Regular Narkoojee followers would be aware of the pivotal role played by Harry and Val Friend in the establishment and development of the Narkoojee wine business. It was Harry’s father Athelstan, a dairy farmer, who in the 1940s purchased the property named “Narkoojee” a local Koorie term meaning “place of flowers”. It won’t surprise you to learn that as a young man Harry developed a great interest in wine and the first experimental planting of vines was undertaken in 1980. The results were very encouraging and following his father’s death Harry acquired the property from his siblings, gave up his career as an Engineer and with his wife Val committed to establishing a commercial wine business.
The capital required necessitated the establishment of a corporate structure with a limited number of shareholders all sharing the vision. The first commercial planting was of 5 acres in 1990 and this has grown to the point today of Narkoojee having 33 acres under vine. Along the way a state of the art winery was built and more recently a restaurant. Harry was of course the founding winemaker and from the outset Narkoojee has not compromised in its commitment to produce wine targeted at the quality end of the very competitive wine market. Thanks to Harry, and more recently his son Axel who is now the chief winemaker, this commitment has been realised in abundance as reflected in trophies and medals from wine shows and wine writers’ accolades, including the prestigious 5 red star rating by James Halliday, the doyen of Australian wine commentators. It has been the company’s practice to name selected wines after Harry and Val’s grandchildren – Lily Grace, Harriett, Isaac and Max and more recently to honour Val by naming our three superior wines the Valerie range. To date Harry has resisted having a wine bear his name but he has now been overridden. The catalyst was the superb 2016 vintage of shiraz and Axel’s determination to set aside the best 2 barrels and make a wine in honour of his father. The wine has been fermented by wild yeasts indigenous to the vineyard and matured in 100% new oak barriques. The richer and more flavoursome characteristics arising from the warmer 2016 season have facilitated the integration of the new oak. A beautiful wine named the 2016 “The Harry” Shiraz.
A special label has been prepared with each bottle individually numbered, a presentation box option is being finalised which will also make this a wonderful gift idea. The cellar door price is $160 per bottle, a price reflecting the very limited stock of a rare and outstanding wine worthy of the name “The Harry”.