There probably couldn’t be a more contrasting character to Peter Gago’s school master personality than that of the formidable Dave Powell, Torbreck’s loud, ebullient creator. Powell is a large physical presence with an equally large personality. If I was a farmer I’d describe him as a magnificent beast. Straight-talking, opinionated, passionate, occasionally crude, he is clearly a force of nature in the Barossa. Talking to him there’s a more than mischievous glint in his eye. It’s easy to imagine the hoot you’d probably have spending a night out on the tiles with Powell, though given his evident enthusiasm for a soiree you may well probably find yourself checked into A&E by morning.
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David Powell established Torbreck Vintners in 1994 after working at Rockford. The wines are a testament to his efforts in searching out old, dry-grown semi abandoned vine plots in the Barossa at a time when it seemed pretty unfashionable. Powell picks on phenolics not on grape chemistry and makes very individualistic, exotic, funky reds, high in flavour and in alcohol. Imagine a ménage a trois between Barossa Shiraz, Southern Rhone Grenache and Grand Cru Burgundy. Decadent and original wines which inspire near cult following. Torbreck itself is named after a forest in Scotland where Powell once worked as a lumberjack.