Sip of Dreams: Discovering ChaLou Wines with Nadja & Steve in Orange, NSW

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ChaLou Wines | Steve Mobbs, Nadja Wallington
(c) Jimmy W | ChaLou Wines

ChaLou Wines, with its passionate winemakers and exceptional wines, is not just a winery; it’s a testament to the power of dreams, love, and the pursuit of excellence. As the youngest brand in Orange, Nadja Wallington and Steve Mobbs have crafted a remarkable journey filled with love, innovation, and a taste of the extraordinary. Their wines invite you to raise your glass to life’s beautiful moments and savour every drop of their dreamy creations.

A Vintage Love Story: The Making of ChaLou Wines

Nadja Wallington and Steve Mobbs, the dynamic duo behind ChaLou Wines, are not just winemakers; they’re true farm kids at heart. Their shared love for the land and the rural lifestyle is not confined to vineyards alone. ChaLou’s 65-hectare property in Orange, New South Wales, is a testament to their deep-rooted connection with the countryside.

“Growing up on properties, we’ve always had a deep appreciation for the land and its bounties,” Nadja shares with a smile. “It’s not just about making wine; it’s about living a life that’s in harmony with nature.”

A showcase of their international winemaking prowess, with a fresh perspective and a deep-rooted commitment to excellence, Nadja and Steve have crafted a brand that stands out from the crowd and offers a sip of their dreams in every bottle.

Fate brought them together while studying winemaking at CSU in Wagga, but it wasn’t until years later that their paths crossed again in Orange. It was love at first sight, not just for each other, but for the region as well.

“Orange had this undeniable charm that drew us in,” Nadja explains. “We knew it was the place where we could turn our dreams into reality.”

A Breath of Fresh Air: What Sets ChaLou Apart

In a region steeped in winemaking tradition, ChaLou Wines stands out as the youngest brand in Orange. Their arrival has injected fresh energy and innovation into the local wine scene. What sets them apart is their unwavering commitment to quality, focusing exclusively on single-vineyard wines sourced from their own meticulously tended vineyards.

“We wanted to create wines that truly reflect the terroir of Orange,” Steve remarks. “By controlling every aspect of the winemaking process, from the vineyard to the bottle, we ensure that each wine carries the unique signature of our land.”

For Nadja and Steve, the journey of building ChaLou Wines hasn’t been without its challenges. Juggling the demands of a growing brand with starting a family presented its own set of hurdles. However, their resilience and passion prevailed.

Their proudest moment came in 2022 when Nadja was announced as the Young Winemaker of the Year, a recognition of her dedication and talent in the industry. “It was a validation of our hard work and commitment,” Nadja beams. “It only fuels our enthusiasm to continue crafting exceptional wines.”

Nadja and Steve have a deep appreciation for the joy of pairing wines with exquisite dishes. Their favourite ‘now’ wine, the 2022 ChaLou Riesling, sings in harmony with spicy pork and cabbage dumplings. The crisp acidity and vibrant citrus notes of the Riesling perfectly balance the heat and complexity of the dish, creating a sensory experience that lingers on the palate.

Grape Whisperers from the Cellar Door

Note: These are what I taste and smell, best to refer to the winemaker or sommelier. Better still, click on the link for each of the wines for better notes and song choice.

2022 ChaLou Riesling: A lively and zesty Riesling that dances on the palate with bright acidity and citrus bursts. Notes of Fresh lemon peel and lifted white florals, hints of orange blossom and tangerine peel. Making it an ideal partner for spicy Asian cuisine or a refreshing sip on its own.

2022 ChaLou Pinot Noir: A graceful expression of Orange’s cool climate, this Pinot Noir enchants with delicate aromas of red berries and a silky texture. The subtle oak influence adds depth to the cherry and strawberry spicy notes, making it a perfect companion for roasted poultry or mushroom risotto.

2022 Dreaded Friend Rosé: A vibrant and playful Rosé with notes of quice and raspberry with rose water. Crisp acidity (dry finish) and a touch of sweetness make it versatile for pairing with a variety of dishes or sipping on a sunny afternoon.

2022 Dreaded Friend Cabernet Franc: A bold and expressive Cabernet Franc with layers of blackcurrant, plum, and spice. Supple tannins and a long finish make it an excellent match for grilled meats and hearty stews.

2022 The Somm & The Winemaker Mouvedre: A seductive and complex Mouvedre with aromas of black cherry, violet, and dark chocolate spices. Velvety tannins and a lingering finish make it a fine choice for rich, savoury dishes like lamb shanks or venison.

2022 The Somm & The Winemaker SKINNY: A unique and textured wine that defies convention, SKINNY boasts notes of apricot, almond, and tangerine zest. Its intriguing profile invites exploration, making it a delightful accompaniment to charcuterie boards or light desserts.

A Life Beyond the Vineyard

While tending to vines and crafting wines is their passion and livelihood, it’s just one small facet of the property’s diverse ecosystem. The farm is home to a menagerie of creatures, including a small flock of sheep, two beloved horses, Freddy and Jet, and a charming flock of chooks. These animals play an integral role in the farm’s daily rhythm, from keeping the grass in check to providing entertainment and sustenance.

“Animals are a big part of our farm,” Steve adds. “They bring life and vitality to the place, and they remind us of the beautiful simplicity of farm life.”

In addition to the animals, ChaLou’s property boasts an impressive orchard and a thriving market garden that bursts with fruits and vegetables during the spring and summer months. It’s a cornucopia of nature’s gifts, from juicy apples and plums to vibrant tomatoes and crisp cucumbers.

Nadja’s passion for cooking shines through in the kitchen, where she transforms the farm’s bounty into delicious preserves that sustain them during the cooler months. Ensuring that nothing goes to waste and every season is savoured.

“Preserving the fruits and vegetables is a labour of love,” Nadja shares. “It’s a way of preserving the essence of each season and reliving those moments in the heart of winter.”

This holistic approach to life and land is a reflection of Nadja and Steve’s commitment to sustainability and the pursuit of a harmonious existence. They believe that a thriving farm, abundant with life, contributes to the character and quality of their wines.

“Our wines are an extension of our life on the land,” Steve reflects. “Every aspect of our farm, from the animals to the orchard, plays a role in shaping the unique terroir of our vineyards. It’s a cycle of life and nature, and we’re just grateful to be a part of it.”

ChaLou Wines to me is not just about crafting exceptional wines; it’s a celebration of the simple joys, the bond with nature, and the unwavering commitment of two amazing people I met a few years ago at Wallington Wines (in Nyrang Creek), who have turned their dreams into a vibrant reality. As you sip their wines, you’re not just tasting the fruits of the vine; you’re savouring a piece of their life, brimming with love, passion, and an appreciation for the land they call home.

ChaLou Wines
569 Emu Swamp Road, Emu Swamp NSW 2800, Australia
T: +61 459 689 696 | E: chalouwines@gmail.com
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