Many will be familiar with Brian Conway, founder of the seemingly ubiquitous Barossa label Izway. Prior to Izway’s founding in 2004, Bri made wine between his home base in Western Australia, also covering vintages in Sonoma County, Alsace and Beaujolais at Château Bluizard where he met future Izway business partner Craig Isobel.
During time at Izway, Bri started playing around with Victorian fruit under a new label Trapeze, a hobby project of sorts. Eventually settling in Coburg in Melbourne’s north, the pressures of travel and family saw him sell his share in Izway in 2018. Missing the production side, he has kicked Trapeze to his main focus, and with significant efforts to source top grade fruit and polish packaging and presentation, this reimagined project offers some serious and compelling wines.
Yarra Valley delivers the core of things here, principally the Six J’s vineyard in Steel’s Creek, plus a tiny batch of Pinot Gris sourced from Diamond Crreek. The Murrindindi vineyard in Yea Valley provides the Chardonnay.
Brian chuckles when asked of the philosophy of Trapeze, stating a love of wine grown in valleys. He becomes more serious in outlining being drawn to the underdog; the 6Js vineyard boasts some of the oldest Gamay plantings in Australia, though he could see the site’s full potential wasn’t being realised due to high cropping. Working closely with the grower to reduce yields, it’s safe to say this revised regimen is paying dividends. Likewise of the Murrindindi site – Yea Valley isn’t officially a wine GI, but the quartz-rich soils (pictured) raise a Chardonnay easily in the league of many benchmarks.
The stable sees the aptly titled Early Pinot Noir and Early Gamay as young releases ready for immediate drinking and enjoyment, though these pack a few more layers than typical nouveau releases, with the Chardonnay and Gamay sitting as higher level expressions. An opportune find of Pinot Gris makes its debut for these releases too, though at 30 dozen made to say it’s limited is an understatement.
A long-time friend, we’re stoked to be working with Brian and this project, and can safely say this is a high quality stable meriting serious attention.