The Kilikanoon Story Winemaker Kevin Mitchell purchased the Kilikanoon property in the heart of South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley in 1997 with a vision of creating his own brand. The first Kilikanoon branded wines were from the 1997 vintage and released in 1998. The wines were Shiraz (soon to become the Oracle, Mort’s Block Riesling, Prodigal Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, with all the grapes coming from the 2 vineyards owned by Kevin and his father Mort. Like many Australia winemakers Kevin Mitchell is highly trained in both the scientific and artistic sides of winemaking. He also comes from a long tradition of grape growing in the Clare Valley, where grapes have been grown and wine made since the 1850s. His father Mort Mitchell has been a defining influence, having planted and lovingly tended for decades Kilikanoon’s Golden Hillside suite of contiguous vineyards, including the famed Mort’s Block, home to Kilikanoon flagship wines like Oracle Shiraz and Mort’s Block Riesling. The vines are now what we call “old vines” being around 40 year of age. Kevin’s love of terroir comes from years of playing and then working in these vineyards as a child alongside his father. This has been done without any change in the philosophy of hand crafted wines, but has been made possible by the gradual acquisition of estate-owned vineyards throughout South Australia’s finest wine regions. In addition to its vineyards in the Clare Valley, which now total over 150 acres or 60 hectares, the Kilikanoon group, through its owners, partner winery Seppeltsfield and the Watervale Private Trust, a small group of wine-loving investors owns vineyards in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, and the northern district of the Southern Flinders Ranges. In total over 3000 acres or 1200 hectares. Of course only a small selection of the finest fruit from these extensive holdings finds its way into Kilikanoon branded wines. The group sells fruit and wine to a number of Australian wineries, both large and small. This rapid growth required some help. Kevin’s main partners in Kilikanoon since 2001 have been two well-known Australian classical musicians, Nathan Waks (Principal Cellist with the Sydney Symphony and also Managing Director of Kilikanoon) and John Harding (concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras), along with Bruce Baudinet (Kilikanoon Chairman) and head of Oracle Funds Management and their families. This has kept Kilikanoon a small family run company. In its relatively short history Kilikanoon has won a large number of Australian and International awards and received high praise from the world’s most respected wine writers.
Bright red in colour with youthful crimson hues. The bouquet is impressive aromas of cloves, black olives and dark cherries jump out of the glass. The palate shows dark cherries and kitchen spices carry forward from the nose, beautifully wrapped up in fine French oak and dry powdery fruit tannins. Made in a texturally rewarding style, yet possessing surprising finesse and with a lingering flavour persistence.