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3/12/2014

Commercial release of Barossa Valley Heritage Shiraz clones

South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) turned scientific trials into an industry reality with the commercial release of Heritage Shiraz clones in the Barossa Valley.

The selection of these clones began back in 1986, initiated by industry stalwarts Ross Heinze, Richard Cirami and Dr Michael McCarthy in conjunction with state vine improvement organisations.

Dr Michael McCarthy, SARDI principal research scientist for viticulture, said he is delighted to see the trials become a reality.

“It’s been a long time coming but it was worth the wait,” he said.

“The many years of testing and the quality of the wines we have made from these clones are proof in the pudding that it’s worth capturing the unique genetics of these old vineyards, some of which date as far back as the 1840s. I’m proud of the results we have achieved”.

Chris Rogers, St Hallett Wines viticulturist and committee member of Barossa Vine Improvement, acknowledges the dedication of McCarthy and his colleagues in highlighting the need for clonal diversity in Shiraz.

“Mike has been the driving force behind bringing these heritage clones to growers and ensuring that we recognise the opportunities that ongoing clonal selection can offer the wine industry and the Barossa,” he said.

“Through this work, a new generation of grapegrowers and winemakers have greater access to high quality unique genetic material originating from old vines with known health and quality characteristics, which in turn offers greater diversity, sustainability and character to our future vineyards and wines.”

Barossa winemakers and grapegrowers will have the opportunity to taste a selection of wines made from the Heritage Shiraz clone vines today at an event held at Rosenvale Wines.  

Showcasing wines made in 2013 from eight new Heritage Shiraz clones, the tasting will also feature the well-known 1654 clone as a comparison.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Rogers E: P: 0400 255 964

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