THE NORTH BAROSSA VINTNERS COLLABORATION OF

Chris RinglandAdrian Hoffmann

The North Barossa Vintners collaboration of Chris Ringland and Adrian Hoffmann sources Shiraz from the Hoffmann family vineyards, situated at Ebenezer, in the Northern Barossa Valley. Adrian, a fifth-generation Hoffmann family vigneron, selects individual Shiraz blocks from his own vineyards and those of neighbouring grape growing families. The Barossa Valley sub-region of Ebenezer has long been recognised as producing the archetypal style of Barossa Shiraz; Rich, powerful, sweet-fruited and supple-textured with flavours of blackberry, chocolate and Christmas cake.

Dimchurch is the name of the Hoffmann Family property.

Adrian, a fifth generation grape grower and community leader found himself in the vineyard at a young age, all a part of helping his family on their mixed farming property in the heart of Ebenezer. As a teenager the lure of a life on the land didn’t excite Adrian, so he worked closely with his father in his general engineering business, building a skill base that has become valuable in the operations of the family vineyards. Since becoming custodian of ‘Dimchurch,’ their property name and name of a historical township within the Ebenezer area, Adrian has undertaken planting and the redistribution of their land to encompass 120 hectares of vines, predominately Shiraz, aged up to 130 years. Now delivering to over twenty wineries, Adrian’s spread of high quality Shiraz sees it as an integral component to many premium Barossa wines.

The North Barossa Vintners project encompasses two distinct qualities, allowing Chris and Adrian to produce a selection of age worthy Shiraz.

Each year, Adrian makes a selection of his blocks to deliver into Chris 5 x 2 ton parcels over the 6-12 week spread of vintage. These small parcels are batch fermented in small open top fermenters and after pressing, allowed to complete their fermentation in a combination of new french oak hogsheads (300L) and barriques (225L). From the moment of filling, every barrel is allowed to mature individually for up to 6 years, with the collection rigorously tasted periodically by Chris to make the final blends of the two wines. Historically, the Hoffmann Vineyard is selected from the dark brooding barrels with massive palate weight while the Dimchurch is made up of more fruit forward components. The wine does not undergo any filtration or fining prior to bottling and is further bottle aged from 1 to 3 years prior to release.

As grower liaison, Adrian works closely with families around the Northern Barossa sub-regions of Moppa, Koonunga, Ebenezer and Stockwell to source parcels of fruit that undergo traditional fermentation techniques and aged in new and seasoned French and American hogsheads. The wines are matured for 24 to 36 months in barrel, and are racked and blended prior to bottling, allowing each parcel to develop its unique signature.

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Geisler Block (2.78Ha)

Purchased from the Geilser family in the early 1900’s and used as a mixed farm block until it was planted in 1999, with Shiraz cuttings being sourced from Dallwitz old and Dallwitz Top block’s.

 

Uniquely, the row orientation is planted on the summer ecliptic plane, with the Sun rising on the Eastern strainer posts, passing over the vines and setting on the Western strainer posts, providing plenty of shade during the day.

Planted to 3.3m wide rows at 2.4m vine spacing, the block gently slopes from the Northeast to the Southwest. The vines have two permanent arms on a single wire and are pruned to a two bud spur with 50-60 buds per vine.

Generally, these Shiraz produce a medium sized, loose clustered bunch with a small to medium berry size.

Old Home

Established over 2 years in 1951-52, ¾ of the rootlings came from cuttings that were taken prior to the removal of the original vines, which were planted in the 1880’s. The remaining rootlings came from some of the first old vine selection made in the late 1940’s.

 

Planted North-South, the row width is 3.3m with vines spaced at 3m. There is a gradual slope from the North down to the South end with the Southern end of the block having more loamy soil. Pruned to the traditional Rod’n’spur with three canes on a single wire and 4-5 two bud spurs left per vine. Between 35-45 buds are left per vine.

The bunches are typically long and loose clustered with a medium berry size.

Home Old Shiraz Block (1.7Ha)

Established over 2 years in 1951-52, ¾ of the rootlings came from cuttings that were taken prior to the removal of the original vines, which were planted in the 1880’s. The remaining rootlings came from some of the first old vine selection made in the late 1940’s.

 

Planted North-South, the row width is 3.3m with vines spaced at 3m. There is a gradual slope from the North down to the South end with the Southern end of the block having more loamy soil. Pruned to the traditional Rod’n’spur with three canes on a single wire and 4-5 two bud spurs left per vine. Between 35-45 buds are left per vine.

The bunches are typically long and loose clustered with a medium berry size.

Home VSP Shiraz Block (2.36Ha)

These vines were planted in 1997 on what was and old apricot orchard, with a combination of Shiraz clone BVRC 30, together with a cutting selection from Roehr and Schrapel old vines.

 

Orientation is North-South. The row width is 3.3m, with the vines spaced at 2.1m. There is a gradual slope from North down to the South, with a crumbly calcareous soil layer predominating at the Northern end at depths of 40-50cm. The vines have two permanent arms on a single wire and pruned to a two bud spur with a loose lift of foliage, conducted post -flowering to help protect the fruit from sunburn during the summer. Between 50 and 60 buds are left per vine.

Generally bunch structure is medium sized and tight, with a small to medium berry size.

Home Dam Block (0.73)

Planted in 1964, the Shiraz cuttings were taken from the Dallwitz Old Block.

 

Running North-South, the rows are 3.3m wide with the vines spaced at 2.7m. The block gently slopes from North to South and is covers 3 distinct soil types, which have been divided by two ancient creek beds that run across all the rows. Pruned to the traditional Rod’n’spur with 3-4 canes on a double wire and 5-6 two bud spurs left per vine. Between 40 and 50 buds are left per vine.

The bunches have classic Shiraz characteristics, and are loose clustered with a medium to large berry size.

Dairy Block (5.08Ha)

Planted in 1998. The block gets it name from the cows that grazed on the pastures which once grew there.

 

A combination of the Shiraz clone BVRC 30 and selected vines from the Dallwitz old and Home old blocks were the source of the rootlings.

Planted to an East-West orientation. The row width is 3.3m with the vines spaced at 2.4m. The Southern rows are established on some of most fertile soil on the property. The vines have two permanent arms on a single wire and pruned to a two bud spur with 60-70 buds per vine.

Bunches show classic Shiraz formation, a long loose cluster with a wide top and medium sized berries.

Dallwitz Old Block (2.64Ha)

We purchased this property from the Dallwitz family in 1945. This block is, no doubt, one of the jewels in the crown of Dimchurch Vineyards.

 

Planted under vine as early as 1888, we definitely know that it was established before 1912, making these some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the Barossa.

The rows are orientated North-South. Width and vine spacing is 3m x 3m. The block is what you would call “flat” but does have a slight rise in the middle. Pruned to the traditional Rod’n’spur with three canes on a single wire and 4-5 two bud spurs left per vine. Between 35-45 buds are left per vine.

Bunches are generally long and loose clustered with a medium berry size.

Dallwitz Top Block (2.57Ha)

Planted in 1964, the Shiraz cuttings were taken from the Dallwitz Old Block.

 

Running North-South, the rows are 3.3m wide with the vines spaced at 2.7m. The block gently slopes from North to South and is covers 3 distinct soil types, which have been divided by two ancient creek beds that run across all the rows. Pruned to the traditional Rod’n’spur with 3-4 canes on a double wire and 5-6 two bud spurs left per vine. Between 40 and 50 buds are left per vine.

The bunches have classic Shiraz characteristics, and are loose clustered with a medium to large berry size.

Dallwitz VSP Block (4.9Ha)

Established over three years from 1994-1996, the rootlings were sourced from a combination of all our old blocks and the clonal selection 1654.

 

Planted North-South, the row width is 3.3m with the vines spaced at 2.4m. There is a gentle rise in the middle on the block, with some of the shallowest soils  promoting the development of very small bunches with tiny, intense berries. The vines have two permanent arms on a single wire and are pruned to a two bud spur with a loose lift of foliage applied post -flowering to help protect the fruit from the sun during the Summer. Generally, 50-60 buds are left per vine.

The bunch structure is medium sized and tight with a small to medium berry size.

E.R. “94” Block (1.34Ha)

As the name indicates, planted in 1994 with a combination of BVRC 30 and 1654 clonal selection rootlings.

 

The rows are planted East-West and are 3.3m wide, with the vines spaced at 2.4m. The block gently slopes from West to East and shows a transition from a sandy loam soil to loam clay at the Eastern end. The vines have two permanent arms on a single wire and pruned to a two bud spur with 55-65 buds left per vine.

The bunches usually display classic shiraz characteristics and are loose clustered with a medium berry size.

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