Ziggy, Evolution & Amato Vino

Ziggy, Evolution & Amato Vino

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”

A good friend reminded me of this quote recently in the days after the death of David Bowie.

Of course the last thing the world needs right now is another Bowie blog-post, but his sad passing gave me pause to reflect on the importance in life (and work) of creativity, exploration, innovation and the need for passion in whatever you do. Bowie lived these in abundance, through many faces.

Adventure and exploration ruled his artistic pursuits. However unconventional his work, a mix of good timing and canny talent saw him dominate the music/media world on and off for over 40 years. Evolution was his mantra.

As a Bowie fan I had not considered the prospect that his work/art could have inspired me in my own work, but as a result of his death I’m now acutely aware that it very likely has. All of which has caused me to reflect on my own evolution and exploration into creative winemaking, indulgent though it may be!

From the birth of our retro pop-art Wine By Brad label – possibly the most unconventional and irreverent label you could find in Australia in 2003 – we embraced a distinctly non-traditional, anti-conservative sentiment and expressed a simple belief that wine was really all about fun, good times, good people. It feels almost clichéd to say this now, but less than fifteen years ago wine was still generally seen as the glorified domain of the elite, and something to be revered, critiqued and usually discussed in a serious tone. Things have changed…for the better.

At the time, the Brad brand polarised people. It was love or hate and there was little room for indifference. In the end, the quality of the wine always was, and always will be, very bloody good. It has to be. Ultimately nobody wants to drink ordinary wine even with a cool label. Nothing much has changed there!

The evolution continued, with new grape varieties to explore, unconventional methods of making wine, and new labels carrying our own artwork and design – innovation, exploration, creativity, passion.

A sense of freedom guided Mantra – classic wine styles aiming slightly left of centre, taking you to new places with familiar varietals.

And most recently… the beloved emerging grape varieties given life through our Amato Vino label, featuring individualised artwork created by friends or from our own hands. Small batch, often very experimental and with some pretty smart fruit from respected growers in Margaret River and the Riverland.

Every vintage we are exploring new opportunities, throwing a fair bit of caution to the wind, having many wins and the odd loss (that’s adventure for you!). There’s plenty of exciting stuff in the pipe and plenty more boundaries to push.

So, perhaps its a long bow drawn to claim that Bowie influenced or inspired my own evolution, but hey… I have no doubt that Ziggy, Aladdin and the Thin White Duke all played their roles, and I thank them.


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