Pearson Vineyards

Jim Pearson, the owner, manager, viticulturist and winemaker of Pearson Vineyards, is considered by many to be the "Garagiste" of the Clare Valley. And when he's not busy growing grapes and making wine, he runs the tasting room and sells wine at the cellar door. Jim makes the wine in a little shed next to his house. The facilities may not be impressive, but the wines certainly are. Pearson Vineyards currently offers two very special reds, a Cabernet Franc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are full, rich flavorful wines that offer a great deal of complexity without a lot of oak.

Jim Pearson started his winery in 1993 with the goal of making very small batches of very good wines. His goal hasn't changed since then. Typically, Pearson Vineyards produces only 1,000 to 1,400 cases of wine per year. Jim begins with grapes that he grows himself — 100 percent come from his five-acre vineyard. The vines are dry grown, hand pruned and hand picked. After harvest, Jim uses a simple, old-fashioned, screw-driven basket press. This produces a lower extraction level than with power-driven presses. As a result, Pearson wines tend to have rich, velvety, intense flavors without sour or bitter tannic notes.

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