Meet the Winemaker...Brian Freeman of Freeman Vineyards - Hilltops NSW (Thurs 18th July)

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Welcoming Brian Freeman to The Oak Barrel!

Having trained many of Australia’s winemakers and viticulturists during his decade at the helm of the Wine Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Brian Freeman decided to establish his own vineyards in the elevated Hilltops region. His venture started with Australia’s only plantings of two classic Italian-origin varieties – Rondinella and Corvina – and an intention to craft a unique, expressive savoury and complex red wine that would stand out from the crowd.

Brian travelled to northern Italy for further inspiration and created ‘Fortuna’, an award-winning blend of multiple white varieties inspired by the winemakers of the Alto Adige and Friuli regions. Other wines in the Italian inspired FREEMAN portfolio are Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and the dual-trophy winning dessert style, Dolcino.

"The home block vineyard (560 metres elevation) was established in the Hilltops region of NSW in 1999. The vines are trained to a bilateral spur-pruned cordon and the canopy is vertically shoot positioned. The first crop was removed to facilitate vine development leading to the initial vintage in 2002. The 15-metre deep soils are derived from speckled dog granite, which over time has combined with red wind-blown sand and silt from Australia’s Red Centre. This fine silt has formed a clay layer at a depth of one metre. The soils are both well structured and drained, which allows the vines to establish roots to a depth of several metres.

In 2004 we acquired the neighbouring property, one of the original vineyards in the Hilltops region developed over three decades ago. Significantly, the plantings included mature 40-year-old pinot noir vines (many since grafted to nebbiolo and sangiovese) and a patchwork of white varieties including pinot gris, riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, semillon and several curiosities, the aromatic grape aleatico and the Hungarian siblings – furmint and harslevelu.

Just over 10 years later the FREEMAN estate expanded again with the acquisition of two nearby established vineyards, bringing the total area under vine to 200 hectares. Some vineyard blocks have been reworked to allow expansion of the Italian origin varieties like Prosecco, while the majority of the more recently acquired vineyards produce quality grapes for sale to other NSW wineries." Freeman Vineyards

Instagram: @freemanvineyards

The Oak Barrel welcomes Brian Freeman to our Tasting Room to share his passion and knowledge NSW grown alternative varietals!

Prosecco 2023
Pét Nat Rondinella NV
Fiano 2023
Furmint 2023
Bianco Pinot Grigio 2023
Rosso Corvina Rondinella 2023
Sangiovese 2022
Nebbiolo 2022
Secco 2017
Dolcino 2019

*All wine will be on special offer on the night*



Date: Thursday 18th July, 2024
Time: 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
Venue: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney CBD
Cost: $35 per ticket ($25 Enthusiasts & Connoisseurs)

*Enthusiasts & Connoisseurs can purchase 1 extra ticket at VIP price*

*Complementary snacks included*


How to purchase tickets

•To purchase a ticket please add this item to your cart and process at the checkout. Please note, for the in-store tasting there are no physical tickets - your name will be on the door.
•We offer Two VIP-priced tickets per Oak Barrel Enthusiast or Connoisseur membership. VIP members will receive their discount once the ticket is added to the cart.
•If you are an Oak Barrel Enthusiast or Connoisseur and add more than two tickets to your cart, the remaining tickets will be charged at full price.
•Please advise any friends that are VIPs that they will need to log into their own account to secure VIP tickets.
•If you are buying a gift for someone else, please specific their name in Order Notes during the checkout process.
•Tickets are non-refundable or exchangeable, so please make sure to check your dates before booking.