Red varietal blends carrying an ‘EC’ (East Cellar) number were first released by Seppeltsfield’s founding family in the 1960s, their compositions of region and variety varying on each release. The earliest of bottlings however regularly included Barossa Valley fruit as the major component, across traditional varietals such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mataro.
The East Cellar code itself was a unique reference to where the wines were rested and matured in oak barrels prior to release.
Honouring these past bottlings, today our ‘Bench Blend’ releases continue to encourage the winemaking art of assemblage (bench blending). Each year, the final bottlings are determined not only by the season, but also the very best combination of red varieties – borne through bench blending trials.
Following vinification, on the blending bench, our winemakers carefully assess individual parcels of fruit and trials of blends thereof. Varietal make-up is explored down to detailed variances, often as low as part-percentages. The craft combines sensory ability with the artistic and individual expression of the winemaker – the ambition to achieve a final blend that is greater than the sums of its parts.