BLACK & GINGER
Winemaker Hadyn Black (the Black of B&G) just wants to make yummy wines to drink with mates.
For a bit of backstory; after growing up on a farm in Western Victoria, he started work in wine at a high-end bottleshop in Melbourne, writing tasting notes. Always keen on the lesser known varieties that came through the door, Hadyn quickly decided that he wanted make the stuff.
Following vintages at Giant Steps Winery in the Yarra Valley and Galli Estate in Rockbank (where he first started working with alternative grape varietals like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Tempranillo), Hadyn completed 2 stints in the Napa Valley in California. On return to Aus, he worked with some of the oldest vines in the world at Best's Wines Great Western and set up digs in this small winemaking village in the heart of the Grampians wine region.
Despite being known for its more traditional varieties, Hadyn was impressed with the diversity of grapes available in the area. After discussions with longtime friend Darcy Naughton (the Ginger) over many wines and 4WD camping trips, the duo decided to do their own thing and launched the Black & Ginger label in 2015 with the purchase of 1t of grapes from the Pyrenees.
These days, Hadyn is still buying lesser known varieties when he goes to the bottle-o, and discovery and exploration is at the heart of the wines he makes for B&G. The ‘virtual winery’ approach enables experimentation and the flexibility to buy interesting small batch grape varieties from Victorian growers, rather than being limited by what you might grow yourself. The result is an ever evolving range of small batch wines to be enjoyed now.
Have fun, try everything. Enjoyment is the key principle in Hadyn’s winemaking and he wants to make delicious wines that everyone can enjoy, anytime. People can be nervous about trying new varieties or combinations they haven’t heard of, says Hadyn, and B&G’s mission is to break down those barriers. For Hadyn, wine should be accessible, taste great and not be taken very seriously, because “at the end of the day, it’s just fermented grape juice”.
You don’t have to know anything about wine to enjoy Black & Ginger’s constantly evolving range of unique, interesting and delicious releases, so have a look and see what takes your fancy (grab ‘em quick though as the small batches often sell out).
Black & Ginger’s business manager Darcy Naunton (the Ginger of B&G) is a longtime friend of Hadyn Black, and a big fan of challengingthe old ways of doing things.
With a background in technology startups that take on established industry players, he saw an opportunity to do something a bit different in wine with both the varieties available and also the traditional business model.
After getting a bit bored of Pinot Noir and Shiraz in his 20’s and failing to understand Australia’s love of Sauvignon Blanc, Darcy always had a feeling that wine could be more interesting and varied than what was being predictably served up around the country.
Living across multiple cities and travelling as much as possible, he was exposed to multiple wine regions and varietals; in Perth (Margaret River & Swan Valley), San Diego (Temecula, Santa Barbara & Sonoma), Melbourne (Yarra Valley & Mornington), Buenos Aires (Mendoza) and Sydney (Hunter Valley), there was always something new to try.
Fascinated by the craft brew movement that was changing the face of the beer industry, Darcy figured that the same principles applied to wine. Faster paced experimentation, alternative varietals, small batch runs and punters who just wanted to drink good wines withoutnecessarily knowing the brands that dominated the industry; it was time for a new approach to wine for a new generation of wine drinkers.
Before the label was fully established, Hadyn and Darcy would spend weekends in the Grampians off-roading, camping, exploring and hanging out in vineyards and wineries. During these weekends Hadyn’s flair for pragmatic, low-intervention and experimental winemaking made a huge impression on Darcy, and Black & Ginger was born.
Darcy and Hadyn (or ‘The Black and the Ginger') are passionate about alternative varietal wines and showcasing the breadth of range that can be produced in the Grampians. Not all great Nebbiolo has to come from Italy and not all award-winning Tempranillo has to come from Spain. This is what Black & Ginger has set out to prove.