I was recently in Australia, visiting the Barossa Valley and one winery that everyone seemed to recommend visiting was Turkey Flat. The winery takes its name from the native Australian bird (Australian Bustard) which inhabited the area in large native flocks. The area was first settled in the 1840s and today many of the vines that were planted then are still producing grapes today.
That was one interesting tidbit I learned while I was there. Australia, and especially the Barossa Valley has some of the oldest vines in the world; Turkey Flat is surrounded by these ancient vines and on their property they can trace them to being first planted in 1847. It is very impressive to see the gnarly old vines still full of foliage and bunches of grapes hanging from the lower branches.
Turkey Flat was bought by the Schultz family in 1865 and they are still the owners today. Besides running the vineyard, they were for many years the local butcher and today the butcher’s shop is now used for wine sales and is the private tasting room.
In homage to their butcher’s past, they have named their red and white blends, The Butcher’s Block. The red wine is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre. The grapes come from various Turkey Flat vineyards including a percentage from the original old vine plantings. I think it’s pretty neat to be able to drink wine that’s made from plants that were originally planted when Queen Victoria was just barely finishing the first decade of her long reign.
While I was at the tasting room, I got to try the 2010 red Butcher’s Block. A blend of the aforementioned three grapes, it was a delightfully smooth drink of wine. A lovely perfumed nose of red fruits, it had great structure (read tannins to cut through a steak) but still round on the palate. The wine rolled around my mouth before going down in one satisfying gulp.
The 2010 Butcher’s Block red blend is available from Majestic Wines for £14.99.