Winemaker, distiller, mother and entrepreneur Laura Carter and her business partner (husband, Brendan) are on a mission - to make delicious, beverages in a sustainable way and create a modern business in the process. We love Laura’s energy and determination. And we think you should too.
Winemaker, distiller, mother and entrepreneur Laura Carter and her business partner (and partner in life, husband Brendan) are on a mission - to make delicious, Australian beverages in a sustainable way and create a thoroughly modern business in the process. Their winery, Unico Zelo is a winery with attitude. We love Laura’s energy, determination, and taste-making abilities. And we think you should too.
The philosophy behind her winery ‘Unico Zelo’ is to show the world just how varied Australian wine can be, and how flexible and forgiving the fascinating soils of South Australia can be. Their deeply-flavoured wines are inspired by some of the great, powerful wine regions of the world, and Laura has captured the future of drinking, and has her own personal stamp on things. She works with an unusual and radical set of grape varietals with which to make wine - a lot of southern Italian and Sicilian grapes are grown here, famed for their deep, punchy flavours which suit the new generation of wine drinkers, who want to enjoy powerful wines in an informal setting. A breath of fresh, Italian-inspired air, which is gaining a set of dedicated followers with every new release.
What is the most interesting grape variety you are working with?
I love Fiano! I learn something new about the variety every season, and there are so many great expressions of Fiano being produced in Australia. There is a tropical ripeness from Clare Valley; right through to salinity and texture from the Riverland. More recently, I've really enjoyed examples from producers that are experimenting with oak and Fiano.
What is your ‘dream’ varietal. To make, and to drink?
Fiano again! But I would love to make it in Italy. There is generations of winemaking experience in Campania (the home of Fiano) and the vineyards have altitude and volcanic soils which lend to quite mineral expressions of Fiano. These elements make it very different to what we produce in Australia.
You’re not just a talented ‘winemaker’ you're an entrepreneur. What advice do you have for your industry peers, wanting to carve their way in the industry?
Just get started! Unico Zelo grew from just 2 barrels of Merlot 10 years ago. It is a really supportive industry and you will build connections with growers and winemakers who are more than happy to help you get started!
Can our Good Pair Days wine community come to visit you?
Yes! We have a cellar door in Gumeracha, Adelaide Hills and if you visit us during vintage, you will see all the action of crushing and fermenting!
Your husband is also a famous winemaker, so, besides Brendan, who is your celebrity crush?
I'm not sure if it's exactly a celebrity crush, but I would love to meet Michelle Obama!
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