In the Spotlight: Oxford Landing Estates
Usually when you see the Oxford Landing Estates label on a bottle of wine in a supermarket here in the UK, you’re thinking of your “good value, bog-standard” sort of mass-produced wine, right? Well, now it’s time to think a little deeper than that, because – while Oxford Landing do produce a lot of wine – they don’t produce wine I’d call “bog-standard”.
They produce good quality, enjoyable wines that show off some of the wonderful flavours Australia has to offer, and there’s much more of a story behind their labels than you might first think.
What might put you right to begin with is to know that Oxford Landing Estates is owned by the winery Yalumba, who have a long and extensive history producing some of Australia’s greatest wines.
Oxford Landing: beginnings
Oxford Landing’s website is almost an echo of Yalumba’s values, with a real focus on “keeping it real” with their wine making. The name, Oxford Landing, isn’t simply a brand on a wine bottle though, it’s a genuine vineyard near the Murray River. This is a good start, as cool, fresh flowing water is something the world’s best grape vines adore, and with Australia’s warm climate there’s a great deal of potential to produce some fantastic wine styles.
The vineyard was founded by Wyndham Hill Smith, great grandson of Samuel Smith who had founded Yalumba years before, and started producing wines from 1958. In fact, it was Wyndham Hill Smith who was one of the forerunners who led the charge to re-establish Australian wine’s quality, pushing its renaissance to table wine in the 1960s and 70s.
In the last decade alone, Oxford Landing’s vineyard has tripled in size and now has a whopping 650 acres of land under vine. No wonder they produce so much wine for the world over to consume.
However, Oxford Landing is attractive because it hasn’t forgot its roots and it still micromanages its vineyards into five seperate 130 acres of vines. Sure, that’s still big, but it shows they’re paying a lot more due care and attention than other mass producing wine estates.
The team are also pretty “Aussie” in their approach – I mean that in the sense they’re very keen to be seen as “down to earth”, real people, and I have no doubt they are just that. Australia has worked incredibly hard to try and re-establish their reputation as a wine making nation and, while a lot of South East Australia has a way to go yet, Oxford Landing are certainly one of those pioneering good quality. Their wines wouldn’t be so popular over here otherwise.
Under current winemaker Andrew La Nauze Oxford Landing Estates has 8 main wines in their range. Their Sauvignon Blanc is likely the most popular variety over here in the UK, which I’ve tried and enjoy as a brilliantly acidic, tropical stone fruit-led table white ideal for fish dishes. I’ve also tried their Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, which is a lovely and balanced red wine; it’s not too rich and certainly not jammy, making the wine a very pleasant and enjoyable fruity number.
The best thing about these wines is they’re great value and widely available at our local supermarkets here in the UK. You can often pick up their wines for a little over £5 when a good deal is on. If you don’t normally drink Aussie wines, they’re worth a try and with Oxford Landing you’ll be getting a satisfying wine that reflects some of the quality you can pick up from a nation regaining its fame in wine.
I highly recommend!
Tasting notes for Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc and Oxford Landing Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz will be up on the site soon. Watch this space!