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Johann Gottlob Schrapel and his family arrived from Silesia on the George Washington in 1844. This was just eight years after South Australia was settled. Like many Silesian migrants, they travelled by ox cart to Bethany (Bethanien) and established the Barossa’s first settlement.
Johann planted the first vineyard in 1852 from cuttings carried from Europe. He built a wine cellar and had reputation as a winemaker. Despite this our family were grape growers for the next four generations.
In 1981, fifth generation brothers Robert and Geoff established Bethany Wines. They built a winery in the quarry where the early pioneers had hewn stone for their homes. They crushed 2 tonnes of Shiraz and Riesling, launching the next chapter of the Schrapel wine story.
The early 1980s were tough for Barossa grape growers. A glut followed a red wine boom and grape prices fell below production cost. The State Government wanted growers to pull out old Shiraz and Grenache vines. They encouraged growers to plant new varieties or leave the industry. Fortunately, the brothers chose to establish a tradition of winemaking from this undervalued yet irreplaceable resource of old vineyards.
The fruit picked from Bethany Vineyards is from old vines of up to 40 years old which are very low yielding and produce fruit of great intensity and flavour. Traditional viticulture practices are applied in these vineyards with vines hand pruned and often hand picked. The grapes from each individual vineyard are kept separate throughout the winemaking process until the final blending. The characteristics of the selected parcels of wine for the Shiraz blend display soft fine tannins and fresh red berry characters.
French and American oak hogsheads were used for a maturation period of 12 months before a final selection and blending, with further time in stainless steel to marry together.
A bright purple hue in colour, the youthful nature of this wine is evident in the glass. Lifted black and red cherries along with a hint of baking spices is evident on the nose together with a tightening note of clean earth. The palate is medium bodied but filled with vibrant cherry and satsuma plum fruit as well as cloves and vanillin spice perfume. With bright acidity and soft bracing tannins the structure carries the fruit through the palate with pace and elegance to a long finish.
Beef Stew, Hard & Mature Cheeses
Will continue to improve with careful cellaring for up to 5 years.