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by Fred McMillin
Winery of the Week
Win with Wyndham
It's 1828 and
The Rest of the Story
He became an ardent vintner. How were those early wines? His daughter-in-law wrote.The crushed grapes were put into 600-gallon English oak casks turned on their sides, in a stone winery (build by English prisoners). The casks were turned on their sides with the bunghole on top. The wine would bubble out during fermentation; "The method was rather primitive but oh, the wine was strong and delicious."
George and wife Margaret were blessed with two daughters and twelve sons, who carried on Wyndham winemaking for many years. Andre Simon tells us the Dalewood vines (also planted by prisoners) survived even longer, producing until 1952!
Now, let's go on to the second giant of Wyndham wines.
Another Titan of the Trellises
From 1970 to 1990, the revived Wyndham Estate enjoyed a 2O-year-growth "engineered by the unquestioned genius of Brian McGuigan...the McGuigan family made the Dalewood vineyard the starting point of what became the Wyndham juggernaut." (critic James Halliday)
The original Wyndham winery had ended in 1870. A century later (1971) a winemaker named Perc McGuigan bought Dalewood, and soon turned it over to son Brian, who did everything from driving one of the trucks during night harvesting to creating a large overseas demand for Wyndham wines.
Today they are on the market for only $10. Start with the Chardonnay and/or the Shiraz, and then move into some of the newer products, like the Pinot Noir.
Just the Facts
Wyndham Estate Wines
We must add one sour note. George Wyndham's first vintage was 1835. One taste and George wrote in his diary, "Will make good vinegar!"
This page created August 2000