The late Greg Trott was a much-loved dreamer, eccentric and visionary who built Wirra Wirra into a much-acclaimed winery and who was a major influence on McLaren Vale’s development into a premium wine-growing region.
Wirra Wirra was founded in McLaren Vale by Robert Strangeways Wigley in 1893 and quickly gained a reputation for exporting excellent Shiraz in bulk to the UK. After his death in 1924, it fell into disrepair and became a derelict site
In 1969, Greg had a lofty dream: to restore the crumbling walls and dilapidated vineyards to their former glory. He purchased the land and set about making the dream a reality. He recreated the historic cellars with their big ironstone walls and using timber recovered from old building renovations. He was guided by rare old photos.
When asked by a local councillor why he had not seen any application for building approval, Greg said that he thought it would be unnecessary as “this was merely a few repairs and maintenance”.
The entire place oozes character, partly as a result of the local ironstone it was built from, the bell tower with its great brass bell filched from a demolished church in Adelaide; the siege engine, or catapult, that Greg envisaged hurling bottles or watermelons at neighbouring wineries; the Woodhenge, a 10-tonne post and rail fence at the entrance to the winery, made from raw, ancient redgum trunks. Built by hand, it is reminiscent of a fence from an early settler's bush cottage.
At the winery there is a plaque inscribed with Greg Trott’s philosophy on life. It reads: “Never give misery an even break, nor bad wine a second sip. You must be serious about quality, dedicated to your task in life, especially winemaking, but this should all be fun."
Greg Trott was outspoken on the issues of water management, land conservation and chemical use before it became fashionable. He would be proud that Wirra Wirra is producing outstanding wines that reflect the values that Greg held over 50 years ago.
It has organic and biodynamic certified estate vineyards and an unwavering commitment to protecting and developing their environment from vineyard through to winery production. It is dedicated to producing quality wines in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Their two Shiraz releases are a testament to Greg Trott, his grandiose ideas and unique vision.
“96 points. Black fruits of many types glide across the palate on a magic carpet of savoury but fine, tannins. Its overall balance is perfect. Just lovely.” James Halliday
The Woodhenge is blended from older McLaren Vale vineyards that have the intensity and structure to provide the rich, bold style that is the signature of this wine.
The wine has an impenetrable inky black core and a very deep bright dark red black hue. It has aromas of freshly crushed blackberries, liquorice and blueberries. Rich blackberry, liquorice and fresh plum fruits flood the medium to full bodied palate. Elements of subtle vanillin cedar, earth and spicy pepper lie underneath. Plush mouthfeel and velvety tannins with a youthful freshness to the long, refined finish. It can be cellared for up to 20 years.
“Deep red colour with a good purple tint, the aromas herbal, dusty, straw-like and earthy overlying the tarry shiraz characters. A twist of the pepper grinder. The full-bodied palate tracks this exactly and its structure is quite drying and savoury, the finish long.” Huon Hooke (The Real Review)
This wine is named after Trott’s dream (see above), the catapult, which was realised after his death in 2005 and now launches friendly watermelons over 100 yards, if not at neighbouring wineries.
The colour is deep black plum at the core with a pure, mulberry hued rim. Aromas of plums and blackberries at the fore with mulberry, five spice and pepper. A generous and fruit-forward palate is loaded with plums, cassis and milk chocolate and the finish has silky tannins and great length. Enjoy now or cellar for up to 10 years.
You can enjoy the fruits of Greg’s vision NOW at Wirra Wirra wines.