James Madden is the man behind Scintilla Wines. A sommelier-turned-winemaker, it was a chance meeting with James Erskine, Anton von Klopper and Tom Shobbrook that ignited his passion for natural wines, and gave him the impetus to start his own wine label.
He initially started with small parcels of organically grown fruit from the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, which were made under the label, Little Things. But as the saying goes, "from little things, big things grow," and James is now producing close to 20 tonnes per vintage under his new label, Scintilla Wines.
Coming from a hospitality background, James is mostly self-taught, but he has flourished under the guidance of winemakers such as James Erskine (Jauma), Alex Schulkin (The Other Right), and Anton von Klopper (Lucy Margaux). Like his mentors, James focuses on crafting completely natural wines, with no additions or subtractions through the winemaking process. He makes a range of styles and varieties, from vibrant Pet Nats, through to whites crackling with energy and complex and layered reds.
This release is really exciting. All the wines are produced from vines grown and managed with organic and/or biodynamic principles. All the grapes are carefully hand picked then processed by hand (with a shovel and a fork). James assures us that a lot of beer is consumed during this process and of course the beer is local and crisp. All wines are bottled at the shed, (read: estate), and all with TCA checked natural cork. As usual, the wines are finished with no fining or filtration, and no additions whatsoever; apart from love, work and luck.