The ‘Bush Vine’ project represents the culmination of 35+ years’ experience of our families inland farming and viticultural journey where we test the limits of ‘dry growing’ in Merbein, Victoria, the heart of our production.
The vineyard was established organically in 2017 and managed with no herbicides or pesticides, hand pruned, hand harvested and even manually weeded. In the extreme hot and brutal climate of the Murray Darling, each vine is grown as a little tree/bush to provide its own shade and protection from the harsh sun. They are spaced 2.5 metres apart which enables them to capture the water it needs and minimises competition from neighbouring vines.
Hailing from Puglia in the hot, dry peninsula in the south-east of mainland Italy, Negroamaro was a natural and appropriate choice for our bush vine planting. It’s sturdy nature, good natural vigour, drought tolerance and thick skins all positive qualities for the site conditions.
The 2020 has soft plum-purple hues allude to a vibrant wine in the glass. Early impressions show an earthy dustiness, and pure fruit leading into cherries, dried blue berries and quandong jelly. Rosemary flowers, and wild thyme complement that reoccurring vibrancy in the fruit and freshness. The extended maceration gives the wine good presence in the mouth with a pleasant fine sandy texture. More savoury characters of wattleseed, worn leather and Murray Pine sneak through lengthening the palate even more. The alcohol is there but sitting in the background. Aromatics allow the wine to finish with a delicate and palate of fresh liquorice, lifted lavender and rose petal. The wine is medium bodied, with lovely long length and leaves you intrigued and wanting more. It’s wound up a little, in a nice way, and hints that it will unfurl nicely, drawing on the delicate fragrance and spice characters in the coming years. Food pairings here are aplenty, think confident flavours in medium weight dishes; smoked eggplant ratatouille, guinea fowl with braised radicchio, or a rosemary and salt bush slow lamb.