The Turkey Flat Vineyard boasts some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. Planted in 1847, these hard-working gnarled old vines are still producing fantastic grapes. They are dry grown with their roots extending metres into the soil in search of moisture.
Much of the credit for the best Shiraz made in the Barossa is due to old vines such as these. The fact that these vines still exist is largely due to a far-sighted quarantine scheme, in which South Australia was spared the phylloxera outbreak which devastated the vineyards of Europe, America and subsequently parts of Australia in the late 1800’s.
|The birth of Turkey Flat took place in 1847 when a far-sighted Silesian refugee Johann Frederick August Fiedler planted Shiraz vines in the rich alluvial soils adjacent to the Bethany Creek. Fiedler was the brother-in-law to Pastor August Kavel, who led the German emigrants to Australia’s Barossa Valley, and he settled on one of the first parcels of land to be surveyed in the area.
Turkey Flat is the local name for the vineyard property and is believed to be so named by the original settlers in the late 1840’s after the large flocks of native bush turkeys (Australian Bustard) in the area. Local artist Rod Schubert was commissioned for the design of the label. It is his depiction of the native bush turkey that gives bottles of Turkey Flat wine their distinctive elegance. Each wine has its own personalised turkey to distinguish them from one another.
The Turkey Flat vineyards and winery are now situated on the historic Section One property in the centre of the Barossa. The Schulz family became owners of the Turkey Flat property in around 1865 and while they continued to tend the ancient vineyard, they also developed a thriving butchers business.
The sensitively restored bluestone butchers shop is now the wine sales and private tasting room referred as ’The Butcher’s Block Room’ for the company.
Turkey Flat wines are made from five individual vineyard estates. The original Section One vineyard has the Shiraz, Grenache and small parcels of Mourvedre, Rousanne and Viognier. The highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on the banks of the Bethany Creek in a small picturesque vineyard surrounded by ancient gum trees.Our famous Rose is made from the Menge Road estate – Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Dolcetto vines are grown specifically for this purpose. The “Butchers Block” blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre is sourced from the Stonewell estate. This vineyard is planted on a unique combination of red-brown earth soils (terra rosa) on a unique underlying limestone base. The Marsanne plantings are also at Stonewell.
In June 2007 the Ebenezer Vineyard was purchased, located in the northern Barossa Valley consisting of a rare 30 acres of dry grown vines. Planted in 1975 by the Mattschoss family this Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and bush vine Grenache vineyard, is situated in the elevated northern extremity of the Barossa and is only 600 metres from the famous Penfold’s block 53B, grapes from which are used in the rare Bin 60A. Turkey Flat now has vineyards spread over the major appellations of Bethany, Stonewell and Ebenezer and they are looking forward to this new vineyard making a significant contribution to all of their red wines in the future.
Most of our vineyards survive only on natural rainfall, and where supplementary water is applied this is done so in very small amounts, and only to maintain healthy leaves and not to increase production. Our vineyard yields vary from 10 tonne/hectare for Rose production to 2 tonne/hectare for our Shiraz. Not only is Turkey Flat water conscientious but over the past few years we have been working towards becoming Certified Organic, something that we will achieve in the near future.
All of the Turkey Flat wines are made in our Bethany Road winery using traditional open fermenters. We include cap plunging, cold maceration, submerged cap fermentation and “pumping over” in our winemaking. Barrel fermentation is followed by maturation in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads and barriques. Our climate controlled barrel hall as well as bottling on the estate further enhances the quality and delicacy of all of our wines.