Grey Sands Does Well Doing It Tough

By David Ellis from vintnews.

Grey Sands Does Well Doing It ToughAfter living in England in the early 1980s and on their travels realising that some of the best wines in Europe came from cooler regions with impoverished soils, Rita and Bob Richter came back to Australia with their sights set on making similar top drops.

It meant a Graduate Diploma Course in Wine at Roseworthy Agricultural College for Bob, and then heading south to cool-climate Tasmania to choose a vineyard site with low fertility soil. In 1989 they found exactly what they were searching for at Glengarry, which overlooks the Tamar Valley, 30-minutes’ drive north-west of Launceston.

Simply fine grey sand over a hardpan and finally deeper good clay that vines’ deep roots love once they get there, Rita and Bob snapped it up, planted some dozen or so grape varieties and called it Grey Sands. One variety really loving it’s seemingly tough conditions is Pinot Gris, with a just-released 2013 - a smashing drop of lush ripe-peach fruit flavours, spicy aromatics and wonderfully balanced acidity.

The Richter’s deliberately don’t irrigate their Grey Sands Vineyard, so as to get maximum flavour concentration rather than maximum yield; do yourself a favour and at $40 partner their 2013 Pinot Gris with roast pork belly, loads of crackling and baked vegies. Available at the Cellar Door.

One to Note: for fifty years until his death in 2009, Bob Wade and his mate Brian Miles established and managed vineyards across the Barossa Valley that were second to none, and which for years have provided fruit for some of the best wines to come out of the likes of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Hardys to name a few.

Now Bob’s son John has launched a wine label to honour his dad, with a range made with fruit from the family’s own Haslemere premium vineyard in the Eden Valley. One to particularly look for is the Haslemere 2012 Barossa RBW Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine with a terrific concentration of dark forest fruit flavours, raspberry, blackcurrant and mulberry, and with cedar oak. Pay $35 and enjoy with, naturally, a good grilled steak, or a Winter-time’s steak and kidney pie.