Lowe Wines introduces rare white to its ‘climate change’ lineup

July 24, 2023
By Rachel White

Lowe Wines, Mudgee’s only certified organic and biodynamic winery, has added a new Italian varietal, Ansonica, to their collection, releasing two vintage releases to celebrate.

Planting the new varietal in his so-called Latin Quarter – an area of the Lowe Wines estate dedicated to varietals with Latin origins conducive to Australia’s changing climate – David Lowe, Director, Chief Winemaker & Vineyard Manager, said the climate in Mudgee is undeniably changing.

“We chose Ansonica as it is a late ripener, which makes it a smart choice for the climate challenges we are facing at the moment, and for the changes forecast for the next 30 years. It is also a variety compatible with the changing tastes of Australian drinkers who are enjoying refreshing Mediterranean styles.

“By next year, we will have our first home-grown Ansonica fruit to play with, and after seeing what we can do with the varietal this year, we can’t wait to get our hands on it,” he said.

Lowe began creating preservative-free wines 14 years ago, inspired by his sensitivities to sulphates and a passion for low-intervention wines. Creating these unique preservative-free wines, devoid of added sulphates, requires thoughtful winemaking methods to keep the wine’s contact with oxygen minimal to prevent oxidisation.

“Crafting preservative-free wines demands finding replacement methods to ensure the wine’s flavours aren’t compromised by oxygen contact in the winemaking process or in the bottle. CO2 proved an excellent ally when making these wines.

“It usually removes itself from the bottle, but if retained, it forms a protective blanket around the wine, naturally preventing oxidation,” said Lowe.

Ansonica is a medium-bodied white grape derived from Sicily, loved for its nutty, herbal notes and natural tannic character. It joins three other Italian varieties, Nero D’Avola, Vermentino and Pecorino, in the Latin Quarter, with Falanghina and Aglianico to join the group later this year.

Four of these six varieties will produce white grapes, an atypical choice, said Lowe: “I’ve never been much in favour of white wines in Mudgee because they’re typically very heavy. So we’re trying to make a wine with more lightness and delicacy, matched to where the climate is going in 30-50 years.

“We’re using our understanding of trellis design and vineyard management to have less intervention, working with natural rainfall and organic pest controls,” he said.

By 2026, all wines from Lowe will be grown on-site at Lowe Wine’s Tinja Farm homestead, making them 100 per cent organic and biodynamic.

Stay up-to-date with the latest industry news with the Drinks Trade e-newsletter.

Share the content