At age 15, Jeffrey Grosset’s father brought home a bottle of riesling to share with his family, Jeffrey tasted the wine and was amazed by its flavour. A year later, he enrolled at Roseworthy Agricultural College, north of Adelaide, studying agriculture and oenology. He thereafter worked at Seppelt before travelling to and from Germany. Jeffrey setup Grosset Wines in 1981, buying an old milk depot in the town of Auburn in the Clare Valley, converting the depot into a winery, and later, a cellar door.
Jeffrey’s interest in innovation ensured his successful push for the introduction of screw cap closures as a way of better preserving wines in bottle, and eliminating the possibility of cork taint. Grosset also fought hard in the 1980s to ensure that the term ‘riesling’ could not be used as a blanket label for any white wine sold in cardboard casks. While Grosset exports overseas, production is capped at 11,000 cases, ‘to preserve the character and individuality of the wines.’
Grosset is best known for its Polish Hill Riesling, regarded as one of Australia’s best. It consistently receives stellar reviews and is classed as ‘Exceptional’ in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine. Grosset has been established within an eight-hectare, organic, estate vineyard planted several decades ago on ‘silt and shallow shales over a thin crust of clay and gravel…over a bed of blue slate’ and is believed to be 500-million years old.
Despite its reputation, the Polish Hill Riesling is still amazing value, earning the title of ‘Best Value Winery in James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2018’. In addition to the riesling, Grosset produces a Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend called Gaia, from its Gaia vineyard planted in 1986. The Adelaide Hills provide the fruit for the Grosset Pinot Noir, a light-to-medium-bodied wine that generally has a silky smooth texture and wonderful fruit intensity.