The fruit for the Pirathon Blue Shiraz is sourced from low-yielding vineyards of traditional family growers in the north-western Barossa districts of Greenock, Moppa, Belvidere, Koonunga and Ebenezer.
Each vineyard is harvested separately when the fruit is ready–this can take up to two months. After picking, each parcel of fruit is crushed separately into open-top fermenters. During fermentation, hand pump-overs gently extracted colour and flavour from the grapes. The juice is fermented on skins for a week or more and pumped over by hand. After pressing, new and seasoned French, American and Hungarian oak hogsheads are filled and the wine is allowed to mature approximately eighteen months. After this time the wine is blended and bottled without fining.
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.