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Graft bolsters Australia and South African portfolios as it gears up for digital tasting

Published:  24 August, 2020

Graft Wine, last year’s merger of Red Squirrel and The Knotted Vine, is gearing up for a bumper month of activity in September, with two Southern Hemisphere additions joining the company as it takes its autumn tasting online.

Last year, the amalgamated company’s first portfolio tastings took place in London, Edinburgh and Manchester, with three dozen winemakers flying in from around the world.

Thanks to Covid-19 however, this year’s tasting will take place completely online, with customers able to browse the portfolio and then request samples.

Joining the Graft portfolio in September will be Murdoch Hill, which sits on the eastern side of the Adelaide Hills in the Onkaparinga Valley.

The other new arrival is Cape Point Vineyards, one of South Africa’s top Sauvignon Blanc producers, which occupies a unique position on the Cape Point peninsula.

The additions from the two countries mark an area of “real focus and strength” for Graft Wine, the company said.

Looking ahead to the autumn, Graft co-founder Nik Darlington added: “While sadly [the old tasting format] isn’t possible this year, it gives us an opportunity to take a breather and try something different rather than do nothing at all.

“The past few months have proven that digital connections are more effective than many envisaged. A platform such as Bottlebooks allows us to present our portfolio in concise and relevant ways that customers can browse in their own time.”

Graft Wine, which builds on the two merged companies' reputations for hunting out quality minded wines with a difference, was formed in the summer of 2019.

Via Murdoch Hill’s series, Graft will be introducing a broad range of Australian wine, including its Artisan Series. Winemaking is overseen by Michael Downer who joined the estate in 2012.

Cape Point Vineyards’ roots date back 1752. The current farm was re-planted in 1996 by Sybrand van der Spuy and is now in the hands of young winemaker Riandri Visser. Graft will be bringing in three tiers of the estate’s Sauvignon Blanc, including the Isliedh, as well as wines from the associated Cape Town Wine Company.

Top photo shows Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill