Winemaking a labour of love
FOR Jared Dixon of Clunes Store and Cellars, winemaking is an art form.
Aside from stocking a unique range of value for money Australian and international wines at the cellars, Mr Dixon also produces his own wine.
He prefers to deal direct with individual winemakers rather than with large liquor distributors.
"I source my wines directly from friends of mine in Western Australia and Victoria," Mr Dixon said.
"There are a lot of family-owned and smaller wineries that are making cracking wines at a reasonable price."
Mr Dixon believes are many on the Northern Rivers share his passion.
"The cellar has been going well and people are respecting someone stocking something different," Mr Dixon said.
"Most drinkers are in the $15-20 mark and I try to taste everything in that range to make sure it is up to scratch.
Mr Dixon's family bought the Store and Cellars at Clunes two years ago.
He had worked as a winemaker in Margaret River, Western Australia and in Victoria before joining the family business in September last year. Not surprisingly, some of Mr Dixon's favourite wines are from Victoria and Margaret River.
His personal favourite grape variety is Nebbiolo - a variety that originated in north west Italy near Piedmont. The grape variety is also cultivated here in Australia and Mr Dixon sourced Nebbiolo grapes from a vineyard on the New England tablelands for his own wine.
"I went up and hand picked the grapes myself," Mr Dixon said. "I need to make wine; it's a big part of my life."