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BK Wines

“I’m just someone trying to make good wines”

Why BK Wines?

When questioned on why he does what he does, BK Wines Winemaker, Brendon Keys, gives a little sigh and says, “I’m just someone trying to make good wines”. It’s this humility and down to earth approach that is easy to get behind – let alone when you realise that he’s accomplished his goal – the wines he makes are good. That’s what we love about BK – a good, honest winemaker making good, honest wines. After years of success, he’s still as humble as ever, while the wines, arguably, are only improving. 

 

Winemaker: Brendon Keys

New Zealand native, Brendon and his wife Kirstyn started BK Wines in 2007, nestling into the Adelaide Hills to live and make single vineyard wines. He’s since been regarded as a pioneer for the artisan winemaking movement of the region and continually setting the benchmark for how to best produce minimal intervention wines. Again, the goal was just to “make good wine”, acknowledging the Hills as a “younger region with so much potential” that caused him and Kirstyn to fall in love with it.  

BK Wines

Carbonic Pinot Noir 2020

We love this wine because…

The name is the giveaway here. Using classic Beaujolais winemaking techniques, this is candy-like prettiness. Brendon Keys kept these berries whole for that bubblegum pop. There it is. Only this wine backs it up with powerful herbaceous notes. You get all of the fun, with seriousnesses to keep you pondering. Smashable. But multidimensional. Don’t rush it.
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Brendon Keys

 

“These things present themselves and you just go for it. I’m always open to trialling anything new and see if I can move it to the next level.” 

Finding Opportunity Amongst Chaos

Vineyards

The importance of the vineyards to BK Wines cannot be understated, being a producer of single vineyard vines, the quality of the site is paramount. After a “chaotic year” for many reasons in the Adelaide Hills, Brendon Keys is thankful and “excited to have something to release”. Besides the catastrophic bushfires and global pandemic debilitating the region, the impact of drought meant production was already down by 50%. Rather than focusing on the loss, it’s important to instead focus on the positives – the consensus being that although the yield was small, the fruit that was harvested was quite exceptional. This will surely set the young releases from 2020 apart – showing how even in difficult years, the wines can speak volumes of the resolve, determination and talent of the whole region’s community.  

 

Winemaking Philosophy

Whether you want to call BK Wines “low intervention, natural or craft, whatever that might be,” the main aim of the game is to “make good wines”. However, the determination doesn’t end there, with 2020 making way for some new experimentations joining the BK Wines lineup. “These things present themselves and you just go for it,” says Brendon. “I’m always open to trialling anything new and see if I can move it to the next level.” 

In particular is the addition of a Piquette Naturel, made by re-fermenting skins for a low alcohol wine-like beverage, which in turn ensures that the fruit is optimised to create as much as possible, even when it would normally be discarded. Brendon thinks “everyone should be [making Piquette], given the cost of fruit and labour are becoming higher and higher, especially in the Hills”. Joining the Piquette is BK’s first foray into cider, another Adelaide Hills hallmark. Although, admittedly, he doesn’t really want to be known as a cider maker, the new ciders will be another feather in the BK Wines cap, showing new skills and broadening his influence as a premier producer of the region. From new experiments in the winery, to continuing to present some of the region’s most reliable and exciting wines, we all benefit from having BK in the Hills. 

BK Wines

Piquette Naturel Fantastic Man Grüner Veltliner / Pinot Gris 2020

We love this wine because…

Freshly discarded grape skins are gold, so why not use them to make piquette. This is Brendon Keys mix of gruner veltliner/pinot gris skins and H20. At 5% alcohol it’s wild and pretty, light and refreshing, somewhere between a pet nat and a sour beer, kinda? Maybe? A Cruiser/Breezer for wine nerds? Definitely.
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