Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2019
Enjoy Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier with roasted chicken and sauteed mushrooms.
Clonakilla was established in 1971 by John Kirk, a Canberra based research scientist. Of Irish descent, John came to Australia with his young family in 1968 to work with the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. To his surprise despite the suitability of the environment their was no wine industry in there cool southern table lands of NSW around Canberra. To remedy this situation, in 1971 he bought a 44 acre farm near the village of Murrumbateman in New South Wales, 40 kilometres north of Canberra. The soil consisted of sandy clay loams over a friable clay subsoil and, with a climate not dissimilar to the Bordeaux region and Northern Rhone valley in France, he held high hopes for its wine producing potential. He proceeded to plant 1.2 acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. He named the property Clonakilla (‘meadow of the church’) after his grandfather’s farm in County Clare.
A picturesque region brimming with energetic producers, Canberra’s boutique wineries are set among a backdrop of the Snowy Mountains. Similar to its northern neighbors of Hilltops and Orange, Canberra has an extreme continental climate with a hot, dry growing season and cold winters. The region produces outstanding Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir and is under a new wave of innovative young winemakers unafraid to explore alternative varieties.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.