Torbreck Vintners was founded in the Barossa Valley of Australia in 1994 by David Powell. Trained in economics and accounting, Powell discovered fine wines as a young man and began working for some of Australia’s most renowned wine estates. In the early 1990s he acquired a few old vine vineyards. He named his estate after a forest in Scotland where he had briefly worked as a lumberjack. Today the 250-acre makes a range of acclaimed wines based on Powell’s love of the wines of France’s Rhone Valley. Torbreck grows Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Semillon and Frontignac. Nevertheless, the estate’s most prestigious wines are are his Rhone style reds, including The Descendant, The Factor and Run Rig. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called Powell “one of the geniuses of Rhone Valley-influenced blockbuster red wines from Australia.”
South Australia is the nation’s most important wine region. South Australia is to Australia what California is to the U.S. About half of Australia’s wine comes from South Australia and many of the country’s most acclaimed producers are there. Wineries based in South Australia include Penfolds Grange, Torbreck, Amon Ra, Henschke and Jacob’s Creek. The prestigious Barossa Valley is located in South Australia, and is often compared to Napa Valley because it is gorgeous topography covered in grape vines. First farmed by 19th century German-speakers who immigrated from what is now Poland, the Barossa Valley is the crown jewel of the region. South Australia has widely varying climates, from very hot, dry areas to cooler, high altitude areas. There are more than 150,000 acres of vineyards in South Australia, with more being planted each month. Shiraz is king, though the region also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and Semillon.