About Stuart Olsen, Winemaker

Hi. I’m Stuart Olsen, wine maker and owner of Eloquesta Wines, Mudgee and Orange, NSW

I was drawn to wine making and had a passion for it from my university days. I believe in the diversity and potential of  regional New South Wales, where I was born and have spent much of my life. The landscape and the wine growers of the Mudgee and Orange regions are a great focus for me, as I see the great potential it has for producing delicious, balanced red wines.

This is my style…

I believe in employing traditional, hands-on methods to achieve this more natural, softer, riper, fruit driven style of wine that lets the fruit and perfumes lead the way during and after fermentation. I also believe in learning lessons from the old, even ancient ways of doing things.

I rely on the best grape varieties and fruit quality that I can and that are suited to the best locations with the best weather patterns in NSW.  I don’t try to bend nature; I let her do her thing, but read the signs and watch the lunar phases and cycles. I rely on my instincts, what I see, hear and feel and I don’t employ any more technology or machinery than is necessary.

I treat the fruit differently every year according to the conditions given me but my method is gentle and soft – like my wines – I only want to extract as much as will extract gently, never forcing it – allowing balance and harmony to come easier through to finishing drink. My fermentations are seven to eighteen and even twenty one days, cool, whole-bunch  commencing with foot-treading daily for one week to sometimes two weeks. This is followed by persistent hand-plunging then gentle basket-pressing at the end. The fermentation is allowed to finish on lees in oak barrels after settling first in tank for a day. All wines are then cold aged (12-28 months) in a mixture of new and old French, Russian and Hungarian Oak to create the two signature varieties in Eloquesta. And now i do pretty much the same techniques for my whites as well.

In case you’re wondering about my training…

I am a qualified scientist and high school teacher with almost 13 years of understanding and hands on experience experience in the wine industry. Broadening my experience in the industry, I sharpened my style while working with other prolific wineries such as Cirillo Estate and Torbreck in the Barossa Valley, SA and Lowe Family Wines in Mudgee, NSW. I have been influenced by European styles of wine making and have worked with a German winery, the Rheinhessen – Jakob Neumer Weingut und Wurtz Weinmann.

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