Pewsey Vale The Contours is characterised by a special site, sensitive vine growing, and astute winemaking. The Contours Riesling is produced from old vines farmed on the coolest slope within this ruggedly beautiful single vineyard. Bottle ageing for five years before release transforms this Riesling into a complex wine. More richness and complexity will accumulate over future decades.
With an average altitude of nearly 500 metres, Pewsey Vale Vineyard sits 250 metres above the Barossa Valley floor. The resultant cooler temperatures encourage a longer ripening period that is essential for producing superior Riesling grapes.
In 1847, shortly after his arrival from England, Joseph Gilbert built a fine homestead in Eden Valley and planted the region’s first grapevines. The vines came from the Macarthur vineyards at Camden in New South Wales. William Macarthur had travelled to Rheingau, Germany in 1837 to collect Riesling cuttings. This is the first successful recorded importation of Riesling in Australia. Like so many vineyards in the 1920s and 30s, Pewsey Vale fell into disuse but, thankfully, its potential was rediscovered.
In 1961, pastoralist Geoffrey Angas Parsons became aware his property had once incorporated the region’s earliest vineyard and shared his discovery with good friend, neighbour and vigneron Wyndham Hill Smith.
Several wine companies were considering potential vineyard sites with cooler ripening conditions than found on the Barossa Valley floor and Hill Smith needed no further persuasion – work soon began on re-establishing Pewsey Vale Vineyard.
Initially, 56 hectares of Riesling was planted in contoured rows. The several remaining hectares of these vines continue to provide fruit for Pewsey Vale’s The Contours Riesling.
All plantings at Pewsey Vale Vineyard are propagated from the original 1847 vines.
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