Jen Gardner and Col McBryde are Vine Mind.
“On the surface, it’s a tale not unlike the swathe of other wineries out there. A family history. Jen’s folks bought a vineyard and Jen, like every other 10 year old, liked picking grapes… for about 30 minutes. This, however, isn’t the heady stories of saving old vineyards, or making the best damn bottle of $7 Colombard that we possibly could, or an ignited passion after imbibing some obscure wine in a genuinely surreal setting (but if we did, it would be on Instagram), and alas there isn’t a catchy slogan. No, this is a story of what if. This is a departure from the stoicism of Clare (although we may be responsible for some of that too). This is about setting a challenge. The throes of parenthood and an entrenched academic career had Jen step aside from the winemaking of the family business circa 2009.”
Vine Mind is a step back into it for Jen, allowing her the opportunity to not only get back in the game but also to question what we thought we knew about our backyard and style. Turns out we weren’t that smart, to begin with, but perhaps that was already obvious to some. As inspired types, it’s great to be excited by your surroundings and then motivated to try and create wines that fall outside the norms of what we know. This is how we have a concrete aged Riesling and Vermentino and the contemporary bedfellows of Shiraz and Malbec. We wanted to make wine in Clare, with Clare fruit, that spoke of Clare, but with some of those artifacts highlighted above. This was to challenge our own perception of what could be produced. We work closely with a small group of grape growers (from recent plantings of Riesling across the Valley to 100-year-old Shiraz vines from a neighbouring vineyard, a stone’s throw from the winery. —The Vine Mind team