Sigurd is the story based around Daniel Grahams great grandfather who spawned from Norway. Despite only meeting his great grandfather as a two year old Dan feels an incredible connection to him and his nordic heritage. His middle name is Sigurd and despite copping a small amount of grief through high school he proudly uses it his brand name.
His grandfather travelled from Norway to find work in Australia back in the early days (he was 19, so around 1914) and found the quickest way to become a citizen was to join the army, so he was sent over to Europe fight for Australia. A larrikin at heart he was caught AWOL after being shot early into his service and then sent back to the front lines in France as punishment, where he was shot again…. This time in the elbow which made him useless at holding a gun, luckily this time he was sent back to Australia. His stories amongst the family were legendary and his constant smile and mischievous behaviour was always something Daniel related to. For any of you who have met Dan you will of course know this to be true.
Daniel grew up in central western New South Wales and from a young age was immersed in grape growing and winemaking. During school holidays he would pick up work with large wineries picking fruit or pruning vines. This led him to Charles Sturt University where he completed his double Wine/Viticulture degree at Wagga Wagga. His desire to understand different regions led him to vintages in New Zealand (Central Otago), Canada (Okanagan Valley), Portugal (Alentejo), France (Hermitage) and Italy (Barolo). After spending some time back in Australia working for Jacobs Creek his desire to start a small label focusing on organically grown grapes stated to burgeon. He knew that the mechanical, conventional way of doing things wasn’t for him and so in 2012 Sigurd was born. He moved to a smaller winery RedHeads studio wines, which he was given the task of re-invigorating. This also allowed Dan to explore his own label on the side. The first wine under Sigurd was a quirky single hogshead of Riesling fermented with Gewürztraminer skins just labeled as the white. From here a red GSM (now GSMN), Rose, Chenin, Syrah and now Carignan have joined the range with fleeting appearances of Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Every vintage of Sigurd is subtly different, be it a change in the blend or style to best show off that years conditions. For the most part Dan’s grapes are sourced or grown under organic principles, something he is working hard to have across the board. Once in the cellar his wines are as hands off as possible with only indigenous yeasts used, no adjustments of acid or tannin and minimal sulphur added at bottling (max 30ppm). He is proud of the Barossa Valley and his reds in particular speak of the richness of the terroir while still harbouring an immense freshness and drinkability, not always an easy task in one of Australia’s warmest regions. Dan is one of the most exciting winemakers coming out of the Barossa and we are so thrilled with his evolution over the last few years.