This is a story of a man named Richard Harkham, who has tasted and seen enough wine to know what he did and didn't want. Quality is at the forefront yet quality not sacrificing a holistic approach to winemaking. See, Richie believes wine is the most pure and holy thing in the world, thus he wanted to emphasize this purity. This is accomplished through sustainable viticulture, wild yeast fermentation, no added preservatives and no filtration or fining. In addition, Harkham is the only kosher winery in Australia. Please note that it is the only kosher winery, not wine.
Richard works with five local growers very closely to ensure that his access to top grade fruit is direct and pays the premium required for this to be effective. The Chardonnay comes from a vineyard planted by Murray Tyrrell called ‘Leogate’; it’s very close to Tyrrells famous HVD vineyard and virtually next door to its Moon Mountain vineyard. The Shiraz comes from two main parcels that are quite far apart; the ‘FGH’ block close to the winery delivers punchy, dark and typically earthy fruit, and the ‘Tree’ block at Mount Broke provides fragrant lift and fresh acidity.
In 2008, the winery turned kosher, producing a massive commercial production of 350 cases and has never looked back. In 2009, unfortunately Richard’s grandmother passed away. She was the family’s matriarch who lived in Israel. She arrived to Israel in 1929, and soon thereafter took up residence in Zichron Yaakov, where she had a vineyard and made natural wine. Harkham started to improve the winery facility and added the highly acclaimed Aziza’s Shiraz. The vineyard from which they source the Aziza’s Shiraz, is on the top of a southeastern facing slope, in the coolest area of Hunter’s Valley, which allows for the grapes to reach their maximum ripeness without losing their acidity. In memory of his grandmother and because she also made natural wine, Richard named his preservative free/natural wine after her.
The wine is not made using the meshuval process. A meshuval wine is one that has been pasteurized, meaning it has been brought to the boiling point and then cooled. While that sounds like it makes mevushal wines cooked, that is not quite the case. Newer technology and modern winemaking use flash pasteurization, where a wine is brought to the boiling point within seconds and cooled down just as quickly. In many tastings it is difficult to tell the difference between mevushal and non-mevushal.