PLUMM MASTERCLASS & RESERVE LUNCHEON

SHIRAZ DAY

Celebrate Shiraz Day Thursday 25th July.

Explore the joy of Shiraz and discover why it’s Australia’s most adored red wine.

Equus Shiraz

Saddler's Creek Wines

SHIRAZ

Shiraz Day, celebrated annually on July 25th, is a day dedicated to savouring and appreciating the bold, rich flavours of Shiraz, one of Australia’s most beloved red wine varieties.

Shiraz in Australia is like a beloved family recipe that’s been passed down for generations. It all started back in the early 1800s when James Busby, often called the “father of Australian wine,” brought Shiraz grape cuttings to Australia in 1832. Imagine planting a tiny seed that grows into a massive tree – that’s what happened with Shiraz in Australia. From those first plantings, Shiraz spread across the country like wildfire, becoming Australia’s favorite red grape variety.

Australia is now home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world, with some vineyards dating back to the 1840s. These ancient vines are like wise old grandparents, producing small amounts of incredibly flavorful grapes. Over time, Australian winemakers have become masters at crafting Shiraz, creating everything from easy-drinking everyday wines to world-famous, age-worthy classics. Today, Shiraz is the most planted red grape in Australia, making up over 40% of all red wine grapes grown in the country. It’s become so synonymous with Australian wine that when people think of Aussie reds, Shiraz is often the first thing that comes to mind.

Shiraz is grown in virtually every wine region in Australia. While it’s difficult to give an exact number, as new regions may emerge and classifications can vary, there are about 25 major wine regions growing Shiraz.

Top Shiraz-Producing Regions

Shiraz is adaptable to various climates and is grown in both warm and cool regions across Australia. The variety’s versatility allows it to express different characteristics based on the terroir, resulting in a wide range of styles from full-bodied and rich in warmer regions to more medium-bodied and spicy in cooler climates.

Australia’s Shiraz landscape is like a patchwork quilt, with each region adding its unique flavour to the overall tapestry. The Barossa Valley in South Australia is renowned for producing full-bodied, richly textured Shiraz with intense blackberry and spice notes. It’s home to some of the world’s oldest Shiraz vines, dating back to 1843. McLaren Vale, another South Australian gem, crafts Shiraz with a Mediterranean twist, offering full-bodied wines bursting with blueberry and chocolate flavours. While the lesser-known region of Langhorne Creek in South Australia is renowned in the industry for producing the finest quality Shiraz.

The Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region, takes a different approach, producing elegant, medium-bodied Shiraz with distinctively savoury and red fruit characters with great aging potential.

For those who prefer a cooler climate style, the Clare Valley delivers Shiraz with vibrant fruit flavours. Meanwhile, Victoria’s Heathcote region has ancient soils that impart a distinctive iron-like minerality to the wine. Each of these regions puts its own spin on Shiraz, much like how different chefs might interpret a classic recipe, resulting in a diverse and exciting range of styles for wine lovers to explore.

Shiraz vs. Syrah: What’s the Difference?

Shiraz and Syrah are like twins separated at birth – same grape, different upbringing. Imagine two brothers: one raised in sunny Australia (Shiraz) and the other in cooler France (Syrah). The Aussie Shiraz grew up to be bold and outgoing, with a big personality full of ripe fruit flavours and higher alcohol. The French Syrah, on the other hand, became more refined and elegant, with subtle spicy notes and savoury characteristics. Some winemakers in cooler Australian regions now use “Syrah” on their labels to hint at a more restrained, French-inspired style. But don’t be fooled – whether it’s called Shiraz or Syrah, it’s the same grape at heart, just expressing itself differently based on where it’s grown and how it’s made

Shiraz Styles and Food Pairings by renowed Australian Wine Regions

Hunter Valley

  • Style: Medium-bodied, elegant wines
  • Flavours: Red fruit (cherry, raspberry), earthy, and savoury notes
  • Food Pairings:
    • Game meats like venison and kangaroo
    • Lamb dishes, especially roast or grilled lamb
    • Warm lentil and beetroot salad
    • Cured meats or grilled vegetable antipasti
  • Expect: Elegant, concentrated wines with a savoury finish

 

Langhorne Creek

  • Style: Full-bodied, generous wines
  • Flavors: Dark berries, plum, licorice, pepper, and sometimes mint
  • Food Pairings:
    • Richly flavoured, spiced dishes like pepper or paprika-seasoned meats
    • Sticky lamb ribs with sweet condiments or sauces
    • Traditional or vegetarian lasagne
    • Bold cheeses, like gouda or aged cheddar
  • Expect: Rich, approachable wines with good structure and length of flavour

 

Barossa Valley

  • Style: Full-bodied, richly textured wines
  • Flavours: Blackberry, black cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice, and black pepper
  • Food Pairings:
    • Grilled or barbecued beef, especially served rare or with a pepper sauce
    • Big beefy stews, such as ox cheek cooked in wine or with smoky spices like chili
    • Strong hard cheeses, especially cheddar and mellow blue cheese
    • Dark chocolate with high cocoa content (70% or more)
  • Expect: Rich, powerful wines with great aging potential

 

McLaren Vale

  • Style: Full-bodied wines with rich fruit flavours
  • Flavours: Blueberry, chocolate, black pepper, and tobacco
  • Food Pairings:
    • Barbecue dishes, including ribs, spicy sausages, and smoked brisket
    • Beef dishes, such as slow-cooked beef or osso buco
    • Bold cheeses, like gouda or aged cheddar
    • Smokey bacon or barbecue chips
  • Expect: Intense, fruit-forward wines with a balance of savoury notes

 

When purchasing Shiraz from these regions, consumers can expect the general characteristics and food pairings outlined above, but individual producer styles and vintage variations can also play a significant role in the final wine.

SAVOUR OR CELLAR

Saddler’s Creek Wines has many styles of Shiraz to choose from. Explore our collections from fruit forward to big and bold from multi-regions. This Shiraz Day we invite you to discover our award-winning Alessandro Reserve Shiraz from Hunter Valley and Langhorne Creek.

The award-winning Alessandro Reserve collection features three Shiraz to enjoy. From the carefully aged 2017 Shiraz to our new release 2022 ‘Auriela’ Shiraz from the Hunter Valley. Or journey to South Australia for a full-bodied 2019 Shiraz from Langhorne Creek. Why create your own selection so you can savour it now or cellar it for later?

2022 Alessandro Reserve
‘Aurelia’ Shiraz

Estate-grown Shiraz along with fruit from the neighbouring Johannes Vineyard. Bright red fruits with hints of black cherry, a wine of subtle power and elegance. Named after Wendy and Frank’s granddaughter, Aurelia, who was born in 2022. Perfect for the cellar.
Awarded 93 points, Halliday.

2017 Alessandro Reserve
‘Cellar Release’ Shiraz

Crafted from an exceptional Hunter Valley vintage, which produced lush, juicy berries. After careful cellaring, the tannins have softened making it irresistibly smooth. This wine is ready to savour with good food and share with treasured company.
TOP 100 / Blue-Gold Award SIWC

2019 Alessandro Reserve
‘Cellar Release’ Shiraz

The Follet Family has been growing grapes in Langhorne Creek SA for over 130 years. Their vineyard is synonymous for producing outstanding Shiraz with rich depth of flavour as a result of the unique terroir. Rich, exuberant, and intensely flavoured. Ready to savour or continue cellaring.

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