Originally from New Zealand, Rob Burley, like many of our producers, has settled down and found his place in the wine world after working for a number of great like-minded producers. Having completed vintages in New Zealand, France and America it wasn’t until he moved to Australia and started to work with Bill Downie and Patrick Sullivan that the concept for Unkel was born.
I first met Rob at Patrick’s back in 2016, when he shared his first wine ‘Raz and friends’ with me. As experienced as he is, it’s fair to say he’s learnt a thing or two about making wine since then, but it was this wine that first caught my attention and I have followed him closely ever since. ‘Raz and friends’ was a Yarra Valley Shiraz with a splash of Gewürztraminer and Arneis at a time when aromatic whites and bodied reds were not often put together. The wine made perfect sense; the soft, sapid red fruits of the Shiraz, together with the acidity, freshness and spice of the Gewürz and Arneis; it was absolutely delicious and it was clear he has a fantastic palate. He went on to release this wine in Melbourne and it sold out that week.
Rob is presently working with organic growers throughout Victoria, but primarily in Heathcote, where he is sourcing the Sangiovese and Vermentino. Always with the intention of finding his own vineyard to farm and produce wine from, the exciting news we can now reveal is that in 2019 he and his wife Kate are relocating back to New Zealand to grow their own grapes and make their own wines in Nelson. There he will join an exciting new group of organic growers including Alex Craighead and Nick Candy.
Annual production: 1,000 cases
Gippsland, Victoria, Australia