Torzi Matthews, a food and winemaking partnership between Domenic Torzi and Tracy Matthews, are driven by a passion and firm conviction in appreciating the value of heritage tradition in the crafting of their wines and extra virgin olive oils. Domenic Torzi is a fifth generation Calabrian - Abruzzese, he grew up on the Adelaide Plains working for the family's market gardens. Tracy Matthews was born and raised in Sydney’s Newcastle, she has a long career in hospitality.
In 1996 Tracy and Domenic stumbled across a small, frost pocketed hollow on beautiful Mt McKenzie in the Eden Valley and fell in love with the area for its remoteness and diverse thin soils. The rationale was quite simple, this land would produce low yields of Shiraz fruit which would translate into full, flavoursome Italian styles of wine to match their beloved Mediterranean cooking. Torzi and Matthews had plenty of detractors and lots of unsolicited advice, some good, some … well some people don't have vision.
The vines went in, the frosts came, the yields were low and Frost Dodger was born. Frost Dodger wines are crafted to non intervention European techniques, the Italian appassimento method is used for Shiraz, a regimen which employs a careful hand harvest of whole bunches which are then put onto racks and laid out for drying in the open. The parched grapes are then fermented naturally by the indigenous yeasts of the vineyard.
Torzi Matthews white wines also employ European non-interventional methods, hand picking and whole bunch pressing, the free run juices are naturally fermented by indigenous yeasts from the vineyard.
Torzi Matthews make a range of Italian varietal wines under the Vigna Cantina label. These represent Mario & Francesca Torzi's native wine grape varietals. Torzi Matthews have taken great effort in sourcing the planting materials and determining a quality of vineyard sites which were not readily available a decade ago. These wines are truly wonderful, their aromatics and fresh lively fruit flavours represent a pinnacle in the pairing of wines with Italian food.
The story however doesn’t end there. While establishing their vineyards, Torzi & Matthews took over reigns of the family extra virgin olive oil business. Setting a new direction, they increased the sourcing of wild olives to groves scattered throughout the Barossa. These magnificent ancient wild olive trees date back to the 1880s, today they produce extra virgin olive oil of amazing quality and character. "Domenic Torzi is typical of the new generation of Australian wine artisans, hand-making wine from a small patch of vines, taking an extraordinary risk by planting vines in a frost pocket on the gentle slopes of Mt McKenzie. So much is made of the Barossa and to a lesser extent Clare Valleys that the beautiful Eden Valley, its unpaved roads lined with gums, is often overlooked. Yalumba and Henschke are the king and queen. Torzi Matthews is definitely an upstart serf!" -Jancis Robinson