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A glimpse at the journey that brought us to ChaLou
We want to create wines that make you think… that are expressive of where they came from and true to their variety.
– Nadja + Steve
ChaLou wines is the passion project for winemakers Nadja and Steve. They met each other whilst studying winemaking at CSU in Wagga before reconnecting many years later in Orange. They fell in love with each other and the region. The ChaLou brand brings together their collective experiences from across the globe…
Steve aka Super Steve- hence the cape, with his brother Ian and sister Kellie at his home Vineyard Bago in the Hastings Valley
Nadja and her three sisters; Isabella, Veronica and Gabrielle at the Wallington Vineyard in Canowindra. (Nadja is the one climbing the headpost)
Nadja doing the evening punchdowns at the Wallington Winery. This was the first harvest in the new straw bale winery build by her parents Margaret and Anthony.
Steve helping out at harvest plunging down red ferments.
Nadja and Steve meet for the first time at university. Both Nadja and Steve had come from winemaking families, so it seemed like a natural decision that they each went directly from high school to study winemaking. They both liked the idea of doing something that would mean they weren’t stuck behind a desk and keep their feet in the dirt. They developed a strong friendship that would tie them together during their years overseas.
From 2009 Steve would go on to work in wine overseas in Canada, America, New Zealand and Germany as well as through Australia. Nadja also spent a number of years working as a winemaker in France, America and South Africa before returning to Australia in 2014.
Nadja and Steve reunited in Orange in 2014. Nadja joined the winemaking team at Philip Shaw Wines and Steve joined the winemaking team at Cumulus. They fell in love with each other and the region…
There seemed to be a-lot of opportunities in Orange for young winemakers and they were overwhelmed at the generosity and encouragement they received from other winemakers and wine businesses in Orange.
Steve left Cumulus to become involved in Nadja’s Family wine business in Canowindra “Wallington Wines”… here he was able to sink his teeth into learning more about viticulture. Having always been a bit of a green thumb Steve was able to develop his knowledge and understanding of growing grapes and improving the land.
Steve and Nadja managed to purchase their own vineyard in Orange. Formerly “Sassy Wines” established by Rob and Fliss Coles, the property had all the bones to start their own brand.
Nadja had been working with the fruit from the vineyard for a few years in her role at Philip Shaw Wines and was excited by the expression she saw from the vineyard. The 6ha Vineyard with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Arneis would give them plenty of options to play with.
The First crush!
Whilst most grapes were sold in the first vintage Nadja and Steve did make a select few parcels to launch their brand…
Nadja left Philip Shaw Wines to be involved full time. Working side by side Steve and Nadja are thrilled to do what they love each day and are excited for the journey ahead.
Willaminas first harvest
Welcoming Willamina to the team as Nadja and Steves workforce grows
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