Proprietors John and Evdokia Klepec have worked with renowned WA contract winemaker, Bruce Dukes since 2013 to produce precious, ‘small batch’ wine under the label Below & Above.
Just before the 2013 vintage we were walking around the property discussing terms of sale for the Pinot crop, which just happened to be particularly impressive that year. It prompted us to ask the question: why not make it ourselves? What is stopping us?
So, we started considering contract winemakers: who could help us bring the best out of the grape? Which led us to Bruce. We were so pleased with the 2013 Pinot that we added Chardonnay to the 2014 vintage.
Not only is Bruce one of the state’s best winemakers, he also has close knowledge of the property and what it can do, having made Chardonnay here since the 90s.
It’s delicious, Western Australian wine, with the unique Pemberton cold climate touch.
There is something almost whimsical about our small batch approach. We only use the best five percent of fruit under vine and everything we do when making the wine is deliberate. We believe consumers appreciate this level of attention to detail. It’s special.
When it comes to fine wine, we are spoiled for choice in WA: it’s a really competitive market. Unsurprisingly, finding a way to “cut through” has been the biggest challenge so far.
It has taken a lot of work online and off, to get our wine in front of the right people. Fortunately, what we are finding is once people experience the product, they’re sold.
It has been a hard slog (and a good lesson in patience for me), but it’s paying off!
We’re really pleased with our presence in restaurants and bottle shops.
As of August, 2017 you can find us at Duende (Leederville), Habitue (North Fremantle), Tall Timbers (Manjimup), Treehouse Tapas (Pemberton), The Alex Hotel: Honour Bar (Perth), Juanitas (Subiaco), New Normal Bar & Kitchen (Subiaco), Petition Wine Bar (Perth), and Trackers Falls Creek Lodge (Falls Creek).
In terms of bottle shops we’re now available at Boyanup Cellars, Liquor Barons (Subiaco, Boyanup and South Perth), Cellarbrations (Mt Claremont and Cottesloe), Wine Mine (North Fremantle), De Vine Cellars (Inglewood), and Grand Cru Wine Shop & Cellar (Mt Lawley)
We’ve also got more in the pipeline just waiting to clear stock before they place an order. Exciting times!
I guess we want what all new winemakers want: to sell wine, and lots of it!
It’s not just about growing our brand, it’s important to us as a team to continue to push the limits of what we can produce and improve on perfection with every vintage.
Ultimately, we’d love for Below & Above to be recognised as a leader in market for the production of high quality, sustainably produced fine wine.
We’re excited to launch our website so our new and returning customers can buy directly from us, whenever they like! It’s definitely a priority in the coming year to get Below & Above in front of more people at tasting events.
Check out our social media accounts to stay across our upcoming appearances!