Giaconda is renowned for producing one of the best chardonnays in Australia. Established in 1982, Giaconda lies in the Beechworth region, a cool-climate area first exposed to grape growing in the 1800s. Rick Kinzbrunner, chief winemaker at Giaconda, was a mechanical engineer by trade who developed an interest in wine in the 1970s.
Over the following decade, he worked in New Zealand, before studying at Davis University in California. Rick then worked in the Napa Valley and Sonoma, for renowned labels such as Stag’s Leap, and in Bordeaux for the Moueix Group, co-owners of Chateau Petrus in Pomerol. On his return to Australia, Rick worked at Brown Brothers and acquired land near Beechworth, planting Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz, with a pot of nebbiolo to follow. Giaconda wines produce around 3,000 dozen bottles, making this wine very exclusive.
As stated above, Rick made his name with the Giaconda Chardonnay, known for its ‘rich texture, lively aromatics and concentration.’ For years this wine’s received an ‘Exceptional’ status in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine. To develop the wines more carefully, Giaconda bottles under screw cap, and has done so since the 2013 vintage.
Each vintage is picked early, lightly crushed and basket pressed, then fermented and matured in a granite cave, akin to how Champagne is matured underground. But Giaconda is about much more than just chardonnay, they produce a superb Estate Shiraz that regularly garners top marks from wine critics, as well as the Estate Pinot Noir, which develops well in bottle and encompasses lovely, bold fruit when young. Giaconda wines aren’t meant for the budget-conscious, but for those looking for serious wines with complex flavours.
For more information on Giaconda and their wines, visit their website.