Flegenheimer Bros. Winery
Flegenheimer Bros. wines are considered among the finest in all Australia
Owned by American Benjamin Hammerschlag, the winery is named after the early Flagenheimer Family of New York, one of America’s earliest wine merchants. Hammerschlag’s great-great grandfather married a Flegenheimer girl and the winery is in tribute to that union.
A native of Washington, DC, Hammerschlag graduated with a BS degree from Cornell University’s famed hotel school. In the fall of 1999, he took a three-week trip to Australia to learn the lay of the land. He decided on McLaren Vale as the site for his new winery and began producing award-winning wines from the very beginning.
He employed the remarkable Ben Glaetzer as his winemaker and today’s Flegenheimer Brothers wines are considered among the finest in all Australia.
Wine Regions of South Australia
Straddling the center of the Australian continent, South Australia produces the majority of the nation's wine and also boasts some of the oldest vines in the world.
The dry climate, diverse soil types, and vast altitude variations provide a range of winegrowing regions and wine styles. It is home to some of Australia's most famous wine regions and historic estates.
A History of Australian Wines
One of the more interesting aspects of the Australian wine industry is its amazing resilience to the problems that face many wine producing nations. Australia is a country that has many positive aspects that affect its wine industry. It has abundant land to develop its vineyards and a labor force that assures that continued development. Australian wines have gained worldwide acceptance and are known for excellent price/value relations.
The one glaring problem area for Australia is a definitive lack of water for these vineyards. This problem has led to reduced crops during periods of sustained drought or even during times of reduced rainfall.
Through all of this, Australia has proven to be a reliable producer of high quality wines, particularly at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. Consistency of product from year to year along with excellent palate appeal account for Australian wines’ continued success in both restaurant and off-premise consumption alike.
This is not to say that there are many extremely high quality wines being produced down under. While the country’s Hunter Valley in New South Wales is most often compared to Napa Valley or even France’s Burgundy and Bordeaux, it is the smaller wine producing areas in Australia that have made giant steps forward in producing some really exceptional international quality wines.
Places like the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Yarra Valley, Margaret River and other top growing areas have excelled during the past two decades and continue to impress with their stellar wines. The country itself is home to more than 60 stunning designated wine regions that are located in practically every wine-growing section of Australia.
The country has also benefitted from excellent marketing by its government and the fact that it has been able to maintain its relatively low cost of many wines to the consuming public. International perception of Australian wines is that they represent excellent values, and even include upper end wines that are being produced and sold internationally.
Australian wines have been awarded numerous medals and have garnered top scores in every major competition and periodical, particularly in the United States and Great Britain.
A real treat for anyone lucky enough to attend is the biennial Tasting Australia, a showcase event that features a large number of the country’s best wines. A trip to this wonderful happening could easily turn into the experience of a lifetime for anyone really interested in wines.
It is a pleasure to feature wines from Australia in this International Series. We trust you will expand your knowledge and enjoyment of these wines and pay additional attention to wines from Australia in the future.