Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au or www.pandoraandmax.blogspot.com
One of the highlights of our trip to the Barossa, was a visit to Cirillo Estate. This vineyard is a one man show, so you need to ring and organise a time to visit - obviously, as he does all the wine making himself, it may not be possible, but we were lucky enough to be able to sometime there, for a very enjoyable tasting.
As there is no traditional cellar door, the wine tasting was set up in the shed, with the tractor and vats. It was great to see the behind the scenes machinery up close. The person telling us about the wines was the man himself, Marco Cirillo.
Cirillo Estate grows the oldest Grenache vines on the planet, to their knowledge. They're roughly 166 years of age, though there are some younger vines. All the work in growing and creating the wine on this vineyard is done by one very busy man - which is amazing when you consider how labour intensive the process is.
Marco is not a new comer to winemaking - his family spans 9 generations of winemakers, from both sides of the globe.
The wines themselves are a pleasure, as you probably already know, so I won't dwell on those descriptions, but make sure you buy a mixed case, as they're all quite different and definitely get at least one 1850, made from the fruit of the oldest vines. What I liked most about this tasting, was the inside stories that you rarely hear, and I could ask about the label design (each label shows the different type of vine), about the processes involved and other things that piqued my curiosity, not just get a potted history of the vineyard and flavours in the wine discussion, that is common practice when visiting cellar doors.
If you're not in the area, but curious about these Grenache wines - online orders can be placed here. Otherwise, if heading to the Barossa, make a visit on your list of things to do - but text ahead and give him plenty of time to try and find a suitable day. Obviously, he's a very busy man, so understand he can't always accommodate visitors.