Dudley Brown and Irina Santiago are both mid-life converts to winegrowing and winemaking in Australia. Originally from the USA and Brazil respectively they are fanatical about our their vines and their wines. At Inkwell, the quest is to get to the “as simple as possible, but not simpler” place required to make outstanding, age-worthy wines that can only be from Inkwell’s forty acre California Road vineyard in McLaren Vale. Inkwell’s certified organic vineyards are sited on prized ‘Pirramimma Sandstone’ and “Ngaltinga’ geological formations.
Their wine making over fifteen vintages has been focused on a “hand picked, no additions” approach to best express their special site in their single vineyard wines. The resulting wines express intensity of flavor at lower alcohols without the characteristic concentrated style of the region. Dudley pursuit of excellence extends beyond the vineyard to the wider region as past chairman of McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism and driver of initiatives like Scarce Earth, the McLaren Vale Water Plan, the McLaren Vale Geology Map and as champion of independent retail through Australia’s Best Wine Stores Competition. Irina obtained her Masters in Viticulture from the University of Adelaide in 2010 and was offered a full University scholarship and GWRDC funding to extend her research into alternative viticultural systems as a PhD student in 2011. Since then, she has visited five “new world” countries researching best practice and adoption of sustainability systems in viticulture. During this time, Irina also developed and rolled out the Sustainable Australian Winegrowing system. In simple terms these beautiful wines are made by thoughtful people, for the right reasons and in the right way.