In the heart of South Australia’s McLaren Vale, Mollydooker Wines is turning the wine industry upside down. Quite literally, their most innovative technique involves tipping their bottles upside down and shaking them.
The team uses nitrogen during its wine making process, as a natural antioxidant and preservative. From this, shaking bottles upside down greatly improves the taste and reduces sulphites, which has the desirable effect of reducing a hangover!
Started in 2005 when Chief Winemaker Sarah Marquis had only $17 in her bank account, Mollydooker’s big break came that year when a famous wine critic named them the best value red and white wines in the world.
Now, the winery produces 70,000 to 100,000 cases annually, exporting 80 percent worldwide.
In 2019, Mollydooker won Telstra South Australian Business of the Year. In a media interview, Sarah said the win helped with “cultivating a collaborative working environment, introducing accountability and empowering my team, which has meant we have been able to grow all aspects of the business."
From the thousands of entries across Australia, only 24 South Australian finalists were chosen, it was a tremendous honour to be a finalist, let alone the winner!
Sarah says her mission is to produce wine that makes people go ‘wow’. She stayed true to this philosophy when extreme weather events impacted their harvest, when an entire container of their best wine was accidentally dropped at a wharf and even when COVID-19 hit.
More determined than ever, Sarah and the team buckled down, regained focus and embraced technology to develop their operations online to turn 2020 into a successful year of sales.
Technology is a big part of the business. With incredible attention to detail, Mollydooker uses data and analytics to keep track of vine growth, grape sugar content and watering needs while in the fields.
This intensive process ensures the wine contains the optimal fruit weight, which is the percentage of the drinker’s palate covered by the taste of fruit. The higher the fruit weight, the higher the wine quality.
Sarah says what's key at Mollydooker is that there's no complacency, and their success spurs them on to be better at what they do.
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