Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recent Ratings and Awards - July/August 2010 (Wine Companion 2011)

Coming soon!

Winter news and reviews!

(Originally posted on Thursday July 15, 2010. NB parts of this re-post have been edited)

July is here, and the past months have been very busy, in every way, for all of the people involved with the Collective. Pruning is well under way, some of our wines are being bottled, labels are being designed and in between, the jet-setting promotional work is well under way.

Tonight, Wayne from Smallfry Wines, and Steven from Kurtz Family Vineyards, are in Brisbane, probably sleeping by now, after an enjoyable evening at the 'Barossa in Boardshorts Event' held by Purple Palate and Bar Barossa.

Purple Palate Events

3rd Annual Barossa in Boardshorts 2010
July 14, 2010

On July 14 Barossan winemakers such as Domain Barossa, Smallfry, Thorn Clarke, Bethany, Linfield Road and many more will crowd into one room for our third annual Barossa in Boardshorts event.

Ticket price includes generous tasting and canapes.

Where: The Strand at Rugby Quay, Brisbane

When: Wednesday July 14th from 6.30pm

Tickets: $39 pp and strictly limited

Bookings: or ph: 1300 1GRAPE (1300 147 273)

Red White & Sparkling Ball 2010

July 17, 2010

Mater Foundation would like to invite you to be a part of Brisbane’s Premier Wine Event – the Red White & Sparkling Ball 2010. Your ticket includes a pre dinner wine tasting, a sumptuous three course meal, and a selection of unique wines from premium boutique Barossa wineries. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet the winemakers.

Dress: Black tie or lounge suit

When: Saturday July 17th from 6.30pm

Where: Pre dinner wine tasting at The Riverside Centre Lobby, 123 Eagle Street Brisbane Dinner at The Strand @ Rubgy Quay, Plaza Level, Rugby Quay, 123 Eagle Street Brisbane

Time: Pre-dinner drinks 6pm and Dinner 7.30pm — midnight

Tickets: $175 per person. Enjoy sitting with the winemakers, tables of 9 and 10 are available

Bookings: Book online or download the PDF and return to Mater Foundation, 580 Stanley Street South Brisbane Qld 4101

For more information contact Kathy Russell (07) 3163 8000


Also, it has been the time for new releases and subsequent sending of samples to the press so here are a few links to the most recent reviews that some of the Collective wines have received. We are all incredibly inspired by seeing such encouraging reviews for our wines. Keep a watch, though, as there are many more reviews to come over the coming months:) Apologies for posting the links only, but there are far too many for me to add individually.

Smallfry Wines:

Karra Yerta Wines:

Kurtz Family Vineyards:

Marie Linke

Awards & Medals reminder

(Originally posted on Friday March 26, 2010 NB parts of this re-post have been edited)


SMALLFRY WINES 2009 Eden Valley Rose' - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2009 Barossa Wine Show

SMALLFRY 2006 Eden Valley Riesling - GOLD MEDAL @ 2006 Australian Small Winemaker's Show

KURTZ FAMILY VINEYARDS 2007 Seven Sleepers Dry Red Blend - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2009 Barossa Wine Show

KURTZ FAMILY VINEYARDS 2006 Boundary Road Shiraz - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2009 Barossa Wine Show

KURTZ FAMILY VINEYARDS 2006 Boundary Road GSM - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2009 Barossa Wine Show

KURTZ FAMILY VINEYARDS 2005 Boundary Row Shiraz - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2008 Barossa Wine Show

KURTZ FAMILY VINEYARDS 2006 Seven Sleepers - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2008 Barossa Wine Show

KARRA YERTA WINES 2006 Shiraz Cabernet - SILVER MEDAL @ 2009 Barossa Wine Show

KARRA YERTA WINES 2009 Eden Valley Riesling - BRONZE MEDAL @ 2009 Canberra International Riesling Challenge

KARRA YERTA WINES 2005 Barossa Shiraz - SILVER MEDAL @ 2008 San Francisco International Wine Show

GUMPARA 2008 Old Vine Semillon - SILVER MEDAL @ 2008 Barossa Wine Show

GUMPARA 2006 Victor's Old Vine Shiraz - SILVER MEDAL @ 2008 Barossa Wine Show

Marie Linke

Taking care of business - Collective Barossa is officially open!

(Originally posted on Tuesday January 19, 2009. NB parts of this re-post have been edited)

I am exceptionally pleased to announce that the Collective Barossa wine-tasting and sales shop was officially opened on Saturday January 16, 2010. What a day to start with, it also being the annual Hot Rod Show day at Tanunda. It was an incredible experience for us all.

The photos above show what we started with, and others show what we have achieved with the help of not only the Collective families but also many wonderful friends who were more than happy to work in forty degree plus temperatures to help us get ready to open. Good friends truly are priceless! The most heartfelt thanks go out to you all :)

At the time of writing this blog entry, I have just completed my fourth day of trading. Mark, James and Steve have all been assisting at various times, Wayne is coming in on Thursday while I attend a family funeral, and the customers are loving having the actual winemakers present to showcase and talk about their wines. It really is rather spectacular to see some of the interactions happening. Museum visitors stop to taste the wines, and wine-tasters are enticed to venture into the grand old building to see the incredible display of historic German items. It seems to be a good marriage. There are still a few bumps to be ironed out, and some loose ends to tie up (ie painting, shelving and curtains etc) but all in all, we are up and away and things are looking very positive after the many months of incredibly hard work.

Some of the feedback already received has exceeded all of our expectations and has been inspirational. I feel strongly that in the coming months, as we settle in and find our feet, literally, that not only will we prosper but that we will also provide our visitors with an exclusive and personal experience and make many new friends. It is indeed an exciting time. Exhausting, but as we all know, life is about reaping rewards from hard work, and one thing that Collective, and I (in regards to the setting up and licensing of the shop) have done, is work incredibly hard to bring our dream of a combined cellar door to reality which is now right here, happening, and receiving much appreciated support from the community and visitors alike.

We look forward to making many new friends and acquaintances in the coming months. Collective Barossa is open seven days a week from 11am to 5pm. Call me on 0438870178 for any enquiries regarding the tasting room or the Museum. The address is 47 Murray Street, at the southern end of Tanunda (opposite the Tanunda Courthouse).

For updated information on Collective Barossa, please follow my blog at

Marie Linke

Exciting news for Collective!

(Originally posted on Saturday December 19, 2009 NB parts of this re-post have been edited)

Over the past four months I have been busy applying for a liquor licence to open a shop in Tanunda where all of the Collective wineries will have their wines permanently available for tasting and sale of sealed bottles. I'm thrilled to announce that after a few hiccups, my licence was granted yesterday and thus, the shop will be open very soon. The Collective Barossa shop is my own new business, and will be, in some ways, a separate entity to 'Collective'.

Collective Barossa's foundations are very much linked to the Collective philosophy, in that it will promote the wines of the four wineries, and all of the winery families will be, in some way, involved with the business. However, Collective will also have its own functions and events separate to those held in the shop. So whilst Collective and Collective Barossa are two separate things, we still fundamentally work together.

The shop will be situated in the front room of the Barossa Museum at the southern end of the main street of Tanunda. Formerly the old Telegraph Station, this heritage listed two storey historical building provides the perfect background for the Collective wineries. Both businesses will compliment each other i.e. the Museum houses one of the best historical displays in Australia of furniture, clothing, tools and knick-knacks from the early settlers of the Barossa in the mid eighteen hundreds, and Collective, as you already know, is a group of small family wineries whose ancestors were some of the original settlers of the Barossa. The concept is to tie both things together and provide tourists and locals with a total heritage experience.

As a bonus, it will also enable our mailing list customers, and other visitors to meet and speak with the families behind the Collective labels as they will be popping in regularly (aside from Vintage when it may be hard to find any of our winemakers for obvious reasons), and sometimes even taking over in the shop for the day here and there, as time permits, to give me a day off. We all feel that meeting our customers is an important part of our business philosophies and love nothing more than to have a chat about our wines and tell you the stories behind them. That is the heart and soul of the Barossa - the personalities in it, and the stories they tell, so we look forward to sharing some of these with you in the shop.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all from us here at Collective. We look forward to having you visit us in 2010!

Marie Linke

New article from 'The Mercury'

(Originally posted on Sunday November 8, 2009)
Here is a recent article in the Tasmanian newspaper The Mercury about Mark and Steve's recent visit to Tasmania for the Field Blend wine dinner.

Marie Linke

Recent Ratings and Awards - September/October 2009

(Originally posted on Wednesday October 14, 2009)

The months of September and October have been incredibly busy again for all of The Collective. Mark has started summer pruning in the Gumpara vineyard, Wayne has gone to Brisbane this week for a function promoting Smallfry at Bar Barossa and James has been grafting vines in the Karra Yerta vineyard. Next week Mark (Gumpara) and Steve (Kurtz Family Vineyards) are off to Tasmania for a function with Field Blend, and Marie has just returned from Melbourne for a visit with Karra Yerta's Victorian distributor. Karra Yerta has also received some amazing reviews over the past month - you can read them here.

It seems that every week, one of the group is interstate which must be a good thing, and each winery is having much success with their respective sales. It is still a very hard market to be in but all of our products are standing in very good stead.

September was a huge month for most of us. Two local events kept us on our toes. The first was the Taste of Spring Eden Valley Riesling tasting held at the Eden Valley Institute where over seventy-five different Eden Valley Rieslings were on show to media, journalists and the wineries. What an incredible day. It was inspirational to not only see all of the rieslings laid out on the tables but also to taste the differences (and similarities) between the varying terroir of the region. A lunch catered by Gill Radford of Radford Wines complemented the wines perfectly. Smallfry and Karra Yerta provided three rieslings each at the tasting and they were all very well received.

Later on in the same week, it was the 2009 Barossa Wine Show. This is one of the state's most prestigious events and the following is a list of which Collective wines won medals:

Silver Medal (Class 16)
Karra Yerta Wines 2006 Shiraz Cabernet

Bronze Medal (Class 11)
Kurtz Family Vineyard 2006 Boundary Road Shiraz

Bronze Medal (Class 15)
Kurtz Family Vineyard 2006 Boundary Road GSM

Bronze Medal (Class 16)
Kurtz Family Vineyard 2007 Seven Sleepers Dry Red Blend

Bronze Medal (Class 6)
Smallfry Wines - 2009 Smallfry Eden Valley Rose'

POSTSCRIPT: Karra Yerta Wines also won a Bronze Medal for their 2009 Eden Valley Riesling at the 2009 Canberra International Riesling Challenge on October 18, 2009.

Marie Linke

Budburst, books and barramundi...

(Originally posted on Sunday August 30, 2009)

The Collective group have spent the past months busily working in their respective vineyards; pruning and tie-ing on the vines, and Steve and Wayne have also been jet-setting around the East Coast of Australia doing winter sales trips. All in all, the month of August has been a very productive one for all of us in our own ways.

Although there's very little time to relax at this time of year, last week Mark and Steve managed to get away from it all on a week long fishing trip to the Northern Territory on a hunt for barramundi (the rest of us are awaiting a call to let us know when to pick up our share:). Hopefully they made it through unscathed and didn't manage to have any close encounters with the crocodiles whilst in their dinghy.

Wayne and Marie took a few hours out of their schedules to attend the official launch of Tyson Stelzer and Grant Dodd's new wine book "Barossa Wine Traveller" which was held at the Barossa Wine and Tourism Association on Friday 28th August. The book is a more personal guide to tasting the best of the Barossa with many quotes from the winemakers and all four of our Collective wineries are featured in it. To order please go to this link: Barossa Wine Traveller. At only $19.95 it has to be one of the best value wine books around! The photo below is of Tyson, Grant and Wayne at the launch.

Marie Linke

Recent Ratings and Awards - July/August 2009 (Wine Companion 2010)

(Originally posted on Thursday July 30, 2009)

We are thrilled to announce that our two largest wineries - Smallfry Wines and Kurtz Family Vineyards - have both been awarded a five star rating in the 2010 James Halliday Wine Companion.

Smallfry also received an extra gong for being named as one of the "Ten Dark Horses" (Ten of the best of the best wineries).

Absolutely fabulous news and not an easy task, as for a winery to get a five star rating they must usually have submitted at least two wines in the previous year that are above average standard (94 points or above).

Smallfry submitted these wines in the past year:
Eden Valley Cabernet Grenache Rose 2008 - Rated 94 points
Barossa Semillon 2008 - Rated 94 points
Eden Valley Red Blend 2007 - Rated 92 points
Barossa Grenache 2007 - Rated 91 points
Eden Valley Riesling 2008 - Rated 90 points

Kurtz Family Vineyards submitted the following wines:
Lunar Block Individual Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2004 - Rated 95 points
Lunar Block Individual Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005 - Rated 94 points
Boundary Row Barossa Valley Shiraz 2006 - Rated 93 points
Boundary Row Barossa Valley Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2006 - Rated 93 points

Karra Yerta submitted one wine only and was rated four stars:
Limited Release Eden Valley Riesling 2008 - Rated 92 points

Gumpara do not have a rating as no wines were submitted this year.

As you can see from the above, our range of wines is of a brilliant standard and it is always good to see that fact acknowledged. There is still a glut in the market but it does keep us all encouraged when we see such accolades coming in from the press. Congratulations to Steve, Wayne and Suzi! Wayne is featured in the article below.

Marie Linke

A Collective visit to Queensland

(Originally posted on Thursday July 30, 2009)

Three of the Collective wineries, Karra Yerta, Smallfry and Kurtz Family Vineyards spent the past weekend in Brisbane attending two tastings and a formal dinner organised by Purple Palate for the purpose of promoting their new business venture, Bar Barossa.

Over the three days, almost one thousand people were able to meet the winemakers from twenty-five different wineries and sample a good range of the wines produced in the Barossa and Eden Valleys. By all accounts it was a very successful trip and the Collective winemakers, James Linke, Wayne Ahrens and Steven Kurtz returned to the Barossa this week feeling inspired and positive about our future business prospects with Purple Palate, and in Queensland generally.

It is not often that such a large contingent of winemakers travel interstate for the one function and the organisation required to do so was enormous. Well done to the Purple Palate gang on doing such a fine job of making our winemakers feel at home and ensuring that each of the three events ran smoothly. Special thanks to Darren Davis for allowing us to use some of his photographs from the weekend on this page.

Marie Linke

Recent Ratings and Awards - June/July 2009

(Originally posted on Sunday July 19, 2009)

Smallfry Wines recently received two awards at the recent Hong Kong International Wine Challenge: A Seal of Approval for the 2008 Eden Valley Riesling and a Bronze Award in the Wine Pairing with Traditional Sichuan Cuisine for their 2008 Eden Valley Rose'.'

Smallfry also received a Bronze Medal for their 2006 Eden Valley Riesling and 2009 Barossa Riesling in the 2009 Winewise Small Vignerons Awards.

Karra Yerta Wines 2008 Eden Valley Riesling was recently rated at 92 points and 4 & 1/2 glasses from James Halliday. The full review will be in the 2010 Wine Companion.

Marie Linke

Barossa At Home review

(Originally posted on Tuesday July 7, 2009)

The first Barossa At Home weekend, held on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June provided an opportunity for the small group of Collective wineries; Gumpara Wines, Karra Yerta Wines, Kurtz Family Vineyards and Smallfry Wines, to showcase their impressive range of quality Barossa and Eden Valley wines.

Gumpara Wines and Kurtz Family Vineyards joined Karra Yerta Wines to hold a combined wine-tasting in the old Karra Yerta Wines red-gum stable at Flaxman’s Valley.

A selection of artwork from The Bethany Art Group adorned the walls of the Karra Yerta stable and provided an interesting conversation point for visitors. Bethany Art Group teacher Mr. Tony Haines said “The members of the Art Group appreciated the opportunity to display their work at Karra Yerta and were pleased to be a part of the Barossa At Home event.”

Smallfry opened their cellar door in Angaston for the entire weekend and also hosted an intimate dinner on the Saturday evening. Proprietor Wayne Ahrens said “This event gave us a real opportunity to show our wines with food. We have developed a range of wines very much with enjoyment with food in mind so to show them in that context shows them in their best light”.

Marie Linke

Barossa At Home events update

(Originally posted on Wednesday May 29, 2009)

Collective is participating in the Barossa At Home events on the weekend of June 27 and 28.

Smallfry wines are hosting their own Intimate Dinner in their Cellar Door at Murray Street in Angaston on the Saturday night from 6pm.

Smallfry's dinner will include food from their farm and garden: a three course Slow Food Dinner plus cheese with wine including a few extra surprises. Some museum stock will be available for tasting. A maximum of six guests at $120 per person. Smallfry is also open for Exclusive Tastings on both days from 11am to 3pm (no cost). To make a booking please phone Wayne on 0413011697 or email Suzi at suzi(at)

The other three Collective wineries, Karra Yerta, Gumpara and Kurtz Family Vineyards have joined together to host tastings and a dinner in the old Karra Yerta red-gum stable at Flaxman's Valley.

Winemakers James Linke, Mark Mader and Steven Kurtz will be present at the Exclusive Tastings on the Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm (cost $5 per person) and also at the Intimate Dinner which will be held from 6pm. This dinner is $100 per person and includes a four course meal and tastings of museum stocks from the three wineries.

For more comprehensive information regarding the tastings and dinner at Karra Yerta (including the menu choices available) please go to

Marie Linke

A Field Blend of our wines in Tasmania

(Originally posted on Wednesday March 25, 2009)

The 2009 vintage has been an exceptionally busy one for all of the Collective wineries. Some of us are preparing to bottle our white wines, and others are purchasing barrels to transfer red wines into. We have all had successful crops and are certain that our wines will again be of the highest quality this year. I hope to post some brief vintage reports in future blog entries.

Each of us is continuing on our individual paths but here is a snippet of exciting news which involves all of us. A new business venture in Tasmania called Field Blend has recently come online. The two men behind Field Blend are William and Michael Frost. Both men had a long held passion for wines and saw a need for making access to small producing, low yield artisan wines easier and more confidence-inspiring. Through their website they are giving people this opportunity. Each of the Collective group are looking forward to working with the Frosts.

A special visitor to the Barossa this week was UK wine-writer Andrew Jefford who is based in Adelaide for twelve months. John and Jan Angas hosted an intimate dinner for Andrew at their winery, Hutton Vale. Two members of Collective attended - Wayne from Smallfry and James from Karra Yerta, along with representatives of four other Eden Valley small wineries.

Over the coming months some of us are attending dinners in other states plus organising our own Barossa At Home events so things are still really busy but there is no doubt that we are all starting to see the rewards of many years hard work.

Marie Linke

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vintage and Event updates

(Originally posted on Wednesday March 25, 2009 - NB some of the information has been edited for this re-post)

Each of the Collective wineries are in the middle of vintage. It is a very hectic time but I am pleased to report that we have all managed to harvest most of our crops at the moment and that whilst the quantity may be down, the quality is terrific.

The four of us were recently featured in an article in the Wine Business Magazine in the trade section (WBM Top 100) along with other smaller wineries from the Barossa. It was great fun participating in the article and an added bonus was that we were able to meet those we didn't know as yet and taste more fabulous wines.

In about three weeks time (Easter Monday) the 2009 Barossa Valley Vintage Festival will kick off. This is always a wonderful time to visit the Barossa to see fabulous heritage displays and enjoy some of our fine regional food and wine.

The Barossa Wine and Tourism Association has created a new Barossa event. Barossa At Home will enable guests to have dinner and wines with the people behind the wineries in the winemakers homes. Guest numbers will be strictly limited. Small Fry Wines are having their own dinner at their cellar door in Angaston and the remaining three of us, Gumpara, Kurtz and Karra Yerta will be combining for a dinner in Karra Yerta's old red gum stable. Please email me for more information or bookmark this blog as I will post information on confirmation of details.

Marie Linke

Welcome to the Collective blog

(Originally posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - NB some of the information has been edited for this re-post)
The idea of almalgamating a small group of family-owned boutique wineries evolved over a number of barbeques and get-togethers where much fine Barossa food and many wines were consumed.

Each family felt that we had something rather special in our hands with our individual small brands of wines and although each winery was finding its place in the market, there were still products that many people had not tasted, let alone purchased. Only one member of our group had a cellar door (Smallfry) and the rest of us sold our wines through retail outlets or by mail-order.

When all of our wines were put on the table, we realised what a comprehensive and enticing range of wines we had produced. Between us we had the finest Eden Valley Rieslings, amazing Barossa Shirazes and other reds, delicious rose's and dessert wines (see the list on the right hand side of the page). Our portfolio was certainly something to be admired and subsequently, after analysing our own individual places in the industry and doing some brain-storming, we realised the main thing that we had in common (other than our passion for the Barossa and making wines from the area) was our heritage - all of our families were some of the very first settlers to arrive in the Barossa in the 1840's.

So Collective was born. We have all known each other for many years and have helped each other with many aspects of the processes involved in making wine such as putting bird-netting on vines, hand-picking each other's grapes and even sharing crops to prevent wastage in the current economic situation.

The first Collective function was held last weekend and we received very positive feedback from everyone who attended so feel very positive about working together in the future.

Please email us at for more information on our wines or to be on our mailing list for future events.

James & Marie Linke, Mark Mader, Wayne Ahrens and Steven Kurtz