To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the AWRI in 1955, we are making a one-off batch of wine in the 2015 vintage: a Barossa Shiraz.
This exciting and fun project aims to put the AWRI’s wine science into action to make a high quality wine with longevity. Indeed, we are already thinking about what we might do in 15 years time to commemorate our 75th anniversary, and hope, with nature on our side, to have a wine we can proudly serve to mark that auspicious occasion.
And what about in 2055 to mark our century? Certainly we’d hope that some of the wine will still be around, and will be more than a mere curiosity at 40 years of age.
This blog will tell the story of the 60th anniversary wine – from the grapes that are growing right now through harvest, winemaking, packaging and beyond to when the wine is analysed and most importantly tasted. The wine will be a blend of six sub-regions – Ebenezer, Greenock, Krondorf, Lyndoch, Marananga and Nuriootpa in equal proportions, and all from old vines.
This project is only possible because of the unique place the AWRI has as the industry’s own research institute; sourcing suitable grapes to make an ultra-premium Barossa Shiraz would not be easy without the help of many industry friends and collaborators in the Barossa Valley. The generosity shown by many people already, in allowing us to buy 500kg batches of some of their most cherished Shiraz grapes has been humbling. The cherry on top of the icing for this project was to source fruit from vines with an average age of 60 years. In fact, with the fruit we’ve already been promised that will be easily achieved.
Thanks are extended to all those involved so far, particularly people who have pledged fruit. It has been a pleasure to meet with the passionate growers and winemakers who love the idea of this project, and who with obvious pride in what they do so well and a sense of fun have been eager to ensure that we obtain the fruit we need – despite the devastating recent frost which has drastically reduced the crop in some areas.
There are also those from large companies and small, who have already given freely of their time providing advice; preparing barrel samples; discussing oak with preparedness to supply us with the second and third-fill barrels we will need; and drawing mud-maps with which a novice has at least some chance of navigating the labyrinth of back roads to find those precious old vine blocks.
This is a great industry, which the AWRI is proud to be part of.