Heritage Shiraz

Heritage Shiraz is a single-varietal wine from our estate vineyard. Called Syrah and Hermitage in France, the name Shiraz is popular in Australia, where it was established around 1831.

Heritage is deep purple wine from the heritage Australian Shiraz and the French Hermitage Syrah grapes that we have planted on our Home Ranch.

Rich in black fruits with a liquorice edge on the nose. An elegant, balanced palate showing intense fruit, with a good, fleshy texture and moderate acidity goes on to finish with hints of white pepper and clove, then a lingering toffee flavor at the end.

This smooth, rich wine will work well with most foods allowing you to add your own special blend of herbs and spices. Image a roasted pork loin well seasoned with garlic and onions. Try this with bratwurst, spicy lamb dishes and cold meats with chutney but for a special treat pair it with BBQ pork spare ribs with a smokey BBQ sauce.

Decant for one hour or more. Serving temperature: 65°F

We wanted to have the best of Syrah/Shiraz/Hermitage and so we used a nursery to provide young vines from McLaren Vale, the home of Australian Shiraz; and Hermitage, the home of Rhône Syrah. These vines, the great, great, great grandchildren of the same grandfather, we planted in the soils of our home ranch in Dry Creek Valley.

Rhône grapes give the best flavor in exceedingly well drained soils with a high component of rock and gravel. We have exactly that condition where for centuries past Dry Creek would flood and swirl across a section of our home ranch. The site of our best Shiraz is a flat strip of land adjacent to an uplifted gravel rich hill that combines good drainage with liberal root depth.

Viognier is also used to add fragrance and to soften and lighten Syrah in Côte Rotie and as a practice to add elegance to some Australian Shiraz. We have adopted the technique of co-fermenting Shiraz and a little Viognier to provide total integration and a beautiful, soft mouthfeel to what is normally a rustic wine.

We called the wine Heritage because it it the heritage of all wine and certainly represents our own Australian heritage. Interestingly, visiting Australians always seem to buy our Heritage Shiraz so we must be doing something right.

Discussions with Bill Williamson

Legends claim that the Syrah grape originated somewhere around 5,000 BC in a Persian city (now Iran) called Shiraz. The Phocaeans brought Syrah/Shiraz to their colony around Marseilles, then called Massilia, which was founded around 600 BC.

In 1224 a French Knight, Sir Gaspard de Stérimberg returned home wounded from the Albigensian Crusade in southern France, in the region known as Languedoc. Gaspard was given permission by the Queen Blanche de Castille to establish a hermitage in which to recover. Gaspard built a small chapel at the summit of the hill, grew his grapes and made wine there. This valiant knight continued to live as a hermit and his Shiraz grapes became known as "Hermitage" for the "place of the hermit".

Chevalier Gaspard is believed to have brought the Shiraz grape variety to Rhône with him from southern France and later to have built the chapel at Hermitage where he grew the grapes, made wine and became the hermit of the chapel. This would make Syrah a local French synonym and Shiraz the proper name of the variety.

This legend connecting Syrah with the Iranian city of Shiraz may actually be of French origin. The Scottish Botanist, James Busby wrote in his Journal that the 1826 book “Enologie Française” stated “the plant [Scyras/Syrah] was originally brought from Shiraz in Persia, by one of the hermits of the mountain”.

In 1831 James Busby planted cuttings from Hermitage at Parramatta in Australia which he called Hermitage Shiraz, but since Hermitage is also a French Protected designation of origin, this naming practice was ceased in the late 1980s, and the Australian variety is simply called Shiraz.

In 1998, a study conducted by Carole Meredith's research group in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis used DNA typing and extensive grape reference material from the viticultural research station in Montpellier, France to conclude that Syrah was the offspring of the grape varieties Dureza (father) and Mondeuse Blanche (mother). This suggests that at some point in time both Syrah's parents come from a limited area in southeastern France, but not how they got there or where they came from.

Perhaps Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche were the grapes the Phocaeans brought from Persia some 1,800 years before Gaspard. Wine has existed for at least seven millennia and has much more legend and myth associated with it than scientific fact.

Somehow I like the story of a noble, wounded Knight recuperating and living his life devoted to growing grapes and making wine better than some obscure DNA sampling that takes us nowhere.

Heritage ~ possessed as a natural result of birth.

American-Style Ribs

American-Style Ribs

Partial to Memphis or Kansas City-style smoky ribs? A group of crazy Australians created this tasty American-style rib spice mix and a recipe to go with it.

Balsamic Garlic Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic Garlic Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic Garlic Pork Tenderloin that just melts in your mouth! This slow cooker balsamic pork tenderloin recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights or even special occasions when you just don't have time to cook for hours!

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

This is a wonderful recipe for tasty, inexpensive, and really easy pork sliders. The recipe uses pork butt (shoulder) roast and works well in the crock pot.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Turn sliced or ground beef into an easy, creamy dinner, with pasta and either Harmony or Heritage Shiraz!

Goat Cheese Pumpkin Puree

Goat Cheese Pumpkin Puree

Imagine the sweetness of a good pumpkin combined with the bitter taste of goat cheese and Balsamic Garlic Herb Jam - the result: a simple yet sophisticated dish, perfect for a November dinner or a magical Thanksgiving!

Grilled Beef Suya (African Spiced Beef Kabobs)

Grilled Beef Suya (African Spiced Beef Kabobs)

Suya is the single most popular Roast African spicy skewered beef – An irresistible dish originating from the Hausa people in Nigeria and Cameroon where they enjoy the heat and savory flavor. Our version makes a quick, easy and yummy dish.

Grilled Korean Short Ribs with Braised Bok Choy

Grilled Korean Short Ribs with Braised Bok Choy

Korean-style Short Ribs served with baby bok choy for balance and our Herbies Jaggery and Tiger spice sauce drizzled on top. You will find yourself slurping up the morsels of rib and licking your fingers as you wash it down with Heritage Shiraz . . . Perfect!

Grilled Steak with Smokey Umami Sauce

Grilled Steak with Smokey Umami Sauce

Aussies would say "give me a Scotch Filet, a Shiraz and a quiet place to enjoy it." This steak with its moist, melt-in-your mouth umami flavor pairs beautifully with our Heritage Shiraz. "Vegetables? . . . What vegetables?"

Moroccan Burgers

Moroccan Burgers

The Moroccan flavors in these burgers include cumin, harissa and garlic. The sauce: a delectable mix of mayonnaise, caraway seeds and more harissa.

Pork Chops Oven Baked

Pork Chops Oven Baked

Oven Baked Pork Chops with potatoes and a sauce that makes them come out golden and sticky, savory and a little bit sweet.

Rib Eye Roast, Pan Vegetables & Balsamic Glaze

Rib Eye Roast, Pan Vegetables & Balsamic Glaze

The rib eye roast is from the rib section (ribs 6 through 12), it is basically a prime rib roast with the bones removed so is often called a boneless rib roast. The rib is a naturally tender, rich flavored cut that is enjoyed by beef lovers worldwide. The glaze can be made a day ahead; it is intensely flavored, so use it sparingly

Sausage with Red Wine and Porcini Mushrooms

Sausage with Red Wine and Porcini Mushrooms

There are many forms of comfort food and it’s a fine challenge to make the most of limited ingredients to produce food that is not only comforting but delicious. This recipe is not a dish you might eat frequently, but it is an example of how simple ingredients cooked properly can produce elegant results.

Shiraz Braised Lamb Shoulder

Shiraz Braised Lamb Shoulder

This simple, slow-cooked dish receives a complex flavor from our Shiraz. It is always best to use the same wine for cooking and drinking. We know this is tough when the wine tastes so good alone. When the recipe calls for a whole bottle of wine some people might be tempted to use a cheaper bottle of Syrah and keep the Williamson Shiraz for drinking. This will compromise the integrity of the dish so perhaps the cook should drink a glass of the wine while cooking to ensure the quality of the wine being used.

Spicy Miso Chicken with Harissa Sauce

Spicy Miso Chicken with Harissa Sauce

Many think the Moroccans invented harissa to upgrade food from good to excellent and this intense, aromatic dish proves it. Made predominantly from chili, garlic, cumin and coriander our Herbie’s blend of these fresh, pure spices creates a wonderfully flavorful dish to pair with Heritage Shiraz.

Manchego

Manchego

Manchego is Spain’s best known cheese.

Testun Ciuc

Testun Ciuc

Hailing from the Piedmont region, home to many famous Italian Wines, Testun Ciuc belongs to a long tradition of aging large wheels of cheese in the sediment left over from wine making.