When is a winery not a winery?

Occasionally, the walkabout crew have been known to visit bottle shops. We do this for a few different reasons, but one reason is to get some inspiration for new cellar doors to visit that we may not have considered before. We have travelled the Barossa Valley in South Australia at length, but anyone who knows the area will know the amount of wine produced there is just huge. So it didn’t surprise us to find a label we were not familiar with.

Allegiance Wines produced this particular taster: Barossa Artisan Shiraz. At around $20 for a bottle we thought it was worth a chance and added it to the trolley.

What surprised us, however was that Allegiance Wines, at the time of writing, does not grow grapes. They are what some other writers call a “virtual winery” that either buys and labels cleanskin bottles for sale or purchases wine in bulk for bottling themselves. It did start us wondering if it was correct (morally, we’re sure the legal status has been long established) to refer to this as a winery.

We visit wineries because we want to see where our wine comes from; learning about the people and the region adds to the experience in our opinion and so when we discovered that this winery, in a sense, had neither, we didn’t really get on to discussing when to visit, because we can’t.

The wine itself talks a big game but is really not more than a good (but far from excellent) example of Barossa Shiraz. Much more on the medium side in terms of both colour, nose and palate than the label claims, but still not entirely unpleasant to drink. Will we be buying more? Not at this stage.

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