Marnie Roberts promised her grandmother, Alice, that she would make her a wine to celebrate her 100th birthday, and with that pledge the Matriarch and Rogue wine company was born.
The year was 2013 and from that first idea Marnie has developed an extensive range of wines, built a processing facility and recently opened a cellar door and wine bar on the main street of Clare, at the northern end between Mitre 10 and Clare Valley Flowers.
To say that Marnie is passionate about her wines is an understatement.
The brand, Matriarch and Rogue, came about from a quirky story – Matriarch was used to describe five sisters who lead the family, and Rogue describes their ‘scallywag’ husbands.
As each wine in her top tier series is named after one of the aforementioned Matriarchs and Rogues by matching the wine to each personality, there is a story in every bottle.
Take the two rieslings – Dot and Rex.
Dot has an acid tongue and is a straight shooter, similar to the characteristics of a Watervale riesling.
Rex, (Marnie’s “Pop”), on the other hand didn’t like to be messed with, so he got a much worked riesling as his name sake.
To add to the intrigue Marnie then says that Dot and Rex didn’t much like each other, hence why she put them together.
Marnie wants people to get out of their comfort zones when it comes to wines and try something new.
The “by M&R” range highlights alternative varieties – such as Saperavi, a variety originating in Georgia - and winemaking.
The range is at an affordable price point which allows guests to take the risk and ask ‘will I like it, or won’t I?’
The Matriarch and Rogue cellar door is currently open from 12noon to 6pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, however, there are plans to open from 2pm til late on Fridays to offer a wine bar alternative in the town.
Beers and soft drinks are also on offer along with a special “this Month’s Magnum”, which is wine by the glass from a magnum of imported product.
‘I want to offer guests the opportunity to buy a glass of wine, or a bottle or preferably an entire case,” Marnie said.
Being on the main street of Clare means that Marnie welcomes tourists and locals to her cellar door and be ready because the experience is worth it.
The cellar door is located at 279 Main North Road, Clare, or for more information call 0419 901 892.
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