It’s fascinating to observe winemaking skills being passed down to a new generation. Especially when the younger generation reinterprets and advances the knowledge they’ve inherited. A special kind of progression so to speak is in full force with Joshua Cooper Wines.
Born and raised at Cobaw Ridge winery, which was founded by his parents Alan and Nelly Cooper, Joshua was truly destined to make wine, and at under thirty years of age he is well on his way to establishing himself as a leader amongst the next generation of Australian winemakers. Sourcing fruit from central and western Victoria, Josh is evolving his wines and creating natural wine with classic characteristics. Currently he works around the Macedon Ranges and in order to make enough money to buy the fruit for his wines, which luckily, he can make for free at his parents’ winery (where he still lives), he bases his wine operation around a négociant system – sourcing grapes locally from growers sensitive to environmentally sustainable practices from great sites in the Heathcote and Macedon Ranges regions.
His first vintage was in 2012, with a single barrel of wine made from fruit his parents grew in the Cobaw Ridge vineyard. His label has since expanded to a more varied range, including historic styles as well as the more experimental and esoteric.
As well as working further with his family, Josh has ambition in the coming years to transition to his own vineyard, supplementing the current fruit with what he has grown himself. Having spent his life watching his parents drive organic and biodynamic grape growing in Australia, he has a clear idea of how he wants his own label to grow. Fruit quality and provenance are an overriding imperative when he is looking to buy, and biodynamic principles reign when he looks to grow his own fruit. Unaltered wines that do not conform to some pre-existing established ideals are the hallmark by which Joshua Cooper and his contemporaries have set themselves apart from the stock standard winemaking that seems prevalent today on the Australian wine landscape.