All Articles
All Articles

Cloudburst Wines

Award-winning biodynamic reds and whites from the Margaret River region of Australia

by David Graver
on 02 May 2014

On 250 acres in Australia's Margaret River region (the nation's equivalent to America's Napa Valley) and abutting a national park, American vintner Will Berliner carefully crafts his stellar array of Cloudburst wine. Only 400 cases leave the vineyard each year, making his annual offering of chardonnay and cabernet a rare treat. The utmost care for the soil and a deep relationship with the vines (closely knit on vertical shoot positioned trellises) contribute to a lush, delicately complex palate within both offerings. Despite Cloudburst's small size they've made a name at some of the most interesting restaurants around the world—Alinea, Fix St. James, Spruce and Blue Hill—to name a few.

CloudburstWines2.jpg CloudburstWines3.jpg

After meeting his wife-to-be Stateside, Berliner relocated to her native Australia. Here the two took time to explore along Australia's temperate coast over three years, offering the sea-lover an opportunity to take in the region's expansive beauty. In 2004 Berliner took a leap and purchased land, setting into motion a great deal of change. In the midst of which, it dawned on Berliner that he had invested all of his money on a huge property 12 timezones away from what he knew to be home. There was some shock, plenty of thought, and then an even greater sense of exploration.

Despite the vastness of the property, there was a road within sight that Berliner wanted to mask. He hired an agronomist with the hopes of planting avocados, but was told that he had fantastic wine soil and should consider growing grapes. Recognizing that this was what the area was known for, Berliner embarked on a path that would take him to the prestigious viticulture and enology program at UC Davis and into the world of wine production. "I could have never thought, 10 years ago, that I would be producing wine. Period," he shares with CH. Thankfully, he does.


"You can develop your terroir by being true to the nature of the land," he continues. And within such a robust and inspiring region, Berliner does yield to the land. His vineyard utilizes no heavy machinery, rather his trellis system allows for minimal disruption to his plants. He carefully moderates the amount of sunlight and air circulation and there's no extra irrigation, as the close-planted vines who have developed their own root systems are naturally watered by the areas cycles. "I have nature as a mentor," he says. "I'm lucky. It's magic there."

CloudburstWinesBerlinerVines.jpg CloudburstWinesSpringVines.jpg

Berliner notes an insurgence of "instavineyards" in the region; heavily financed and with a view in mind to produce cheap bottles—but he doesn't see them as opposition. He does note that the scarcity of his product has been an issue, fought best by his personal tenacity and the fact that the wines are superb. Because of that, he is steadily growing at a rate he can handle with hopes to produce more annually in the coming years. With everything, he is personally hands-on: "I need to be there all the time to catch the intuitive hit that I'm on the right track or there's something that needs to be done."

On the market now, Cloudburst offers a 2010, 2011 and 2012 chardonnay, as well as a cabernet from the same years. Regarding the white, each is clean and oaky, with the 2011 demonstrating a vibrant electric flavor. The 2012 is nuttier, but all three are standouts. As for his red, we found the 2011 demonstrates a bright tartness with notes of cherry and mulberry. The 2012 carries nutmeg and all spice. All have a distinct taste and tremendous clarity. These highly awarded wines are some of the best, if not the best, from an area known for producing the highest quality Australian wines.

Cloudburst wines are available online for $200 to $250 per bottle.

Images courtesy of Cloudburst Wines

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible
Loading More...