Natillie Johnston of Tillie J Wines in the Yarra Valley is the first to release her Langhorne Creek Grenache under the Project 5255 initiative.
Tillie is one of three winemakers to take part in Project 5255 this year which sees two tonnes of premium Langhorne Creek fruit gifted to each winemaker to craft an exclusive wine under their own label.
Tillie has delivered a Grenache using fruit from Watkins Wines.
Being based in Yarra Valley, Tillie had to overcome geographic challenges before she could start the winemaking process.
“The winemaking process was seamless but there were certainly speed bumps along the way to get the fruit from Langhorne Creek to Yarra Valley – quarantine boundaries, refrigerated transport and picking bins that all had to be coordinated,” Tillie says.
“Having that initial induction day and tasting across the Langhorne Creek region while meeting with established winemakers certainly gave me a familiarity with the signature style that Langhorne Creek wines and fruit deliver.
“It was then a matter of imparting my Yarra Valley thumbprint and winemaking style onto the fruit to deliver a drop that could effortlessly sit alongside other wines under my label.
“It was a very cool experience to be able to work with fruit from another region and certainly a project that I’ll encourage my fellow winemaker friends to explore.”
Langhorne Creek Grape & Wine Winemaker Committee chair Sam Watkins said the first wine to be produced under the second vintage of Project 5255 perfectly encapsulated the region.
“We’ve got a well-rounded, full-bodied Grenache that sings of Langhorne Creek fruit,” Sam says.
Tillie worked in collaboration with Sam Chirnside of Chirnside Studio to deliver a vibrant, bold label.
“Over time we’ve created a brand that’s instantly recognisable, so we didn’t want to disrupt that,” Tillie says.
“The aesthetic of this wavy, print driven label complements other wines I’ve created.
“It’s another layer to my existing portfolio of wines and I think that cohesion of the brand is extremely important.”
Tillie will launch a two-week poster campaign on August 24 across Melbourne in collaboration with Rock Posters to promote the Grenache.
“Rock Posters are embedded into Melbourne culture, and I like the idea of someone sitting in their car, not knowing my brand, catching a glimpse at the lights, and then seeing my Grenache in a wine shop, recognising it, and giving it a try,” Tillie says.
“I guess it’s a different way of sparking curiosity and exposing my brand to a broader audience.”
Tillie.J 2022 Grenache Langhorne Creek (RRP $35) is available from selected cellars across Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and South Australia and online at www.tilliejwines.com.au.