Charlatan Wines

South Australia | McLaren Vale

Our Review

Chad Fenton-Smith has a particularly well developed sense of humour, something that may come in very handy in the industry's turbulent times of 2010 and beyond. His entry into winemaking just happened, the opportunity coming through contacts he had made in the water-tank industry. His first vintage in 2005 was little more than a hobby: 360 bottles of Shiraz made from two rows of vines left over after a big producer had taken its required tonnes from the grapegrower concerned. Production soared to the heady heights of 700 bottles in 2006, and while it was maturing in oak Chad and his partner went to Samuel's Gorge, to spend an hour with winemaker Justin McNamee. After a few glasses of wine Chad decided to quit his job, head to Adelaide University to begin a Bachelor of Science in viticulture and oenology and endeavour to subsist on one-quarter of his previous income. His head is buzzing with ideas, which only the brave or the innocent would contemplate. And the name? Well, it was self-bestowed on someone selling wine made on a whim, and without any winemaking experience whatsoever. -JAMES HALLIDAY


Winemaker Chad Fenton-Smith
Region McLaren Vale
Address Cnr Kangarilla Road/Foggo Road, McLaren Vale, SA 5171
Established 2005
Dozens 350
Opening Hours 7 days 10-4
Telephone (08) 8386 3463