Dutschke Wines News

WillowBend takes a break after 21 Vintages

Back in 1990 when Uncle Ken (Semmler) and I thought it’d be a bit of fun to squash a few grapes from Ken’s St Jakobi vineyard we decided to have a go at producing two wines. These were of a red blend that represented the red varieties that grow on the property (Shiraz Cabernet and Merlot) and a white wine from Chardonnay.

During 1990 Ken was also busy planting grapevines and developing a property in the Adelaide Hills near Forreston, alongside a spot on the map named “WillowBend.” We thought “that’s a nice name” and decided that’s what our brand would be called. So for 9 years straight we produced a red blend and a Chardonnay both under the brand WillowBend, even though the grapes used for these wines were always from the St Jakobi vineyard

An opportunity came our way when one day I received a phone call with a friendly American voice on the other end. It was a bloke called Dan Philips offering us an
opportunity to export some wine into the USA. This came after he had taken a taste of our 1995 WillowBend red. Of course we thought that was a pretty good idea and a chance to rethink what we were doing and how we were to do it better.