Fact: we all turn into *slight* delinquents (but we still keep it classy) when getting merry. For Con-Greg Grigoriou, the innovative winemaker helming Delinquenté Wine Co, the notion of summoning that wild-child-within is what guides everything from the ethos, to the branding of his vine-ripen mecca. Steeped in a delightful fusion of grunge and beautiful artistry, Con-Greg has created a league of honest, simple and debaucherous wines. Today, we chat frankly with him about where it all began.
Impassioned with the art of drinking good, sustainable and “alive” wine, Con-Greg’s vested interest as a vigneron stems back to imbibing delicious wines over a hearty meal with friends – one of our most treasured pastimes at Sunday Wine Co. With an aversion to exy, overpriced bottles, Con-Greg created Delinquenté Wine Co to pay homage to the charming simplicity of a good, honest wine that unites people. His absolute wine philosophy? Make “yummy wine with no tricks”. And for this, we salute him with a rosé in hand.
“I grew up on a vineyard in The Riverland, SA, and my dad and granddad have been in the wine industry basically since they got off the boat in the early 60’s. Having said that, it wasn’t always my dream or anything to make wine – it was an interest that developed later, from a different stand point than necessarily carrying on the family tradition,” he says.
The Riverland is a warm, dry and inland region, leading Con-Greg to curate a selection of grapes originating from Southern Italy – a climate that mimics that of his family origins. Although geographically worlds apart, the low rainfall and long, balmy summers that connect these two destinations give rise to grapes with lower sugar (and therefore alcohol) levels, while maintaining high natural acidity. Prioritising the quality of the fruit is what has allowed Con-Greg to bottle racks of fresh, fun wines designed for easy drinking – the way it always should be!
On his favourite facet of grape-growing and winemaking, Con-Greg pins it down to sinking an ice-cold beverage after a long day (which we can all unanimously relate to). “You might be exhausted, filthy and sweaty, covered in grape juice and red dirt, but sitting back and knowing you’ve put in the hard yards and that you can enjoy that work later is the best bit,” he says. But despite the consistency and routine of a well-deserved knock-off drink, Con-Greg’s daily agenda is never quite the same. While two months of the year demand an unwavering focus on vintage and winemaking, the other ten entail everything from packaging, accounting and promotion to selling and travelling. It’s this variety that makes it feel “nothing like a job” and “more just [his] life.”
On the flip-side, Con-Greg explains the trials and tribulations inherent with choosing when to pick the grapes his team has collectively toiled over. Despite copious variables coming into play, like baume and acid levels, plus his own subjective taste and sensory evaluation, Con-Greg reveals that “dealing with doubt is the hardest thing about harvest.” Combating any of the stresses that come as a caveat to working in the world of wine, he describes “plunging reds and skin contact whites” each morning as a “nice little meditative thing to do”, for some chilled-out alone-time.
While Con-Greg’s glass is currently brimming with his choice for perfect warm weather and fall drinking – an Aussie Chardonnay, our go-to fuel for the season is the Delinquenté Screaming Betty Vermentino from our Fresh Whites pack . Citrusy, clean and crisp, the origins of this drop can be traced back to Sardinia in Southern Italy, where the gonzo grapes hail from. But, if you’re more of an avid rosé imbiber (we totally get you), we’d prescribe a sip of the Delinquenté Pretty Boy from our Pretty Pinks pack – a truly luscious dichotomy of sweet strawberries and crisp acidity. Go on, we know this has left you reflexively reaching for that wine glass!
Sunday Wine Co x