We moved here in 2015 with the intent to make wine from our Shiraz vineyard.
During 2016 vintage we gave it a shot, squashing a small bin of grapes in the shed. Not even enough for one barrique barrel (225 litres), the experience taught us a lot about winemaking. Primarily it taught us that if we want to take it seriously, we can’t do it in the shed.
So, we moved to The Shed – at Dutschke Wines. Working for Dutschke since November 2016, Wayne and Brenda were kind enough to let us crush a bit of fruit under their verandah in 2017.
2017 turned out to be a glut year. We were able to sell a bit of the extra fruit that we had grown, but in the end we crushed twice as much as we intended to crush for the year.
Bottling the 2017 Shiraz, in 2019, we chose to bottle it as cleanskin and label it on demand. This also gave us the option to sell the excess wine as cleanskins, although this proved difficult. Cleanskins need to be cheap – dirt cheap. Below cost cheap. This didn’t make sense to us, and instead the wine continued to sit in storage and mature.
Skipping forward a few years, vintage 2022 also turned out to be a glut year. Primarily because of the Chinese market closure, we ended up crushing tenfold what we intended. History repeating.
With so much wine in barrel, the idea of creating a Sparkling Shiraz came to mind.
Sparkling Shiraz is something Sarah and I thoroughly enjoy drinking but had never dreamed of making.
During my time in various wineries, none were making Sparkling Shiraz, insisting it takes too much time, costs too much money, and is very finicky. It turns out they were right! Nonetheless, we persisted.
Sarah had the bright idea to decant some of the 2017 cleanskins still sitting in warehousing, allowing us to create a wine with some complexity and substance straight off the bat.
The idea was good, and the Sparkling Shiraz base wine was born. My Dad, Mickie, and I decanted bottles of 2017 on a rainy day in June 2023, beefing the blend up with 2022 Shiraz and a tickle of 2023 for variety.
Sparkling Shiraz base wines need a host of procedures carried out on them, and that’s before you make it bubbly. Fortunately, the team at VinPac Angaston have the equipment and know-how to make Charmat Method Sparkling. We dispatched the base wine to them, and they walked us through the process from start to finish.
Our 2023 release of NV Noble Sparkling Shiraz is comprised of Shiraz from our 2017, 2022 and 2023 vintages. With a delicious 1% addition of Dutschke Fortified Shiraz (approx. 10 years old), the wine has complexity, fruit and depth all at once.