When it comes to quality Australian wine regions worthy of their crown, Barossa Valley has earned its stripes and is more than justified in its position as king of the hill. It’s fair to say, though, its flawless and varied terroir and incredible climatic conditions would count for nothing, if it weren’t for the talented winemakers who call the valley their home. It’s not difficult to make half-decent wine when you’ve got soils as good as that which is found in Barossa. However, making delicious, interesting, and characterful wine is always going to take a load of vision, plenty of hard work, and some serious cojones to stick your neck out and stand out from the crowd. In Laughing Jack Wines, you’ll find a team who fits this bill pretty much to the letter. Unwilling to take any shortcuts, dedicated to making the kind of wines that truly make this region one of the most exciting in the world right now, and clearly loving every minute, Laughing Jack is our kind of winery.

Shawn Kalleske started Laughing Jack back in 1999 with his family. No newcomers to the region, the Kalleskes have been working in Barossa Valley since 1855, and know this part of Australia better than perhaps any others. Despite their heritage and ancestral connection to this land, Laughing Jack is not some pedigree operation stuck in its ways and turning its nose up at innovation - far from it, in fact. This is an Aussie winery which takes an almost obsessive approach to getting every milligram of expression out of their grapes, and to great effect. Small batches, low yielding vines, and minimal intervention are all at the heart of this winery’s operations, and open-top fermentation and basket pressing makes sure traditions are kept in check and quality is maintained at tip-top levels. The result? A set of wines which have plenty to say about Barossa, and yet are drinkable, approachable, and a huge amount of fun to share with your mates. Barossa Valley’s reputation looks pretty secure from here!

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