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Details for Berton Vineyard, High Eden Cabernet Sauvignon

AppellationHigh Eden
Cabernet Sauvignon
(click to find out more)
Berton Vineyard
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Eden Valley

Eden Valley is a higher, cooler, eastward extension of the Barossa region, and indeed can be labelled “Barossa” (though not “Barossa Valley”, which is more narrowly defined).  It was planted almost as early, in the mid-19th century, and with largely the same grapes: Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro (Mourvèdre) for the reds; Riesling and Semillon for the whites.  Shiraz and Riesling are still the most important varieties today, with more recent introductions Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay close behind.
When tastes turned away from fortified dessert wines, it was Riesling that really shone here.  It’s still regarded as one of the two prime regions for Aussie Riesling today, producing more floral-scented and grapefruit-flavoured wines than the piercingly limey ones from Clare Valley.
Riesling tends to occupy the higher sites (up to 500 metres) but there’s rather more Shiraz planted at all altitudes, producing wines that are generally more elegant than in the Barossa Valley.  High in the northern Eden lies the most celebrated Shiraz vineyard of them all, Henschke’s Hill of Grace, still containing many of the original ungrafted vines planted in 1860.
Towards the west lies a sub-region, the High Eden, whose altitude (around 500 metres), low rainfall and poor, low-yielding soils produce especially concentrated wines.  Mountadam and Pewsey Vale are notable producers.

Berton Vineyard

Berton Vineyard began in 1996 when Bob and Cherie Berton sold their house and bought a 30-acre plot of land in the High Eden subregion of the Barossa Valley, planting it initially with Shiraz and Chardonnay, followed later by Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
In 2005 they decided to buy their own winery to crush the 150 or so tons that the High Eden vineyard produced. They were looking for somewhere that could handle up to 2000 tons to allow for substantial expansion, but this proved hard to find. Then the former Penfolds winery at Yenda in the Riverina region of New South Wales came up for sale. Even though it was ten times the size they were looking for, the price was keen, so Bob and Cherie went into partnership with Jamie Bennett, Paul Bartholomaeus and James Ceccato to form Berton Vineyards, the company.
Initially they did a lot of contract winemaking for other labels to utilise the excess capacity, but their own output has grown to match the space.  Their top wines, labelled Berton Vineyard, still come from the original High Eden site, but they have added several other ranges.  The Reserve range uses fruit from High Eden and other premium South Australia subregions like Coonawarra, while the more value-oriented ranges like Metal Label are mostly sourced locally from Riverina.

about this wine About this wine

This wine comes from Bob and Cherie Berton’s original vineyards in the High Eden, a sub-region of Eden Valley lying between the Barossa and Eden river valleys proper.  These Cabernet vines cover only a couple of acres on very free-draining quartz-rich podsol soil, and were planted around the turn of the century once the Berton’s newly-constructed reservoir was able to supply much-needed water.  Yields are still very low, so the grapes are highly concentrated.
Those tiny, thick-skinned berries were crushed and destemmed using a hand crusher before being fermented in small 2-tonne steel vats for three weeks, with manual punching down of the cap of skins.  After fermentation a traditional basket press was used to separate the wine from the skins, and both the free-run juice and the more tannic pressings were run into steel tanks to settle.  After three weeks on its fine less the wine was racked into a mix of new and used American oak barrels, where it aged for 12 months before being bottled.  Only 3786 bottles were produced in the 2009 vintage.

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