These Lefties Are Doing It Right at Mollydooker

Unconventional. Whimsical. Intense. Fruit Forward. Exuberance. These are all great words to describe the wines of Mollydooker from McLaren Vale in Southern Australia, where they “make wines that make people go ‘WOW’!”


Mollydooker, which is an Aussie slang term for a left-hander, is owned by left-handed husband and wife winemaking team Sarah and Sparky Marquis. Their wines are fruit-forward, high-alcohol wines and to really appreciate them is to know their story and to meet the exuberant owners, which I got to do recently when Sarah was in Los Angeles to host a lunch at BOA Steakhouse.


A few unique points stood out to me about Mollydooker:

Wine Philopsophy and Practices:

Marquis Vineyard Watering Programme

Sarah and Sparky met while studying winemaking in 1997 where they learned that great wines are made in the vineyard. Over the last 20 years they have created the trademarked Marquis Vineyard Watering Programme. This program focuses on watering the vines to lower sugar ripeness while flavor ripeness catches up. The result is wines with intense color, flavor and a velvety sensation.

To learn more about the watering program, check out this video:

Marquis Fruit Weight

Sarah and Sparky have also developed a term to help you describe your own wine experience using Marquis Fruit Weight. Sarah explained that the fruit weight is the “measure of how far back, from the tip of your tongue, the velvety sensation of fruit goes.” The further back it goes, the higher the weight and the Marquis Vineyard Watering Programme helps to achieve high fruit weight in all their wines.



The Mollydooker Shake


Mollydooker has come up with a unique way in their winemaking that also minimizes the amount of sulphites in the wine by using nitrogen, a natural preservative. When you get a bottle, you need to do The Mollydooker Shake in order to release the nitrogen and allow the wines to show their full potential. Before the shake, the wine is more concentrated but after the shake, the wine is softer and the aromatics are lifted. This is something recommended for all of their wines except for The Violinist, Miss Molly, Goosebumps or any wine over two years old.


Wine Presentation:

Mollydooker, while serious about their wines, are more whimsical when it comes to their labels. Labels are what attract people when they are looking at the shelf. Mollydooker wines are grouped into four categories and each one has a story. The labels are memorable, fun and approachable.


The Leftys


The Violinist Verdelho 2012 – The only white wine they make, this verdelho has great acidity. It is named for Sarah, the violinist, who was forced to play right-handed in school so that she didn’t poke her neighbor with the bow.





The Maitre D’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – With notes of coffee, herbs and eucalyptus, this big acidic cabernet is named for Sparky who worked as a left-handed Maitre D’ to put himself through winemaking school.






Two Left Feet Shiraz/Cabernet/Merlot 2011 – Predominantly shiraz, the cabernet adds a smoothness and the merlot adds aromatics. This wine is named in honor of Sparky who has two left feet when he dances with Sarah.






The Boxer Shiraz 2011 – A big powerful wine with notes of chocolate, spice and plums, this wine is named for the “left-handed knockout” that it is.





The Family: Holly & Luke


Gigglepot Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – Named for their daughter Holly, this cabernet is rich and fruity but elegant.







Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2011 – Named for their blue-eyed son Luke, this shiraz is rich and fruity.





The Colourful Love Pair


Enchanted Path Shiraz and Cabernet 2011 – Celebrating Sarah and Sparky’s journey in life and winemaking, this wine blends two varietals into a harmonious wine.






Carnival of Love Shiraz 2011 – A huge wine with aromas of stewed fruits, this wine represents the “WOW” that Sarah and Sparky strive for.




The Elegant Velvet Glove



Velvet Glove Shiraz 2011 – This silky, elegant wine has big fruit and great acidity, wrapping your palate in a “velvet glove”





Sarah and Sparky are passionate about the wine they make and have fun while doing it.  But, they also are passionate about the community around them and are very generous in supporting several charities around the world.

In Australia, they support Hutt Street that helps the homeless and vulnerable people in the inner city of their hometown, Adelaide.

In the United States, they sponsor 20 girls each year who struggle from abuse through Mercy, a free-of-charge Christian residential program.

In Cambodia, they have sent up three centers in Phnom Penh which educate and mentor 300 young children who would otherwise be on the street.