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30, January 2024

Hacking the Future of Shiraz

McLaren Vale based Inkwell Wines are offering one tonne to five winemakers with the challenge to regenerate Shiraz as we know it.

To celebrate Inkwell Wines being recognised at the highest level of ethical and sustainable agricultural practice in the world by becoming Australia’s first Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC®) vineyard, Dudley and Irina at Inkwell are offering one tonne of Australia’s first ROC® Shiraz crop for free* to five lucky winemakers from across Australia chosen with the goal to “Regenerate Shiraz” as we know it beginning in vintage 2024.

This project, “Hacking the Future of Shiraz @ Inkwell” is an open-source collaboration aimed at identifying styles and methods of producing Shiraz that resonate with younger consumers and non-consumers of wine. The project will team a diverse group of early career winemakers who are making distinctive and interesting wine and are looking to make their mark on the wine world with a diverse group of judges from Australia and overseas.

Bringing together identical lots of the best A grade McLaren Vale Shiraz, great wine palates and great wine minds, this project embodies the ethos of regenerative agriculture - diversity, cooperation, respect and sharing - for the betterment of the future of the Australian wine industry and our most grown grape variety.

The diverse judging panel will provide individually written notes about each wine produced and Inkwell will also make the wines available in a limited number of mixed six packs to enable availability of all of the wines. In the spirit of fostering innovation, the wine hackers will keep the profits from their rendition of Inkwell’s 2024 Shiraz grapes while everyone else involved will not be compensated. As Head Winemaker and Viticulturist at Inkwell, Irina said “our goal is to lift up the future of Shiraz and regenerative wine farming together.”

Wine industry legend Mike Bennie will be the convenor of judges. Mike commented that

“Using this outstanding vineyard for such a disruptive, revitalising project is generous and resonates strongly with me. The idea that a diverse array of up-and-coming winemakers will be enabled able to assist in a cultural revitalisation of such a vaunted variety from this region feels relevant for our time.”

The wines will be bottled prior to the end of 2024 and assessed for their creativity, interest and drinkability in January 2025. Inkwell plans to run this project for vintages 2024, 2025 and 2026.

Open to winemakers from anywhere in Australia. You can apply to become one of our inaugural wine hackers here. Nominations close 2 February 2024.


Image Credit: Wine Australia

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