Basket Range Wines is a label in two distinct halves, a generational split, and a somewhat harmonious one at that. Sholto and Louis Broderick make vibrant expressions from their family vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, while their father continues to make wines his way, as he has since the 80s. The brothers’ low-intervention, no-add wines are snappily bright, textured and complex.
Phil Broderick first planted vines in the 1970s in Basket Range, in the Adelaide Hills. Those were Bordeaux varieties, and he made a small amount of wine. With a growing family, Phil and his wife Mary moved to a neighbouring property with their young sons, Louis and Sholto. That land was planted to apples and pears and the like, so the Brodericks planted again. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit Verdot went into the ground there too, but pinot noir took the lion’s share of the 12.5-hectare vineyard. Most of the fruit was sold over the years, though Phil continued to make his own wine under the Basket Range Wines label he’d started in 1988. Phil is somewhat of a legendary grower, and a well-respected maker, in the Hills.
Sholto and Louis grew up on the vineyard, helping out over the years with picking and pruning and any general vineyard labour. That work rubbed off some, with Sholto starting his degree in viticulture and oenology at Adelaide University in 2015. That degree has been on somewhat of a simmer while travel and the launch of the brothers’ wine took precedence.
“In 2016, after trying wines made by different local winemakers from our grapes, I decided to have a go and made three different wines. A pinot noir, a cabernet merlot blend and a field blend of pinot noir, petit verdot, merlot and a little bit of saperavi from two rows which we planted a few years before. I reckon those wines turned out pretty well,” Sholto says.
Also in 2016, the brothers travelled to Southern France, near Corbières, to work a vintage with lauded natural wine exponent Mylène Bru. That was a seminal experience for the pair, with her attention to detail coupled with a low-intervention methodology being deeply influential. That approach very much informs the Basket Range Wines bottlings that the brothers make today, with a cabernet and pinot noir rosé, a chardonnay and a pinot noir, and all three varieties unifying along with merlot for a pét-nat, and all made with a natural mindset.
“The wines are made from fruit which we farm organically, and the wines undergo no additions other than some wines getting a small amount of sulphur. I’d like to make wines which are delicious and easy to drink lots of, but also focus on wines which are more structured and can develop longer with more depth and complexity. This is a big influence from Dad, who makes cabernet, merlot and petit verdot which age very well. I’m finding these varieties particularly interesting,” says Sholto.