In 1998 three brothers purchased a 104Ha property in the Barossa Ranges for the purpose of establishing a vineyard. The property is on the corner of Abbaston Road and Springton Road, Mt Crawford. The area has an average annual rainfall of 700mm and the second coldest average winter temperature in South Australia. The average elevation is 450m above sea level and most of the vineyard has a northerly aspect. The soils are rich in minerals and organics, which enables us to grow some of the best quality wine grapes in Australia. Our name Blue Rock Wines comes from Bluerock corner which borders our vineyard and was the site of a large bluestone mine which supplied stone for many of Adelaide’s older buildings.
One philosophy we strongly adhere to as grape growers is to always put back to the land what you take out by replacing the nutrients to the soil that were used to grow that years crop. Biodiversity is encouraged by the planting of native species of trees indigenous to this area.
In 2001 Zissis, one of the brothers commenced a viticultural degree at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga via distance education. Also in that year, one of the Barossa’s oldest and most respected family operated wineries offered us a contract
to purchase all the grapes produced from the property. In 2004 the viticulture degree undertaken by Zissis was drawing to a close when the university offered for the first time a double degree (Viticulture & Winesciences), which he promptly enrolled in. He graduated in 2008 with both degrees, the first to do so in Australia.
Tell me your story – what got you involved in wine making?
I loved drinking good wine so I thought I would try my hand at making some.
In our post show visitor survey from 2016’s shows, the Barossa was identified as the visitors favourite wine region / wines. What do you think makes the Barossa so special?
The diversity of the terroir, the climate and the people.
What’s your favourite wine from your own range that you’d recommend our visitors trying at the Good Food & Wine Show?
My 2012 Pantelis Cabernet Sauvignon (named after my late father) or my 2013 Black Velvet Shirak
Tell us 1 thing that makes your own wines so special?
Cool climate (grapes grown in hills of the Eden Valley)
If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, (hard one, we know!) what would that be and what food would you pair it with?
The 2012 Pantelis Cabernet Sauvignon with a thick juicy steak.
What wine from another Barossa Winery other than your own would you recommend visitors trying? Any hidden gems this year?
Gibson Wines Eden Valley Shiraz, William Randell by Thorne Clarke.
For visitors planning a trip to the Barossa, what would you recommend them including in their itinerary of what not to miss?
An early morning Balloon ride over the vineyards, Food and Wine Festivals.
Wines you’ll be showcasing at the Good Food & Wine Show…
2016 Eden Valley Riesling
2016 Pinot Grigio
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
2016 Reserve Series Pinot Gris
2016 Pinot Noir Rose
2014 Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Eden Valley Shiraz
2013 ‘The Hills’ Reserve Pinot Noir
2013 Reserve Black Velvet Shiraz
2012 Reserve Pantelis Cabernet Sauvignon