The fruit comes from two adjacent, family-owned vineyards just outside the village of Murrumbateman in the cool Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Murrumbateman’s elevation is 600 metres above sea level. ‘Canberra District’ is the official geographical indicator for the winegrowing district around Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Soil here consists of sandy clay loams over a base of decomposed granite.
Dr John Kirk planted the Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra, in 1971 after his scientific curiosity led him to question why vines were not being grown in this area. His research showed that the soil and climate seemed suited to certain varieties. Clonakilla means ‘meadow of the church’ and is the name of Dr Kirk’s grandfather’s farm in County Clare, Ireland. In 1997 Tim Kirk, the fourth of John’s six sons, took over responsibility for winemaking. Today, Clonakilla is recognised as one of the leading estates in Australia. Tim was named Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2013.
94% Syrah/Shiraz , 6% Viognier
Grapes were harvested by hand. 25% whole bunches were used in the ferments with the remaining fruit destemmed and crushed before being added to the fermentation tanks. All parcels were co-fermented with 6% Viognier for a period of four weeks on skins. The wine matured for 12 months in French oak, of which 25% was new with the remainder in a combination of one, two and three-year old barrels.
Australian Syrah – Viognier wine would be a match made in heaven with beef, lamb, game (venison, deer) and poultry