The release this month of the Grant Burge 1999 Miamba Shiraz takes the company’s range of Barossa shiraz to four, ranging in price from about $14 to nearly $100 a bottle.
“I think that would put us at the very forefront in terms of offering wines made 100 per cent from Barossa shiraz, which is clearly the grape variety that the district grows best and is most widely known for,” said Grant Burge.
Grant Burge Wines’ current-release wines made from Barossa Shiraz are:
— Grant Burge 1999 Barossa Vines Shiraz ($14)
— Grant Burge 1999 Miamba Shiraz ($20)
— Grant Burge 1999 Filsell Shiraz ($28)
— Grant Burge 1996 Meshach Shiraz ($95)
“The Miamba nicely fills the price gap that existed between the Barossa Vines and the Filsell and offers lovers of our shiraz a comfortable stepping stone between the two,” said Grant.
Grant Burge Wines planted its first vines on Miamba, which links the company’s Filsell and Cameron Vale vineyards, in 1987 but the grape growing history of the property extends back to the 19th century when a vineyard was planted there by Tatachilla.
The family of pioneering South Australian viticulturist Dr A.C. Kelly purchased Miamba in the early 1900s and sold it to Orlando in 1938.
Orlando adopted the name “Miamba” for one of its most significant brands during the 50s and 60s but by the late 70s grapes were in oversupply in Australia and the company, like many others, started looking at alternate land use.
The vines were grubbed out in 1980 and the property converted to grazing land. It was pastoral potential that led Grant Burge to buy Miamba in 1983, but the discovery of bore water and increasing demand for table wines encouraged him to plant 24 acres of vines in 1987.
The planting has been expanded to some 200 acres comprising shiraz (90 acres), cabernet sauvignon (20 acres), merlot (20 acres), chardonnay (40 acres), Semillon (20 acres) and pinot noir (10 acres).
“Miamba is my biggest vineyard and also my most modern,” said Grant.
“It’s been set up totally in the modern era, with state-of-the-art irrigation and the high trellises needed for efficient mechanised harvesting.”
The release of the 1999 Miamba Shiraz represents the first addition to the Grant Burge individual-vineyard range since the company was launched in the late 1980s*.
“It shows how careful we are in developing the individual-vineyard range, which really does constitute the heart of our business,” said Grant.
“Previously we used all the Miamba fruit either for our Barossa Vines range or for wines made under contract to other wineries, but in 99 we thought it good enough to keep separate and consider for a new premium brand.
“It’s certainly turned out that way. While the 99 Miamba isn’t as rich as our Filsell Shiraz, it’s still a big, serious wine with spicy, flavoursome shiraz fruit, good tannins and some excellent American oak.
“I think it’s a very good wine and I think the brand has huge scope, both domestically and internationally.”