Tonic Wines is a small batch project being undertaken by two friends with similarly nerdy wine habits. Glenn is an experienced winemaker with genuinely practical skills…actually quite a lot of them. Dan’s background is in wine drinking, talking and educating and after a recent stint as a wine-stained cellar hand he now knows about ‘righty-tighty, lefty loosy’ but that’s about it.

The name Tonic is a playful nod to the apothecaries, spice merchants, botanists and dark arts healers of yesteryear. It was in 1624 that King James I of England, recognizing the unique skill of apothecaries, granted them their own corporation thereby distinguishing them from merchants of bulk, or gross, goods like spices and herbs. .They heartily salute this spirit of discovery, of experimentation and of courage in the face of overbearing orthodoxy.

They make five wines from different grapes, different vineyards and using some different winemaking techniques. They were able to get their hands on some tiny parcels of what they think are really good fruit. That was the starting point…and the rest just sort of followed on from that.

From the Clare Valley they take Grenache & Mataro (used for their Rose as well) and from the cooler climate Adelaide Hills come the Chardonnay,

Nebbiolo (the latter released later this year) . It’s all done pretty much by hand and foot, including the wax seals and the bottle numbers. The Tonic wines themselves are bright, spicy and medium-bodied with little oak influence.