What’s in your glass?
Winemaker John Gilbert developed a keen interest in Italian varieties, beginning while working as an Executive in the Pay TV industry. Tasting a bottle of 1996 Old Vine Kangarilla Road Zinfandel in 1997, John wished to discover more about the purple, medium weight wine and its wonderful tactile chalkiness.
During the same year John planted a small patch of dirt (1.5ha) with Zinfandel, and Shiraz grapes over looking the Mt Barker township. He also began work at Kangarilla Road, from the ground level.
John was accepted into Roseworthy College, graduating in 2000, John then left in 2001 for vintages in Sicily and Alto Adige.
Returning with John was the same enthusiasm for Italian varieties. Not only was John to import Grillo, he set out to plant Montepulciano, Nero d’Avola and Negro Amaro.
Following the planting of alternative varieties, John formed 2 labels trading under Gilberts Siding, including Erebus, Earheart and the popular Jardim do Bomfim range, combining a production of 20 000 cases. The wines were from the top regions of South Australia and included Shiraz, Grenache, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
John had built a reputable brand and sold it in early 2011 to concentrate on his alternative varieties from a single vineyard in Mt Barker.
With the help of family in August 2011, By Jingo was ready for bottle.