Saturday 19 October 2019

A Pinot Noir from Eden Valley? Don’t laugh, it’s winning medals

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The Eden Valley is not exactly synonymous with Pinot Noir, but Trevor Harch dares to dream.

His Brockenchack Hare Hunter Pinot Noir 2017 ($35) won a gold medal at the 2019 Melbourne International Wine Competition.

The fruit is from Eden Valley and the wine is made by Shawn Kalleske.

“When we planted our Pinot Noir in Eden Valley, to say that people were sceptical would be quite an understatement,” Trevor says.

“We copped a bit of flack.

“But this only fuelled our determination to produce world-class Pinot Noir for this region.

“And that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Trevor says that while there has always been doubt about whether Eden Valley could produce great Pinot Noir, Shawn researched some of the best world examples of the variety before hand-selecting four clones for the Pinot Noir block.

“We put this research into practice eight years ago with the planting of our first Pinot Noir vines,” Trevor says.

The Pinot is grown in three places on the Brockenchack single vineyard: a portion were planted at the highest point of the vineyard about 480 metres above sea level. The remaining vines were planted in the two coolest spots in slightly lower parts of the property, at about 450 metres above sea level.

“While the whole vineyard enjoys cool climate conditions, these particular patches are the coolest parts, with rocky soils, ideal for growing Pinot Noir,” Trevor says.

 

After many years of visiting the Barossa and falling in love with its people, its history and its wines, Trevor Harch and wife Marilyn cemented their ties to the Barossa in the late 1990s with the purchase of the Tanunda Cellars bottle shop, which they still own.

Having always dreamed of producing a wine label, Trevor turned his hand to grapegrowing in 2007, jumping at an opportunity to purchase an established centenarian vineyard in Eden Valley. In 2008 he harvested his first batch of Shiraz under the Brockenchack label.

The 2017 release was only the second vintage of the Hare Hunter Pinot Noir. Its latest gold medal backs up two silver medals won in the USA at the 2018 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and the 2018 San Francisco International Wine Show.

Brockenchack also won gold medals at the Melbourne International Wine Competition for their 2017 Megan Jane Grenache and 2017 Zip Line Shiraz, both made by Joanne Irvine. They also won Eden Valley Grenache Winery of the Year.

The vineyard is named after the four grandchildren: Bronte, Mackenzie, Charli and Jack. The grandsons spend a lot of time hunting hares in the vineyard, hence the name Hare Hunter.

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