Halliday Wine Companion five-red-stars rating given to outstanding wineries "regularly producing wine of exemplary quality and typicity".
Eden Road's 2008 relocation to Canberra was accomplished as it bought the Kamberra winery, established in 2000 by the Hardys wine company and then sold off in 2007, and acquiring the former 1973-planted Doonkuna vineyard at Murrumbateman.
The brand got a tremendous boost when its 2008 Long Road Shiraz, made by Nick Spencer from grapes from a number of Hilltops growers, won the coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy for the best one-year-old red at the 2009 Melbourne Wine Show.
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The operation is now owned by Sydney businessman Peter Wiggs and graphic designer Stuart O'Brien and draws its Canberra grapes from its eight-hectare Murrumbateman vineyard and from Wiggs's nine-hectare former Cullarin vineyard at Lake George - one of Canberra's earliest vineyards, planted in 1971 by pioneer vigneron Dr Edgar Riek.
Born and raised near Paris but with family origins in the Loire Valley at Saumur, Rousseau came to Australia in 1996 after having studied microbiology, a diploma in winemaking at Bordeaux Institute of Oenology and a master of winemaking and marketing in Champagne.
In France she had jobs at Champagne Mumm, in top Bordeaux chateaux and Languedoc and, on coming to Australia, she worked in Margaret River at Pierro in 1996 and Hainault in the Perth Hills in 1997.
In 1999 she moved to NSW to become founding head winemaker at Chalkers Crossing in the Hilltops Region near Young. There she set up the winery from scratch and in 2006 she was a scholar in the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in Pokolbin.
With 25 years of wine experience and a host of Chalkers Crossing show awards to her credit, she says she is now relishing making wines with "purity and finesse" reflecting the terroirs of Canberra, Tumbarumba, Hilltops and Gundagai regions.
The wines are available at edenroadwines.com.au and the 3182 Barton Highway, Murrumbateman, Eden Road, cellar door.
Frisky Tumba pinot
REGISTERING 14% alcohol and shining bright ruby red in the glass, the Eden Road 2018 Tumbarumba Pinot Noir has scents of violets and cranberries and frisky raspberry flavour on the front palate. The middle palate displays Morello cherry, briar, mint and mocha oak and has a finish of peppery tannins. PRICE: $40. DRINK WITH: pot roast of duck with bok choy and prosciutto. AGEING: five years. RATING: 4.5 stars
FROM Murrumbateman vineyard grapes, this Eden Road 2019 Canberra Riesling is green-tinted straw and features honeysuckle aromas. Lifted ruby grapefruit flavour beguiles on the front palate and the middle palate introduces passionfruit, lemon curd, mineral and nascent honey and toast elements while slatey acid unfolds at the finish. PRICE: $40. DRINK WITH: seafood kebabs. AGEING: six years. RATING: 5 stars
THE Eden Road 2018 The Long Road Syrah is a 50% Murrumbateman-50% Hilltops shiraz meld with 13% alcohol, deep purple hues, bouquet garni scents and plush plum front-palate flavour. Bramble jelly, spice, capers and savoury oak show on middle palate and minty tannins at the finish. The wines are at edenroadwines.com.au and the cellar door. PRICE: $25. DRINK WITH: coq au vin. AGEING: seven years. RATING: 5 stars
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