Berton Vineyards was established in 1996 by Bob and Cherie Berton when they purchased a block of land in High Eden, a subregion of the Barossa Valley, South Australia. This idyllic property sits 450m above sea level on gently rolling hills - except for the Chardonnay block which is anything but gentle. Bob and Cherie set about planting the first Berton Vineyard cuttings that spring - ten acres of Shiraz and seven acres of Chardonnay - without any permanent water - it wasn't until the following year, in 1998 when the dam filled that the vines got a decent drink. It was due to these conditions and the seemingly hydrophobic podsolic soils that the vines struggled to become established. After a few years where the vines still looked like rootlings, a Swedish friend jokingly called it the bonsai vineyard - and the name stuck and later became the name of their premium Shiraz. High Eden has a high annual rainfall so the vines are looking good these days but they still remember the early days every time they crack open a bottle of Bonsai! After the dam was established and water plentiful, they went on to plant Cabernet sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. In 2005 the decision was made to purchase a winery to process the 100 odd tonnes that was produced at the High Eden Vineyard. In 2005 when the former Southcorp winery in Yenda became available, Bob and Cherie joined with Jamie Bennett, Paul Bartholomaeus and James Ceccato to form Berton Vineyards the company. The winery was purchased and the guys moved to their new home in November 2005. For the next few months, they were kept busy buying up fruit and arranging contact crushing for the 2006 vintage. In January 2006 the first grapes rolled across the weighbridge, and so began the scariest vintage they have all experienced. With very few staff we managed to crush and process 13,000 tonnes. Thankfully life at the winery has become easier since then.
Bright with colour and aromas of plum and red currant over toasty mocha and spicy oak. The palate is full flavoured with plum, blueberry and mocha notes. The tannins are well balanced and give the wine great structure and length.
Enjoy with roast lamb and vegetables.
Vintage 2020 will be one we don’t forget in a hurry. Throughout budburst and ripening the Riverina region was experiencing drought conditions, so supplementary water was crucial. Harvested in the
beginning of March, just before Coronavirus lock down, this Shiraz was crushed and transferred straight to ferment, maintaining a temperature of around 26-28° to maximise colour extraction. Fermented in stainless steel with French oak chips, this wine is pressed at 1 baume and left to
ferment until dry. Malolactic fermentation is commenced after racking onto French oak, after this is complete the Shiraz parcels are blended, filtered and stored in stainless steel until bottling.