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Village Belle

Village Belle

(Image Source: National Library of Australia: A12111:1/​1962/​16/​132)

Finest Quality Produce From Barossa Valley,
South Australia

Fresh, vibrant, fruit first wines with the depth of flavour being generated by what nature provided is what you will discover.

This video of the Village Belle was created by the great graphic artist Danny Menzel. Benjamin has a strong interest in design and is the inspiration behind many Glug brands. The thought for the Village Belle came from C1930s Barossa Canning Company peach tin labels, a collection of which hang on the wall of the Angas Park Hotel, Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley. Further ideas came from Tasmanian, apple box export designs of the 1940s to 1960s though the final ‘design look’ was found with Californian fruit box labels. The label was also created with the idea of celebrating the Harvest Queen of the Barossa Vintage Festival. The Village Belle name was a light bulb moment in 2014. The label evolved over about five years and with the ideas in place Ben turned to the graphic artist-illustrator Daniel Menzel to create the final art work. The video shows Danny at work.

Sweet Fruit Elegant Barossa Magical
Village Belle Barossa Valley Bonvedro 2016

Region: Barossa Valley

When we imagined the new business Glug back 2003 we wanted to support old established varieties which had not gained favour like Mataro and Grenache plus have a range of lesser known or new varieties. The Village Belle range allows the winemaker to fulfil both of these aims though to date has concentrated on making wines from new and rare varieties or in the case of Bonvedro a surprise discovery.

We now know that Bonvedro has been growing in the Barossa Valley for a very long time having been miss-identified as Carignan. Doubts had been expressed by a visiting expert in the 1970s and recent genetic testing has shown that some Carignan is actually the Portuguese and Spanish variety Bonvedro.

Over the last few years we have been working with Grenache to achieve a complex, sappy, fresh red style to appeal at lunch and in the afternoon. This Bonvedro follows this search and we think is best consumed when young, lively and vibrant but it is Barossa so you will get ample complex flavours.


Rare and Wonderful
Village Belle Barossa Valley Rousanne 2018

Region:Barossa Valley, SA

We purchased this wine from a local artisanal maker noted for high end perfection. Likely made a little more than can be sold and is often the way, approached Benjamin as they know we will pay more.

Australia being a warm climate country means that the search for varieties that are proven performers in similar warm climates become the natural varieties to grow.

The delicate balance is not to grow too much before local buyers have adjusted to yet another new variety. With that said Rousanne has been around for many decades though seldom will you find a 100% variety as mostly Rousanne is blended with the fellow Rhone variety Marsanne, the latter made famous by Tahbilk, who I recall have vines dating back to 1922.

This wine is a very successful example and is recommended.


Delicious Big Though Soft
Village Belle Barossa Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Region: Barossa Valley

Benjamin has come up trumps with this glorious, full flavoured, deeply coloured, though soft red, which reflects the variety. I preach to drink what is in the glass not a notion of what you think the maker, region, variety should taste like. This is not as simple as it seems and is on test with this Pinot Noir from a warm region, the Barossa Valley.

I told Benjamin to call it a Dry Red but he did not listen and it remains with its varietal name. I was surprised to find any Pinot was growing in the Barossa Valley and after tasting this the case grows to plant more so Benjamin has outsmarted me again.

Actually, I’m not a believer in the idea that each variety expresses itself best in some particular climate profile, and when grown outside that narrow range the wines have lesser flavours.

Different flavours yes, but in a business constantly swept by fashion there will never be a time to say what is right or wrong.


Perfection with Rare Variety
Village Belle Barossa Valley Cinsault 2017

Region: Barossa Valley

We use the term ‘new varietals’ for recent plantings of unfamiliar varieties which have only recently been planted in Australia though in the country of origin may have been cultivated for +1000 years. Cinsault though is an example of a variety which has been growing in Australia for likely over a century and has simply been overlooked in the rush to market Shiraz and Cabernet.

As the wine business in Australia matures this allows the more adventurous wine-makers to make small quantities of these lesser known varieties, both to discover what they taste like but also offer them to a wider though generally a specialised group of customers.

The Village Belle series of wines is where Benjamin offers up the best of these wonderous and quite delicious wines. Being a Barossan this is a ripe warm red but the texture is different to a Shiraz in being flamboyant and chewy not fat and meaty.

The aroma is also fragrant and perfumed. The alcohol is the same as other Barossa reds but the wine appears softer on the palate. A welcome surprise.


Welcome Addition Exciting Style
Village Belle Barossa Valley Vermentino 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
Benjamin found this exciting wine a few months ago and after many trials, most of which I tasted, it is satisfying to have it in bottle and for sale. Recall that the first commercial Chardonnay only made its appearance in the late 1970s. So if you have ever wondered where the other old European varieties, like Vermentino, with a history going back perhaps 1000 years, have been - well it takes time.

I have been drinking Vermentino on and off for 40 years mostly under Italian labels and always thought it had a future in Australia. You also have to bring customers along on the journey of discovery though Australian wine drinkers are now a pretty adventurous group, the reason why so many unfamiliar varieties are at last appearing in shops. Recall at Glug we have a simple ethos of buying good wine no matter what it is called as the rule is – close your eyes, have a sip, if it tastes good who cares what it is called.


Finely Balanced and Classy
Village Belle Barossa Valley Viognier 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, SA
The Village Belle series is championed by the winemaker Benjamin Parker and only he decides what suites the vision he has for these wines. The Belle is of course a Barossa Valley brand so as long as the variety grows within the perimeter of the Barossa Valley it has a chance.

He favours fresh, new vintage tastes and tends to highlight newer varieties or long established varieties which have been treated in a novel manner such that the wine expresses an unseen side. Viognier was introduced into the Barossa in the 1980's and 1990's and was pioneered by the Yalumba wine company.

Often it is married with Shiraz which copies a traditional Rhone Valley approach and naturally gives the Shiraz an exotic addition to the aroma and palate. It also makes a complex white wine and those from the Northern Rhone Valley sold as Condrieu fetch very high prices. The Belle is an excellent local example and fits nicely into this series.


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