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Dan Sigurd Graham may be a second generation vigneron, but grape growing goes back a little further than his upbringing on the family winery in Yenda, rural NSW. Naming his label Sigurd is a nod to his great grandfather (and birthday twin) Sigurd, who settled on the Riverland after WWI to grow stone fruit and vines, among other things.

Dan’s been working in wineries since he was ten, capping bottles for his dad in the 90’s before learning the ropes over 12-hour days at what’s now Casella. A career in winemaking was never sugarcoated for Dan – it was and remains hard, honest and rewarding work.

Naturally Thriving

Nailing down a wine and viticulture double degree in Wagga Wagga before earning his stripes on vintages across the globe, Dan began Sigurd under the radar in 2012 while working for a big Barossa name. Sigurd the side piece.

The name itself originates from Norse mythology and an auspicious warrior god. Legend has it that Siguard slew a dragon, ate his heart and henceforth developed the ability to speak to birds. While faunapathy might be a stretch, there’s no doubt Dan and the grapes under his care have an understanding.

In 2017, Dan left his last role (at Barossa’s Redheads) to pursue Sigurd full time. Based in the Barossa, Sigurd’s label has become easily recognisable, its flexible, freeform cursive a hint at the generosity that lies within each bottle.

Dan makes wines that he would like to drink and share with his own people. It’s an oft-relayed winemaker sentiment. But the thing is, Dan really does have incredible taste. European in influence and pointedly lo-fi, Sigurd’s wines are synonymous with style – utterly, deliciously so.

There’s beauty in simplicity, and Dan’s formula is just that. He trusts his palate, sources the best fruit and consistently handpicks early. All fruit is naturally fermented, with no fining, and just a titch of sulphur on bottling.
McLaren Vale Grenache was the first Sigurd wine. Nowadays he sources from growers across South Aus, primarily the Barossa, Clare and Eden valleys, the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Dan isn’t trying to make square pegs fit round holes; he seeks symbiosis in sites where varietals naturally thrive.

Today’s range houses Clare Valley Chenin Blanc alongside Pinot Noir from the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills. While his reds are predominantly sourced from the various corners of the Barossa Valley, by no means is he making the Barossa reds of old. Case in point; a crunchy 100% Carignan from the northern Barossa.

Just quietly, he’s also a master of modern blending, artfully using whole bunch, carbonic maceration and numerous methods of maceration and fermentation to raise and seamlessly weave Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and more in a way that somehow clearly shows off each varietal. Some might call it wizardry - we call him Dan.

His wines are the product of endless hours on the tools and amongst the vines, but Dan is the first to point out that it’s the cumulative knowledge of those who came before him that has shaped the calibre of wine his generation is able to produce today. Dan’s a humble man, but we think Sigurd have more than earned bragging rights.
A master of modern blending, artfully using whole bunch, carbonic maceration and numerous methods of maceration and fermentation.

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