Unsurprisingly for Kym Teusner and Mick Page, beer played a major role in their decision to start Teusner Wines in 2001. After a few cold ones they overheard a couple of grape growers contemplating removal of their 85 year old Grenache vines, Kym and Mick stepped up to the plate and offered them 4 times what they’d been paid by ‘the big guys’ for the crop if they’d keep the vineyard in the ground. The offer was accepted, the vines stayed in the ground, Teusner Wines came to life with a singular mission – to make the kind of wines they liked to drink!
The numbers of growers and the range of wines may have expanded over the years, but for Kym and Mick some things will never change. They’ve always insisted on treating their grape growers like the real people they are, and not just suppliers. They’re welcomed at the winery for a beer and invited to taste wines made from the old vine fruit their family has grown for generations. They’re paid well because not only do they work hard but they’re extremely good at what they do…as you’d expect from people that have been growing grapes for so many years. Kym and Mick reckon it’s by taking this approach that they’ve been able get fruit from some of the best of the old Barossa vineyards to make their wines.
In the winery, a lot faith is placed in having a set of human eyes and hands (and sometimes feet) on the job…believing that having a person with a feel for what is and isn’t working will win out over a machine any day. Everything is crushed one small picking bin at a time, which makes for plenty of long days at the peak of vintage. At all times the focus is on keeping close watch to ensure everything – colour, flavour, aroma and structure – is as it should be, whilst taking it easy with the oak to let the righteous flavours found in old Barossa vineyards take center stage in the wines. Winemaking at Teusner Wines is powered by people…so you know that it’s been done right and it’s been done well.
Stepping into the winery, you’re met with an immediate sense that everyone at Teusner Wines gets enormous pleasure from doing what they do, and that they want for nothing more than people to get pleasure when they put their hand in their pocket to buy a bottle of Teusner wine. By sticking to making the kind of wines they like to drink, Kym and Mick have amassed an army of fans and the applause of the commentators. Keeping it simple has paid off!