Country the touchstone for Munda’s core beliefs
Munda Wines is a majority Indigenous- owned business with an aim to tell the story of the land and processes that have produced the wine they have partnered with.
By JAMES HALLIDAY
Munda Wines is a majority Indigenous-owned business with an aim to tell the story of the land. Picture: Munda Wines
From The Weekend Australian Magazine August 4, 2023
Over the years, I (and I suspect my fellow wine writers) have received wines labelled with the names of famous sports stars, chefs, and even racehorses too. They are a discordant group, with one thing in common: the mediocrity of the wines behind the labels. But there are exceptions to these more cynical partnerships. One made its way to my tasting table the other day.
Munda Wines is a majority Indigenous- owned business, with verified Supply Nation status. Director/co-owner Paul Vandenbergh comes from Ceduna, part of the Wirangu and Kokatha people in whose language munda means land or country. Their aim is to tell the story of the land and processes that have produced the wine they have partnered with. “As Aboriginal people we don’t believe in owning the munda,” he says. “We believe munda is our mother and giver, and that if we care for munda, munda will care for us. There are over 500 countries/language groups on this munda we now call Australia … We explore [grape] varieties that are ideally suited to that Aboriginal country, and that have long-term sustainability to work in harmony with munda.” The adoption of organic and biodynamic management of vineyards is a touchstone for Munda’s core beliefs. I’m not sure the natural wine approach of banning the addition of all substances in the vinification processes should be hailed, but that’s another story. What is clear is that the matching of variety and soil, picking the grapes at the right time and managing the fermentation with light hands give the wine the best chance of expressing its munda, and doing so sustainably.
Damien Smith is managing director/co- owner with long-term wine industry experience, and was instrumental in securing distribution of the wines by Negociants Australia. The primary market is restaurants, fine wine retail, thereafter direct sales. See mundawines’ website for details.
2022 Munda Wines Walgalu Country Chardonnay
Barrel fermented and matured for eight months in used French oaks. Transparent quartz white. Has finesse stamped all over it and the balance and length to slowly gain depth to its super-tight flavours of grapefruit, white peach and Granny Smith apples. A seriously good wine in the making. 6000 bottles made.
95 points, drink to 2030, 12% alc, screwcap, $45
2022 Munda Wines Ngadjuri + Peramangk Country Grenache
From 40-year-old vines. A delicious, perfumed grenache that’s laden with red and blue fruits. Fresh and fine, able to mature well, but it’s hard to see any need other than drinking it at the first opportunity, albeit respecting its inherent quality. 36000 bottles made.
95 points, drink to 2030, 14% alc, screwcap, $45
2021 Munda Wines Kaurna Country Syrah
As flawless as its siblings. Deep crimson- purple hue, with black cherries and a fine- spun net of tannins. This is such a lovely syrah, its Blewitt Springs origin shouting from the rooftops. Length and balance just to start. 9000 bottles made.
96 points, drink to 2035, 14% alc, screwcap, $45