As you turn off the highway at Greenock, the road drops down and you pass briefly through a typical Barossa country village – a pub; a general store; and a tidy, well-kept row of vines and cottages. The names here speak of an older time: Ebenezer, Moppa, Gomersal, Marananga and Kalimna.
The road continues along a twist of shallow dips and rises, and a building comes into view set back from the track – modern, for sure, but also one that has the squared, purposeful proportions of function rather than form. It is at one with its surroundings, and is proudly constructed from the earth and stone on which it sits.
This is Murray Street Vineyards, a name that is simply an address for some of the finest, hand-crafted wines in the world.
Our story is all about celebrated ground. Over 200 million years of glacial movement and receding oceans; black, cracking-clay; ferrous-red ironstone and a fine silt of blond sand that has blown across a vast desert to be here. This is the Western Barossa ridge – the oldest soil in the world, hosting the oldest vines in the world, and offering up that rarest of prizes: old vine Barossa Shiraz, Mataro and Grenache.
These are wines that are grown, not made. The patchwork soils, the long silence of the warm growing season, and the occasional, faster-moving air of an afternoon breeze, all play their part in helping to shape flavour, structure and style.
Facing west, the passing seasons finish their days in our direction, casting long shadows in summer, and low skies in deep winter, but always giving us thought on colour, light and movement. We think you will find this, too, in our wine.
This is hard, honoured country. It demands and rewards patience.
It is a privilege to be here.
Tell me your story – what got you involved in wine making?
It’s hard not to get involved in winemaking when you grow up in the Barossa. Running through friend’s vineyards as a kid to making our own wine in high school (our school had a winery). Picking, crushing, fermenting and pressing our own wine during school really motivated me to pursue a career in wine. It seemed like too much fun to be considered a job. This was followed up by 2 vintages with Yalumba when I finished school which ultimately led me to studying wine making while working with Henschke. I haven’t looked back since.
In our post show visitor survey from 2017’s shows, the Barossa was identified as the visitors favourite wine region / wines. What do you think makes the Barossa so special?
The Barossa is a special place for a number of reasons. There is so much history within the Barossa as it is home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world with sixth generation grape growers tending to some of these beautiful old vines. There is so much diversity in within the Barossa with more and more people looking towards making single site wines that express a sense of place.
Shiraz is obviously the hero of the region, but there are so many great examples of Grenache and Grenache blends that are catching some attention.
What’s your favourite wine from your own range that you’d recommend our visitors trying at the Good Food & Wine Show?
The Barossa GSM. I’m a big fan of Grenache wines and love the aromatics and freshness of flavor in this particular wine.
Tell us 1 thing that makes your own wines so special?
Our wines are grown on the western ridge of the Barossa. This is home to some of the oldest soils in the world and allows us to create wines that speak the region and site they are grown. We carefully select the best parcels to create wine with character, subtlety and intrigue.
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?
Pol roger Winston Churchill with fresh coffin bay oysters
What wine from another Barossa Winery other than your own would you recommend visitors trying? Any hidden gems this year?
Spinifex, the wines are consistently delicious across the range.
For visitors planning a trip to the Barossa, what would you recommend them including in their itinerary of what not to miss?
A drive down seppeltsfield road followed by a visit to the seppeltsfield winery and tasting the fortified from your birth year. An amazing place to visit with so much history.