Oxley Estate offers a selection of wines where attention to detail in the vineyard and winery shine out from the glass. From crisp dry whites, fruit-driven and robust reds to luscious dessert and fortified wines, our wines cover all tastes, all moods and seasons!
As well as some ‘main-stay’ varieties, we have a number of varieties and wine styles that you may not come across elsewhere. Like many wineries in the King Valley, we do not hang our hat upon any one wine. In fact one of the strong points of our valley is the diversity in the wines on offer.
Bread and butter (but with sprinkles)
Our range can change from time to time, as we are always interested to try new varieties and wine styles. So, at times you will find a new variety on the list, perhaps as a on-off due to our urge to dabble. However, our chardonnay, viognier, cabernet sauvignon and blends with merlot, shiraz and shiraz-viognier, durif, Dolcino, aucerot, fortified white and fortified durif have become the backbone of our wine list. Among those, there are some less common varieties and styles.
We believe our planting of aucerot is the only one in Australia, despite it seeming to have been popular and well regarded in the late 1800s. There were numerous plantings in the Rutherglen, Albury and Glenrowan wine regions before infestations of the phylloxera insect destroyed so many of the vineyards of that period.
We use aucerot in our fortified white and in fantastic dessert wines. It makes ageworthy wines that develop intensity and complexity with cellaring.
There is more information about the variety on our aucerot page.
Fortified White (previously named White Port)
Our fortified white is blended as a non-vintage style from a base of verdelho and aucerot – a mystery variety of which Ciavarella Oxley Estate are custodians. A unique style, this fortified is sweet and with flavours of raisins, dried fruit and almonds. The wine was previously labelled under the name ‘White Port”, until agreements between the Australian wine industry and the EU took that name of limits for Australian makers, just like Champagne.
‘We thought this would be a “cellar door only curio” for a small band of white port die-hards – now it has an eager following of fans.
Our Dolcino (‘little sweet one’) is a red wine with a difference. A sweet red wine with a surprisingly dry finish, it’s made from a blend of cabernet and merlot that we worked hard to perfect in this style. It’s a great ‘stepping stone’ for those making the switch from whites to reds, but it finds appeal with drinkers of dry wines too. Delightfully fruity, Dolcino is refreshing when served lightly chilled. A great match for spicy/curried meat dishes or stronger tasty cheeses.
‘Dolcino’s appeal has reached a far wider audience than we ever anticipated.’
An august red wine with a big heart. Durif is grown virtually nowhere else in Australia but in the warmer pockets of North East Victoria. Whereas most Durifs have a ‘take-no-prisoners’ attitude, ours shows a welcome elegance rare to the grape. Expect powerful cherry and blackberry flavours with classic spice, leather, tobacco and some earthiness.
It is only fitting that Oxley Estate grow zinfandel. Under its Italian name primitivo, it is a staple grape variety in Puglia, the region of Italy from where the Ciavarella family migrated in 1926. ‘Zin’ is a cantankerous grape, being difficult to manage in the vineyard, and at times equally rebellious in the winery. However, the reward is a wine with fantastic cherry/berry flavours, vibrant and lively with more than its share of tannins. We make only a small volume of zinfandel each year, typically 2-3 barrels. The wine is quite sought after and we tend to sell out between vintages.