In 1934 my Grandfather, Oscar Semmler purchased a vineyard and grazing property across the road from where he and his brothers grew up. This property is located on the southern side of Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley, along side of the "St. Jakobi" Lutheran church and school. It is in the St Jakobi Church where my great grandparents, grandparents, parents and Brenda and myself have all been married.
The grapes for our "St. Jakobi" Shiraz come from a small 6-acre (32 rows) planting of vines planted in 1975 by Ken Semmler (Oscar's son & my uncle) on this family property. We've been blessed by having this patch of vineyard in a region that consistently produces good quality fruit year after year. The Shiraz from this special planting typically gives us wines that are rich in spice, dark cherry and chocolate characters with fullness and wonderful structure for longevity in the bottle.
Conditions at the start of the 2009 Vintage were ideal for ripening our beloved Shiraz grapes - warm and dry. Apart from a couple of light showers no significant rain fell until the 24th of April when we received 25mm. By then harvest was well and truly over. On the 17th of February, 16 of the 32 rows from the western side of the "75 Shiraz" block were harvested. A week later we harvested the eastern side of the vineyard block. Harvesting on two occasions allows us to pick across the flavour spectrum of the Shiraz. Fermentation was carried out in static fermenters at our winery on Gods Hill Road and each batch of wine was transferred to a range of new and older French and American barrels, supplied to us by 9 different coopers. Using a wide range of different oak hogsheads gives us a better opportunity to put together a more complex blend than if we were to use oak from only one supplier. After 20 months we blended the wines from these barrels to make a wine of complexity that shows the full potential of the Shiraz fruit we grow on this precious patch of ground. We trust you'll enjoy it!
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