For many wine-lovers, Barossa is synonymous with Shiraz and Australian Shiraz synonymous with Barossa. Thistledown is no different in that we have an unfailing belief in this region though the way we go about producing may differ a little from the norm.
The region was established after George Fife Angas assisted the settlement of an entire European settlement made up of predominantly Prussian provinces, including German speaking people from Silesia. They set about clearing the land for farming, built houses and churches while establishing vine "gardens".
To this day, the German speaking heritage of the region is clear to see in the road names, winemaker's surnames and the delicious fatty foods sold in the numerous bakeries that dot the region.
There are basically two main soil types in the Barossa and both are thought to be relatively low in fertility: brown, loamy sandy to clay loam and sandy light-brownish grey to dark grey brown soils. Many of the most famous vineyards have a deep red tinge to the soil colour and this chimes with the intensity and deep colouration of many of the wines.
Old Vines are important to the region too with Barossa beng one of the few regions left to have a significant vineyard with over 100 years of age. These gnarly old vines don't necessarily make better wine but vineyards that make great wine do tend to be left to grow old!
Where we can gain access, these old vines capture the essence of the region, bringing with them the ghosts of the past and the tastes of the future and as such are Thistledown's most prized sources.
For more details of the geography of the Barossa, visit here
It is not hard to produce wine that is high in colour, high in alcohol and high in tannin in the Barossa. Over the past 10 years we have seen progressively higher alcohols as fashion favoured longer hang times for the fruit in a bid to achieve true flavour ripeness.
The result was wines that, in some instances, are characitures of Barossa Shiraz. Not for us. We aim to capture the true flavour of Barossa in a more moderate framework - still robust, fully flavoured but brighter, more balanced and full of life