NUGAN ESTATE WINES
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he beginnings of Nugan Group took shape in Valencia, Spain, when a young Alfredo Nugan entered the fruit export market. The 1940's saw Alf pioneer what is now a thriving business located in Griffith, NSW. Drawing on his experiences from Spain, he used both innovation and strict quality control to become a pre-eminent supplier of superior produce, first to Australia and then to the world. He chose Griffith in South Western New South Wales because of its abundance of sunshine and the availability of water, allowing for agricultural applications all year round. Nugan Group is a legacy to the vision of one man and a family who have continued to pursue his ideals.
All wines for the Nugan Estate are sourced from their own vineyards to produce premium wines for the domestic and export markets. The wines are sent to a state of the art winery, owned and operated by Nugan Group. With the capacity to process 10,000 tons of fruit per annum, all of it under cover and hidden from the blazing heat that can plague Griffith, this is truly a sight to behold. Nugan Estate, with its blend of the best of Old World tradition and the latest in New World winemaking technology, has a stable of wines sourced from the vineyards in McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra, King Valley and the Riverina.
The Riverina region is semi arid, with about 12 inches of rain a year. The dry conditions means disease is rarely a problem. The vineyards are irrigated through an elaborate series of underground pipes and wells. With water so pure, it has been approved for brewing – the vines are irrigated with complete control over all aspects of the irrigation.
Each vine is watered only as needed, determined through a series of underground moisture meters, and the underground drainage pipes direct the runoff away from the vines and prevent the often harmful effects associated with excessive runoff and over-watering. By using water to fertigate, the vineyards are maintained with a focus on the environment. The yields in the vineyards are kept a level that is 50% less than their neighbors. These low-yields reinforce the quality rather than quantity-driven focus of the Nugan wines.
The success of the Nugan Estate vineyards is nothing new. For many years, they have been the largest and the best supplier of fruit in the Riverina region to Southcorp and Penfolds and wines like the Penfolds Koonunga Hills and Kalimna Bin 128.
With a history of quality and innovation, their success in competition, in wine reviews, and in consumer reaction should come as no surprise. They have been awarded over a hundred medals in just this first year, with top honors for their Cabernet, Chardonnay, Semillon, Botrytis Semillon and, most recently, receiving runner-up for Merlot of the year from WineState Magazine. Their early success just confirms what we already knew – Nugan Estate is a pioneer, innovator, and your best bet for a premium, quality-driven value range of wines in Australia.
Daren Owers, Senior Winemaker, has been with the winery since 2000. Daren began as a Lab Technician at Nugan Quality Foods. In 1999, Nugan diversified into winemaking and in 2000 Daren was appointed Assistant Winemaker for the first commercial vintage and commenced a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) at Charles Sturt University. In 2003, Daren became Senior Winemaker.
Daren has seen Nugan rapidly grow from 3 tanks and half a dozen barrels operating out of the Juice Plant to a state of the art winery complex with the capacity to crush 10,000 tonnes, a tank farm of over 100, and a vaulted barrel store of more than 2,000 barrels.
Daren's challenges have been the creation of Nugan’s unique style, keeping it uniform, and abiding by the Nugan philosophy of “hard work, innovation, and 100% commitment to the future”. His passion for quality wine and zest for challenging ways of doing things complements the innovative and constantly evolving nature of Nugan Estate.
The Nugans have also hired the consulting services of Brian Light to guide them. Brian Light, from the McLaren Vale region, is recognized nationally and internationally as one of Australia’s most experienced winemakers. He has consulted for several wine companies in the Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, as well as overseas.
Watch this brand as it knocks a few better known names from their pedestals in years to come. Proof yet again of Nugan Estate's commitment to excellence.