Eddies Old Vine Shiraz - Where our wine story began.
For the 18+ family members, there are few things that say Christmas in Australia quite like a good glass of Shiraz. Today, we share our current release Old Vine Shiraz – a wine worthy of celebrations and special occasions.
2005: A favourite vineyard is given new purpose.
Prior to making our own wine, we were grape growers and farmers, selling our produce and and grapes to Barossan wineries including Torbreck, Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Peter Lehmann and St Hallett.
After our industry’s boom in the 1990s and early 2000s, a creeping issue of oversupply was brewing. By 2005, the wine industry simply had too many grapes. This meant many prices were forced down, and many relationships with bigger wineries were dissolved – it simply wasn’t viable.
Beyond pricing, from the point of view of a grower that cares about where the fruit goes, it was challenging to us selling fruit to bigger players as we had started to feel the fruit wasn’t getting put to good use.
These vines were planted in 1912 and 1951 by the Atze family. When combined with our unique terroir, they produce a truly unique flavour profile, something we wanted expressed. Feeling despondent, we decided to take a chance, and save our grapes from a monotonous fate.
Helped along in the winemaking by friends, some amazing local talented winemakers, 2005 became the first vintage of our Eddies Old Vine Shiraz.
Luckily for us, 2005 was a fantastic year for producing an Old Vine wine from this particular site – perhaps an omen for a decision well made, as it continues to this day.
Who is Eddie?
Named after Eddie Staehr, my great uncle, and Eddie Leibig, both working for Atze’s at the time (1912) who planted what is our oldest surviving vineyard, this wine is named for the gents that helped our first vintage into fruition. It’s a name that’s simply stuck!
When it comes to Old Vine Shiraz, there’s something truly special about the wines they produce. Making Eddie’s Old Vine Shiraz, we were inspired by St Hallett’s Old Block, Kaesler’s The Bogan Shiraz, and Peter Lehmann’s Stonewell Shiraz, all wines made from selected parcels of vines.
Unlike some industries, where prices are exclusively simply marketing ploys, creating a wine from an Old Vineyard lends to an exclusivity that’s simply the result of scarce, finite fruit.
Upon tasting and drinking our Eddie’s, we’ve had customers comment that the wine is reminiscent of what Peter Lehmann’s Stonewell Shiraz was 20 odd years ago. Reflecting, this could very well be because they’re alluding to a time when the quantities made were lower, and most likely sourced exclusively from old vineyards.
We use both new French and American oak barrels to age Eddie’s, while harvesting fruit later and riper to guide a classically big, broad old vine Shiraz.
The Eddie’s vineyard is adjoining Kaesler’s The Bogan vineyard, creating some common characteristics that we celebrate in both wines.
A German Aussie Christmas
Christmas is celebrated a little differently in 2020 Australia than 1912. Back then in the Barossa during the year that the German settlers planted our oldest vines they would have enjoyed the rituals of an advent calendar, a freshly cut Christmas tree, a Christmas Eve Church service followed by the sharing of gifts. And a hot roasted turkey cooked on a wood stove on a hot summers Christmas day.
While in the Barossa some of those traditions still live strong today, present day Australians enjoy increasing sunshine, swims, fresh seafood, backyard cricket and Shiraz – occasionally the sparkling variety.
Grandma would have shuddered at the thought of a cold seafood lunch which we enjoy today!
Perhaps our version of a daily advent calendar ought to be the nightly opening of an Australian bottle of wine… After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas in Australia without a little Barossa Shiraz!
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