REAL DEAL: ‘Chestnut Teal’ devotees, and the men behind MAD Wine Co. Pty Ltd., Peter Stone and Darren Rogers, have re-launched the former Mildara Wines brand. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

A SHERRY made famous by Mildara Wines over nearly six decades has been launched back into production following the efforts of two local ‘devotees’.

Many Mildura Weekly readers may remember the name ‘Chestnut Teal’ – which was originally launched by Mildara Wines in the early 1950s, and was considered an “enduring feature” of not only the Mildara portfolio, but also wine lists and liquor cabinets nationwide.

Production of Chestnut Teal ceased in 1998, with two ‘Teal’ devotees, and former long-term Mildara employees, Peter Stone – who served as an engineer for 15 years – and Darren Rogers – a 10-year accountant for the company – re-launching the brand in September ahead of its 65th birthday.

The re-launch followed “tenacious negotiation” according to Mr Stone, who said he and Mr Rogers had been able to secure the Chestnut Teal brand under licence through MAD Wine Co. Pty Ltd.

The first limited release stock was blended and bottled in Sunraysia by Anthony Murphy – an ex-Mildara winemaker – and is available locally at Sunraysia Cellar Door and Chateau Mildura, and direct to consumers by the case online (www.chestnutteal.com.au).

“Our hope is that Chestnut Teal will continue to be appreciated as not only an icon of the Australian wine industry, but as a wonderful drink for any occasion,” Mr Stone said. “It was the weapon of choice after work every night… and we used to drink it after work.”

Mr Stone said Chestnut Teal also represented a piece of Merbein’s history.

“It took a long time, 10 years, to get to this point,” he said.

Mr Stone and Mr Rogers said 1000 litres has been produced in the first limited release.

“This is the real thing, and it tastes identical to the original,” Mr Stone said. “Former Mildura Mayor Mark Eckel has also flown the flag for us, presenting a bottle of Chestnut Teal to the Upland Mayor during his recent visit over there.”

Mr Stone said the plan was to produce 1000 to 2000 litres a year, and ensure the brand remained a strong presence in the local wine scene.